Skip to navigation Skip to content

Pedologist’s report – Soil characteristics for "Pete"

Pete cross sectionName:



up to 7500 years old


Primarily in Northern Scotland and the Islands. Some extensive areas in the Southern Uplands. Preferred soil functions: stores large volumes of water and carbon; supports valuable above-ground habitat.


Depth varies from 0.5-8 metres; Peat is 90-95% water so weight decreases dramatically when dried.


Very dark brown-black


Permanently waterlogged, very acidic and nutrient poor


Generally retains substances and materials that are applied to, or deposited, onto it. Usually has a complete vegetation cover, but peat becomes very vulnerable if this is disturbed. Low in plant nutrients and only suited for a small number of specially adapted plants.

Health advice:

Do not fertilise, drain or plough to avoid carbon dioxide emission and disturbance to the hydrology and semi-natural habitat. Do not burn the surface vegetation and apply appropriate grazing levels.

Learning & Resources


Printed from /learning/dirt-doctor/petesoil on 08/12/23 01:11:44 PM

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.