• Parts of Scotland receive some of the highest levels of rainfall in Europe, but we also experience periods of intense drying when the danger of wild fires can be severe.
  • Wildfires cause significant damage to agricultural, forestry, biodiversity, recreational and sporting interests, and threaten infrastructure, property, and life
  • Wildfires place a significant operational and cost burden on the Fire and Rescue Service, directly in fighting wildfires, and in the requirement to redeploy resources to maintain geographic coverage
  • The aim of the project is to contribute to the development of a Fire Danger Rating System for the Scottish environment and vegetation
  • Wildfires destroy large and small with impunity
  • Wildfires destroy large and small with impunity
  • Understanding how fires become established and spread in complex vegetation is challenging
  • The project is carrying out field studies to examine fires spread in Scottish vegetation types (Andy Taylor discussing vegetation characteristics with Rory Hadden and colleagues)
  • Determining the quantities and moisture contents of different fuels are integral to modelling potential fire risks
  • Numerous weather, vegetation and soil parameters are included within the rating system model to predict the level of fire risk.

The James Hutton Institute

The James Hutton Institute is the UK’s largest environmental research institute, with >600 staff and 150 PhD students, formed in 2011 from the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute and the Scottish Crop Research Institute. The James Hutton Institute encompasses distinctive integrated strengths in land, crop, water, environmental and socio-economic sciences, structured in a way that allows disciplines to interconnect to deliver knowledge, products and services that improve the quality of life. By operating in partnership with people, organisations and governments, The James Hutton Institute’s work enhances sustainable development delivering practical solutions for our shared future and influencing the agenda for land use and development. The James Hutton Institute undertakes interdisciplinary research for customers worldwide including the Scottish and UK Governments, the EU and others. The James Hutton Institute with its predecessors has a history of successful project management supported by administrative and financial infrastructures.

  • Andy Taylor

    My major focus is on the roles of fungi in the environment, in particular mutualistic soil fungi that are essential for the healthy growth of most terrestrial plant species. My varied research topics mirror the diversity of fungi as a group and the many functional roles that they carry out in most ecosystems. A key aspect of my work is the detection and identification of fungi in environmental samples.

  • Jason Owen

    Employed from 1995 at the James Hutton Institute (formerly Macaulay Land Use Research Institute) as a Soil Scientist providing soil analytical services and expertise on chemical and physical analyses of soils, wastes and related material. Providing project management and support on a range of projects for research, government and commercial interests including long term monitoring and environmental issues.

  • Ina Pohle

    Ina is a hydrologist with research interest in understanding hydrological processes and their non-linear responses to stochastic external drivers both using data-driven and modelling approaches. In her role as water resources model developer she implements and applies mathematical models to simulate hydrology and water quality in catchments and at the Scottish national scale as a basis for effective water resources management.

  • Andrea Britton

    Andrea Britton is a senior post-doctoral research scientist in the Ecological Sciences Group.

  • Zisis Gagkas

    Zisis is a digital soil resources analyst with a background in forestry, soil hydrology and environmental science. His research focus is on coupling advanced statistical methods (e.g. machine learning) with geospatial analysis techniques for mapping soil properties and functions as input to regional and national environmental risk assessments.