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Pedologist’s report – Soil characteristics for "Rusty"


Brown earth


Up to 10000 years but in many areas it has been modified by management


Primarily East Scotland, some limited areas in West Highlands

Preferred soil functions:

Primarily used in arable and mixed farming. Supports valuable oak woods in the West Highlands.


Soil depth varies depending on depth to bedrock. Soil becomes more dense (heavier) with depth


Brown/yellowish brown


Fertile, well drained and weakly acid to neutral pH.


The soil has a fairly uniform brown colour throughout the profile indicating that the soil is freely drained and that the organic matter in the upper rooting zone is well incorporated.

Health advice:

Brown earths are relatively high in nutrients and these can be enhanced further by the addition of organic or inorganic fertilisers. The soil is easily ploughed and although this stimulates biological activity, care must be taken to minimise soil loss through erosion when the soil is bare.

Learning & Resources


Printed from /learning/dirt-doctor/brown-earth on 04/12/23 09:33:17 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.