Irish Soil Information System
Farming activities have long been heralded as being a critical developer and shaper of the rural landscape and environment which we enjoy in Ireland today. Historically, farmers engaged in resource protection solely out of necessity to sustain their production capacity through generations. However, what has changed in recent times is the way in which environmental protection must be implemented at farm level: we have now entered a new era of legislation driven by environmental protection and legislation at a global and European scale.
Comparison of soil information at a European scale has led to the requirement for the harmonisation and coordination of soil data across Europe, and, in light of the demands for soil protection on a regional basis within member states there is a growing need to support policy with harmonised soil information.
Critical to the successful development of such strategies is the knowledge on the location of our soils, and their associated properties. To date, Ireland has a national soil map at a scale of 1:575,000, with only half the country mapped in significant detail. Over 450 soil series have been identified in Ireland, each of them different in properties, with different environmental and agronomic responses.
Soil Map and Information System
The Irish Soil Information System project has developed a national association soil map for Ireland at a scale of 1:250,000, together with an associated digital soil information system, providing both spatial and quantitative information on soil types and properties across the country. Both the map and the information system are made freely available to the public through this website. This major project began in 2008 with Phase 1 ending in 2014. Phase 2 continues into 2015 with the aim of producing derivative soil attribute maps for inclusion within the system