Climate, water and soil: science, policy and practice

Multi-disciplinary conference to address our current understanding of the management of climate, water and soils in a rapidly changing economic and natural environment

31 March to 1 April 2010

What was the event?

The conference concentrated on how global changes affect issues at the national, regional and local scale.  It presented not only the best possible science and research knowledge but also provided a forum to raise and discuss ways in which management challenges can be identified, prioritised and delivered in the context of multiple drivers under climate change, Water Framework Directive, management of flood risks and agricultural policies. Water management was a cross-cutting theme of the meeting.

The conference was opened by Campbell Gemmell (Chief Executive, SEPA) and the opening address provided by Richard Lochhead MSP.

Conference themes were:

  • Theme 1:  Climate, Water and Soil:  Addressing the Challenge
    Chaired by James Curran (Director of Environmental Science, SEPA) with keynote papers from Pete Smith (Chair in Plant and Soil Science, University of Aberdeen) and David Gorman (Head of Environmental Strategy, SEPA) covering the changing climate and policy implications. 
  • Theme 2:  Managing the Challenge at a Landscape Scale
    Chaired by Brian Chambers (Head of Soils and Nutrients, ADAS) with keynote paper from Bob Ferrier (Head of Catchment Management, Macaulay Institute) titled ‘Global issues at catchment scale:  A challenge for soil and water management’. 
  • Theme 3:  Managing the Challenge at a Local Scale
    Chaired by Peter Gregory (Director/Chief Executive, SCRI) with keynote paper from Phil Haygarth (Co-Director, Centre for Sustainable Water Management, Lancaster University) titled ‘Can soil and water be managed for multiple objectives?
  • Theme 4:  Rising to the challenge
    Chaired by Bill McKelvey (Chief Executive, SAC) with keynote paper from Jonathan Hall (Head of Rural Policy, NFUS) titled ‘What land managers need and want to know’.

Conference information, programme (PDF-441K)

Conference website

This was a joint SAC (Scottish Agricultural College) and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) Biennial Conference.

If you have not participated in previous SAC/SEPA conferences and wish to join the mailing list please contact

Who was the event suitable for?

Researchers, practioners, policy makers and representatives from land use organisations.

Where did the event take place?

South Hall Complex
Pollock Halls Campus
University of Edinburgh


For further information please contact:

Karen Crighton

Tel: 0044 (0) 1292 525282


Rebecca Audsley
5 Redwood Crescent
Peel Park
East Kilbride
G74 5PP

Tel: 0044 (0) 1355 575120