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Scotland's Soil Resource - Current State and Threats

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Appendix B. Soil maps, soil memoirs and soil handbooks.

Introduction.

Soil maps record the distribution of soil types in Scotland at scales from 1:250 000 to 1:10 000. Soil series are the primary mapping unit on the detailed soil maps (1:63 360, 1:25 000 or 1:10 000 scales). Any area mapped as a given series is predominantly, but not necessarily exclusively, composed of profiles belonging to the profile series of the same name. Soil series are grouped into soil associations, which represent a characteristic soil pattern in the landscape, closely related to the parent material. The soil association is a compound mapping unit, which comprises a number of different soils, differing in profile morphology and/or drainage category and where the distribution of each component is delineated. The names of associations and series refer to the locality where it was first mapped. A further mapping unit is the soil complex, composed of two or more soil series which occur across the landscape in units which are too small to map individually. The 1:250 000 scale maps use soil associations and soil complexes as the basic mapping units as the scale limits the amount of information that can be shown.

The 1:63 360 scale maps mainly cover the lowland agricultural areas of Scotland. The remainder of the country was mapped in less detail for publication at 1:250 000 scale in 1984. New survey was carried out in the field for the uplands and areas not previously mapped in more detail. This involved the same methodology, but was carried out using a systematic approach in the field, with survey planned around and integrated with collection of NSIS information., but the mapping still involved field investigations.

Soil classification in Scotland

Since the maps are based on classification of soils, a brief description of soil classification is given here. In Scotland the soil parent material has generally moved only short distances and the soils are comparatively young (less than 12 000 years), therefore, they still retain many of the chemical characteristics of the underlying parent rock. For this reason, the classification places great emphasis on the stratigraphy of the parent rocks. The current system of soil classification was coordinated by the Soil Survey of Scotland during soil mapping for the 1:250 000 scale soil survey described in the appendix (Soil Survey Staff, 1984) and is based on the evolving classification described in previous soil memoirs. The soil classification is typological not definitional (Butler, 1980); in other words, it is essentially a descriptive system which uses little or no quantitative data on soil properties. The basic building blocks of the classification are soil horizons and soil profiles. Soil horizon features and juxtaposition are used to infer the soil processes that influenced the soil's formation. The type and arrangement of horizons and their associated soil properties is used to inform the soil classification. The features considered for each soil horizon are colour, texture, structure, consistence, organic matter, roots, stones, moisture, mottles and thickness of the horizon. Soil types are identified from the soil horizon sequences that make up the soil profile morphology. The soil type classification system has five categorical levels:

  • Division: reflects the dominant soil forming processes which influence the soil. There are five divisions in Scotland: Immature soils; Non-leached soils; Leached soils; Gleys; Organic Soils
  • Major Soil Group: comprises soils at a similar stage of development which have been subjected to the same soil forming processes. There are 11 major soil groups.
  • Major Soil Subgroup: soils with similar type and arrangement of horizons. May contain information on several pedogenic processes. There are 25 major soil groups.
  • Soil Association: a grouping of different soil series developed on similar parent materials. This grouping has a common geochemical signature. There are around 165 soil associations.
  • Soil Series: soils of a specific Major Soil Subgroup, developed on the same parent materials and belong to the same natural drainage class. The Soil Series is the lowest class in the hierarchy and represents the individual soil type as defined by both the soil forming processes and characteristics inherited from the parent material such as soil texture or geochemistry.There are around 1100 soil series.

B1. Printed Soil Maps of Scotland at 1:250 000 scale

B1.1. Basic description

Title

Soil Maps of Scotland at 1:250 000 scale

Dataset acronym

QMSoils - Paper

Original purpose

To provide complete coverage of soil mapping at a broad, regional scale over the whole of Scotland using a common approach to classification and mapping.

Dataset description

QMSoil is a soil map at 1:250 000 scale covering the whole of Scotland. The map was compiled from prior 1:63 360 and 1:50 000 scale soil maps where these existed. In unsurveyed areas, new mapping was carried out from 1978 to 1981.

Data format

QMSoil is a series of seven printed maps and handbooks. The data have been digitised.

  • Vector-digitised dataset
  • Raster dataset (100m square) derived from the vector dataset a spatial dataset which exists in several formats:

Data Path

The maps are published and available from the Macaulay Institute.

Creator or author

Soil surveyors employed by the Macaulay Institute.

Author credentials

Soil surveyors with extensive field experience of soil classification and mapping carried out the field work.

Contributor

As for creator or author

Spatial coverage

Soil map covers the whole of Scotland on seven paper map sheets.

Time frame

Compilation and field survey took four years: 1978 to 1982

Spatial / temporal accuracy or precision

The map units are accurate to the precision of a 1:250 000 scale map.

Data currency

The new mapping was carried out 24 to 28 years ago. The original 1:63 360 mapping simplified for the bulk of the lowland areas is up to 65 years old.

Archival material

Aerial photographs used in the field mapping are stored at the Macaulay Institute.Clean copy 1:50 000 maps were produced from the aerial photographs and are also stored.

B1.2. Recording methods and standards

Peer review

Soil survey methods were discussed from time to time at field meetings with soil survey organisations in the United States, Canada and Europe from the inception of the Soil Survey of Scotland.

Standards

The methodology for soil mapping was coordinated by the soil surveyors at regular field meetings, held jointly with the soil survey of England and Wales.

Recording methods

The field description and recording methods agreed at field meetings were published (Hodgson, 2004) and were adopted by the Soil Survey of Scotland with the exception of texture classification. The grid sample plan for the sampling was agreed with the Soil Survey of England and Wales and DAFS (now SEERAD).

B1.3 Recorded attributes

Site data

Locations of soil map polygons delineated using the OS Grid.

Soil data

Soil mapping units are delineated based on: Soil Association; Soil Parent Materials; Component Soils; Landforms; Vegetation Communities (Robertson, 1984)

Analytical data

No analytical data

B1.4 Quality factors

Quality Factor

Description

Original data

The soil map is original data prepared by soil surveyors from field mapping.

Primary / secondary data

The map units are secondary data inferred by soil surveyors from their field observations of soil profiles, landforms and vegetation.

Objectivity of Substance

e.g. sampling strategy

Systematic coverage of the land with profile pits selected subjectively. Soil inspection pits selected by the field surveyors. The soils are mapped by a procedure known as 'free survey' in which the soil surveyor selects the soil profile sites by using his field knowledge of soil forming processes in relation to the factors he observes in the landscape.

Objectivity of Presentation

Analytical QA/ QC

Not relevant

Utility

Used for land evaluation and modelling of soil properties

Integrity

Transparency

(Leads to reproducibility)

Reproducibility

Synthesised Product

Soil classification and mapping is a synthesis of soil property, soil horizon, landform, vegetation and climate.

Interpreted Product

Soil types are interpreted in the field

Influential Information

Contributes data to land evaluation maps which are used to set policy.

B2. Soil maps at 1:63 360 or 1:50 000 scale

B2.1. Basic description

Title

Soil maps at 1:63 360 or 1:50 000 scale

Dataset acronym

One inch soil maps

Original purpose

To map the soils of Scotland, with the focus on agricultural areas.

Dataset description

Data format

Paper maps.

Data Path

The maps are published and available from the Macaulay Institute.

Creator or author

Soil surveyors employed by the Macaulay Institute.

Author credentials

Soil surveyors with extensive field experience of soil classification and mapping carried out the field work.

Contributor

Spatial coverage

OS third edition map sheets covering main agricultural areas as follows:

Bown, C.J. and Heslop, R.E.F. 1971 Soil map of Kirkmaiden, Whithorn, Stranraer and Wigtown (Sheets 1, 2, 3, 4 and part 7). 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Bown, C.J., Futty, D.W., Jardine, W.D., Walker, A.D., Heslop, R.E.F. and Strachan, W.R. 1968 Soil map of Carrick and part of Girvan (Sheet 8 and part of 7). 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Dry, F.T., Duncan, N.A., Menzies, J., Bell, J.S., Lilly, A. and Towers, W. 1984 Soil map of Hamilton (Sheet 23). 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Dry, F.T., Gauld, J.H. Heslop, R.E.F., Bell, J.S., Hipkin, J.A., Lilly, A. and Nolan, A.J. 1986 Soil map of Blairgowrie (Sheet 56) 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Dry, F.T., Henderson, D.J., Hipkin, J.A., Nolan, A.J., Lilly, A. and Shipley, B.M. 1985 Soil map of Glasgow (Sheet 30). 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey

Futty, D.W. and Dry, F.T. 1972 Soil map of Latheron and Wick (Sheets 110, 116 and part of 117). 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Futty, D.W., Towers, W. and Campbell, C.G.B. 1987 Soil map of Golspie (Sheet 103). 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Futty, D.W., Towers, W., Dry, F.T., Mackay, J. and Bell, J.S. 1985 Soil map of Achentoul and Reay (Sheets 109 and 115). 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Glentworth, R., Hart, R., Dion, H.G., Muir, J.W., Laing, D., Shipley, B.M., Smith, J. and Grant, C.J. 1959 Soil map of Inverurie (Sheet 76) 1:63 360 Chessington: Ordnance Survey.

Glentworth, R., Hart, R., Muir, J.W., Romans, J.C.C., Mitchell, B.D. and Mulcahy, M.J. 1954 Soil map of Huntly (Sheet 86). 1:63 360 Chessington: Ordnance Survey.

Glentworth, R., Laing, D., Muir, J.W., Hart, R., and MacKenzie, R.C. 1962 Soil map of Aberdeen (Sheet 77). 1:63 360 Chessington: Ordnance Survey.

Glentworth, R., Mitchell, B.D. and Grant, R. 1954 Soil map of Banff (Sheet 96). 1:63 360 Chessington: Ordnance Survey.

Glentworth, R., Muir, J.W., Shipley, B.M., Grant, R., Bown, C.J., Hart, R. and Dion, H.G. 1962 Soil map of Peterhead and Fraserburgh (Sheets 87 and 97). 1:63 360 Chessington: Ordnance Survey.

Glentworth, R., Muir, J.W., Romans, J.C.C., Birse, E.L., Smith, J. and Shipley, B.M. 1966 Soil map of Banchory and Stonehaven (Sheets 66 and 67) 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Grant, R. Bown, C.J. and Birse, E.L. 1967 Soil map of Ayr (Sheet 14 and part of 13). 1:63 360 Chessington: Ordnance Survey.

Grant, R., Birse, E.L. and Harper, P.C. 1956 Soil map of Elgin (Sheet 95). 1:63 360 Chessington: Ordnance Survey.

Heslop, R.E.F. and Campbell, C.G.B. 1981 Soil map of Tomintoul (Sheet 75). 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Laing, D., Lawrence, E., Robertson, J.S. and Merrilees, D.W. 1975 Soil map of Kinross, Elie and Edinburgh (Sheet 40 and parts of Sheet 41 and 32). 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Laing, D., Romans, J.C.C., Lawrence, E., Walker, A.D., Bown, C.J. and Law, R.D. 1968 Soil map of Perth and Arbroath (Sheets 48 and 49). 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Mitchell, B.D., Jarvis, R.A., Muir, J.W. and Davies, D.T. 1956 Soil map of Kilmarnock (Sheet 22 and part of 21). 1:63 360 Chessington: Ordnance Survey.

Muir, J.W., Mulcahy, M.J., Ragg, J.M., Mitchell, B.D., Harper, P.C. and Smith, J. 1955 Soil map of Jedburgh and Morebattle (Sheets 17 and 18). 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Muir, J.W., Romans, J.C.C., Laing, D., Smith, J. and Glentworth, R. 1964 Soil map of Forfar (Sheets 57 and 57A). 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Ragg, J.M., Futty, D.W. and Bown, C.J. 1966 Soil map of Haddington, Eyemouth and N. Berwick (Sheets 33, 34 and part 41). 1:63 360 Chessington: Ordnance Survey.

Ragg, J.M., Shipley, B.M., Duncan, N.A., Bibby, J.S. and Merrilees, D.W. 1977 Soil map of Airdrie (Sheet 31) 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Ragg, J.M., Smith, J., Muir, J.W. and Birse, E.L. 1959 Soil map of Berwick upon Tweed (Sheet 26) 1:63 360 Chessington: Ordnance Survey.

Ragg, J.M., Smith, J., Muir, J.W. and Birse, E.L. 1959 Soil map of Kelso (Sheet 25). 1:63 360 Chessington: Ordnance Survey.

Ragg. J.M., Bibby, J.S., Orbell, G.E. and Duncan, N.A. 1975 Soil map of Peebles and part of Edinburgh (Sheet 24 and part 32). 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Romans, J.C.C., Grant, R., Walker, A.D., Strachan, W.R. and Robertson, J.S. 1972 Soil map of Cromarty and Invergordon (Sheet 94). 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Romans, J.C.C., Hudson, G., Grant, R., Birse, E.L., and Harper, P.C. Sheet 95 revision by R.E.F. Heslop and C.G.B. Campbell 1980 Soil map of Rothes and Elgin (Sheets 85 and 95) 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Romans, J.C.C., Lang, D.M. and Cruickshank, J. 1972 Soil map of the Black Isle (Part of Sheets 83, 84, 93 and 94). 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Shipley, B.M., Stevens, J.H., Lawrence, E. and Jarvis, R.A. 1968 Soil map of Stirling and part of Airdrie (Sheet 39 and part of 31). 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Shipley, B.M., Stevens, J.H., Lawrence, E. and Jarvis, R.A. 1968 Soil map of Stirling and part of Airdrie (Sheet 39 and part of 31). 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Shipley, B.M., Stevens, J.H., Merrilees, D.W., Morris, R.J.F. and Wright, G.G. 1983 Soil map of Crieff (Sheet 47). 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Walker, A.D., Grant, R., Law, R.D., Jack, J.I. and Gauld, J.H. 1976 Soil map of Nairn and Cromarty (Sheet 84 and part of 94) 1:63 360 Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Time frame

Soil Survey for this series of maps began in the 1934 and the first map was published in 1954.

Spatial / temporal accuracy or precision

The spatial accuracy varies depending on maps available at the time of the survey. Air photographs were used for field mapping on selected map sheets from about 1966.

Data currency

Mapping was carried out from 1934 to 1987. Each map took between 5 and 15 years to complete. Soil samples were collected as the mapping progressed.

Archival material

Field documents (annotated maps, annotated air photographs and field note books) are archived at the Macaulay Institute, but not in a dedicated repository.

B2.2. Recording methods and standards

Peer review

Soil survey methods were discussed from time to time at field meetings with soil survey organisations in the United States, Canada and Europe from the inception of the Soil Survey of Scotland.

Standards

The methodology for soil mapping was coordinated by the soil surveyors at regular field meetings, held jointly with the soil survey of England and Wales.

Recording methods

The field description and recording methods agreed at field meetings were published (Hodgson, 2004?) and were adopted by the Soil Survey of Scotland with the exception of texture classification. The grid sample plan for the sampling was agreed with the Soil Survey of England and Wales and DAFS (now SEERAD).

B2.3 Recorded attributes

Site data

Locations of soil map unit boundaries delineated using the OS Grid.

Soil data

Soil mapping units are delineated based on: Soil Association; Soil Parent Materials; Component Soils; Landforms. Soil mapping unit attributes; Derived soils information

Analytical data

No analytical data

B2.4 Quality factors

Quality Factor

Description

Original data

The soil map is original data prepared by soil surveyors from field mapping.

Primary / secondary data

The map units are secondary data inferred by soil surveyors from their field observations of soil profiles, landforms and vegetation.

Objectivity of Substance
e.g. sampling strategy

Systematic coverage of the land with profile pits selected subjectively. Soil inspection pits selected by the field surveyors. The soils are mapped by a procedure known as 'free survey' in which the soil surveyor selects the soil profile sites by using his field knowledge of soil forming processes in relation to the factors he observes in the landscape.

Objectivity of Presentation

Analytical QA/ QC

Utility

Integrity

Transparency
(Leads to reproducibility)

Reproducibility

Synthesised Product

Interpreted Product

Influential Information

B3. Soil Memoirs and Handbooks

B3.1. Basic description

Title

Soil Memoirs and Handbooks

Dataset acronym

Original purpose

To describe the soils of the soil map the memoir accompanies

Dataset description

A soil memoir or handbook includes descriptions of the topography, climate and parent materials of the area. Soil forming processes were described and the classification and mapping procedures at the time of the mapping were also recorded. The main part of the memoir describes the distribution, field properties and analytical data of soils and peat of the map. Vegetation and major land uses of agriculture and forestry are also described.

Data format

Printed book

Data Path

Creator or author

Soil Survey Staff members.

Author credentials

Soil surveyors with extensive field experience of soil classification and mapping.

Contributor

Spatial coverage

Handbooks of the 1:250 000 scale survey cover all of Scotland in a series of seven books.

Memoirs for 1:63 360 maps are available for a limited number of areas including the following examples:

Glentworth, R. 1954. The Soils of the country round Banff, Huntly and Turriff (Sheets 86 and 96). Edinburgh, HMSO.

Mitchell, B.D. and Jarvis, R.A. 1956. The Soils of the country round Kilmarnock (Sheet 22 and part of21). Memoirs of the Soil Survey of Scotland. Edinburgh, HMSO.

Muir, J.W. 1956. The soils of the country round Jedburgh and Morebattle (Sheets 17 and 18). Memoirs of the Soil Survey of Scotland. Edinburgh, HMSO.

Ragg, J.M. and Futty, D.W. 1967. The soils of the country round Haddington and Eyemouth (Sheets 33 and 34 and part of sheet 41). Memoirs of the Soil Survey of Scotland. Edinburgh, HMSO.

Ragg, J.M. 1960. The soils of the country round Kelso and Lauder (Sheets 25 and 26). Memoirs of the Soil Survey of Scotland. Edinburgh, HMSO.

Grant, R. 1960. The Soils of the country round Elgin (Sheet 95). Memoirs of the Soil Survey of Scotland. Aberdeen: Macaulay Institute for Soil Research.

Glentworth, R. and Muir. J.W. 1963. The Soils of the country round Aberdeen, Inverurie and Fraserburgh (Sheets 77, 76 and 87/97). Memoirs of the Soil Survey of Scotland. Edinburgh, HMSO.

Bown, C.J. 1973. The Soils of Carrick and the country round Girvan (Sheets 7 and 8). Memoirs of the Soil Survey of Scotland. Edinburgh, HMSO.

Laing, D. 1976. The Soils of the country round Perth, Arbroath and Dundee (Sheets 48 and 49). Memoirs of the Soil Survey of Scotland. Edinburgh, HMSO.

Futty, D.W. and Dry, F.T. 1977. The Soils of the country round Wick (Sheets 110, 116 and part 117). Memoirs of the Soil Survey of Scotland. Aberdeen: Macaulay Institute for Soil Research.

Bown, C.J. and Heslop, R.E.F. 1979. The soils of the country round Stranraer and Wigtown. Memoirs of the Soil Survey of Great Britain. Aberdeen: Macaulay Institute for Soil Research.

Romans, J.C.C. 1984. The Soils of the Black Isle (Parts of Sheets 83, 84, 93 and 94) Memoirs of the Soil Survey of Great Britain. Aberdeen: Macaulay Land Use Research Institute

Time frame

Memoirs were written between 1954 and 1984 for one inch soil maps.

The 1:250 000 Handbooks were written in 1982.

Spatial / temporal accuracy or precision

Not relevant

Data currency

The material is of historical interest.

Archival material

No electronic copies of these publications exist.

B3.2. Recording methods and standards

As for the 1:63 360 maps described in B2.

B3.3 Recorded attributes

Site data

General descriptions of the sheet topography and of soil profile sites are given.

Soil data

Soil classification used in the mapping for the described map sheet. Soil mapping units are described in detail.

Analytical data

Analytical data from soil profiles selected to be typical of the soils in the area.

