Soil Science Research

Springtails - collembola Holding a handful of soil Tilling soil with cattle English farmland landscape

The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) specialises in understanding the complex behaviour of soils in the ecosystem context. Using an integrated approach, we apply cutting-edge technology to understand complex and emergent properties of the soil resource. New knowledge provides new solutions to an ever-increasingly complex earth system.

CEH Research Focus Areas



Graphic illustrates CEH's integrated approach to soil science

mySoil app

mySoil app logo

A free smartphone app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices, mySoil is a joint initiative from the British Geological Survey and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. mySoil allows people to view and upload information about soils in their area.

Read more and find out how to download mySoil.


UK Soil Observatory

Knowledge of soil type and properties can underpin management practices to develop sustainable agricultural production while maintaining the UK’s carbon balance and a wide range of other services e.g. flood prevention. Previously soils data, knowledge and expertise was scattered across a wide range of institutions (CEH, BGS, NSRI, Rothamsted, JHI, HEIs etc). 

Launched in April 2014, the UK Soil Observatory provides a portal for unified UK soils data and information that will give improved access to data and information (with the specific objective of providing these data for free where possible). Such access to fully described data sets, analytical tools and analyses will allow users to access information for novel research, for public and private decision making and for general interest groups. 

Our objective is to have free access to these data for non-profit making use of the data and to facilitate commercial use for wealth creation. The project will acquire new data, harmonise licensing, develop access software, and ensure data interoperability to improve the clarity and ease-of-use within the portal architecture.

Soil research information leaflets

The following downloadable leaflets provide general information about aspects of CEH's current soil research: