Landscapes and soils

Stable, healthy and productive landscapes and soils are essential for producing most of our food, and for maintaining environmental function, managing water quality, sustaining our primary industries, and supporting rural and urban communities.

Our rural landscape is under continuing pressure. Acidification, salinity, erosion, invasive native scrub and loss of native vegetation are seriously affecting the condition of our soil and challenging the communities and industries that depend on the land.

OEH is working with local communities and land managers to collect, interpret and distribute comprehensive information about soils and landscapes, and to support efforts to reverse land degradation resulting from past practices and to protect our natural landscape for future generations.

Soils and landscape data

Soil and land information is vital for land use planning and infrastructure development. Maps of soils landscapes are powerful tools to guide sustainable planning and natural resource management.

Aerial photograph of rural properties bounded by bush and overlaid by soil landscape diagram

Strategic regional land use policy

The Strategic Regional Land Use Policy was released by the Government in 2012 to better manage the potential conflicts arising from the proximity of mining and natural gas from coal seams (CSG) activity to our high quality agricultural land. More information about the policy is available from Department of Planning and Infrastructure.

The Office of Environment and Heritage has contributed key soil and land information to the policy including land and soil capability (LSC) and inherent soil fertility mapping that have assisted in the determination of Strategic Agricultural Land for NSW.

Land and soil capability

Land and soil capability map

  • Land and soil capability for Upper Hunter and New England-North West strategic regional land use priority areas:
    map (LSC_UH_NENW_v2.4.pdf, 11MB)
    metadata (LSC_UH_NENW_v2.4_metadata.pdf, 142KB)
    spatial data (ESRI shapefile) of map available from maps and data online
  • Land and soil capability for NSW:
    map (LSC_NSW_v2.5.pdf, 8MB)
    metadata (LSC_NSW_v2.5_metadata.pdf, 163KB)
  • Rationale, design, detail and application of the classification scheme used in the land and soil capability map:
    The land and soil capability assessment scheme: second approximation
    OEH 2012, Office of Environment and Heritage, Sydney.

Inherent soil fertility

Inherent soil fertility map

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Page last updated: 22 January 2015