B3.4 Quality factors

B4. List of ad hoc soil maps at various scales

(J.S. Bell Pers. Comm.)

The Macaulay Institute has carried out ad hoc soil surveys of farms, estates or other areas. Many of the maps are archived at the Institute. A list of these maps follows:

Geographical Area of Soil Map

Map Scale

Achany-Lairg

1:5 000

Aldroughty Farm

1:2 500

Annan-Gretna

1:25 000

Badden & Kilmory Farms, Argyll

1:5 000

Baddengowan Wood

1:10 560

Balloan Farm - Cawdor Estate

1:2 500

Balnastraid Farm

1:2 500

Balquhain and West Balquhain Farms

Not known

Barrachander Farm, Kilchrennan

1:10 000

Bush Estate - Dryden Farm

1:10 560

Cambusmore Estate, Callander

1:10 560

Candacraig & Glenbuchat

1:25 000

Coll & Tiree

1:63 360

Craibstone & Bellastrade Farms

1:5 000

Crichton Royal Farm Dumfries

1:10 560

Culbin

1:25 000

Cubbox & Killochy

1:10 560

Doune Estate

1:10 560

Dumbretton Farm, Dumfries

1:2 500

Garden estate, Stirlingshire

1:5 000

Glenborrowdale

1:63 360

Glen Derry & Glen Luibeg

1:10 000

Ey

1:25 000

Glenfeshie Estate

1:25 000

Glen Isla

1:10 560

Glensaugh

1:10 560

Grangemouth - Falkirk

1:63 360

Hannah Dairy Research Institute

1:2 500

Hillbrae Farm - Aberdeen University

1:5 000

Invergordon - Alness

1:25 000

Kirkconnel, Dumfries

1:10 560

Lawers School of Agriculture

1:2 500

Leaths Farm, Castle Douglas

Not known

Lennoxtown

1:25 000

Lephinmore, Argyll (1953 and 1976)

1:10 560

Linn of Dee to South Bynack lodge

1:25 000

Mar Estate

1:25 000

Meikle and Little Kildrummie

Not known

Minnigryle Farm, Dumfries

1:10 000

Montrose Basin

1:10 560

Mull

1:25 000

Mylnefield - SCRI

1:2 500

Rahoy Estate

Not known

Ross of Mull

1:25 000

Rhum

1:63 360

Rhum

1:25 000

Stirlingshire

1:250 000

Strathdon - Reconnaissance

Not known

Tullos Hill

1:5 000

Weyland & Waterside Farms ( NOSCA)

1:2 500

Whim Estate, Penicuik

1:10 560

B5. Forestry Commission Soil Maps

B5.1. Basic description

Title

Forestry Commission Soil Maps 1:10 000 scale

Dataset acronym

FCSoilMaps

Original purpose

To provide soil mapping of forestry acquisitions that could assist forest planning and management.

Dataset description

The Forestry Commission have been mapping soils in forest acquisitions at a scale of 1:10 560 or 1:10 000 for many years. The maps are based on ecological site classification systems, which include soil and site characteristics such as vegetation and are based on free survey techniques. The maps cover forestry acquisition areas (map?)

Data format

The maps are in paper or digital formats.

Data Path

The maps have a restricted circulation.

Creator or author

Soil and site surveyors employed by the Forestry Commission..

Author credentials

Soil surveyors with extensive field experience of soil classification and mapping carried out the field work.

Contributor

As for creator or author

Spatial coverage

Soil map covers Forestry Commission forested areas in Scotland.

Time frame

Surveying is ongoing.

Spatial / temporal accuracy or precision

The map units are accurate to the precision of a 1:10 000 scale map.

Data currency

Cover a long time period.

Archival material

Not known at the time of compilation

B5.2. Recording methods and standards

Peer review

Soil survey methods were discussed from time to time at field meetings with soil survey organisations in the United States, Canada and Europe from the inception of the Soil Survey of Scotland.

Standards

The methodology for soil mapping was coordinated by the soil surveyors at regular field meetings.

Recording methods

The latest version of the ecological site classification builds on earlier versions ( e.g. Pyatt, 1995) and is coded in a decision support system (Ray, 2001).