The ECN Data Centre

Site Information: Glensaugh

Sponsoring organisation(s)

The Scottish Government (through The James Hutton Institute)

Network(s) this site belongs to
UK Environmental Change Network
UK Environmental Change Biodiversity Network

Site characteristics

Min Altitude 137m

Site boundaries are indicated with a black line.
Click map to enlarge.

Max Altitude 487m
Area of Site 1125ha
Mean annual temperature* 7.5oC
Mean annual rainfall* 1211mm
* calculated from the ECN Data Centre database
Information held about this site
View a list of datasets collected at this site
View a list of publications about this site


The ECN site at Glensaugh is one of two terrestrial sites currently managed by the James Hutton Institute. In autumn 2004 it became one of four combined terrestrial-freshwater sites within the ECN network when freshwater sampling protocols were implemented at the co-located Birnie Burn.

Glensaugh Research station is located 35 miles south west of Aberdeen, NE Scotland, (NGR NO 671783) on the edge of the Grampian hills and covers over 1100 hectares. There is a small amount of woodland (5ha) and some short term and permanent grassland (150ha) but the dominant cover is semi-natural vegetation which accounts for the remaining area. Much of the ECN monitoring is carried out towards the northern boundary of the research station in the small upland catchment of the Birnie Burn. The highest ground in the catchment reaches 450m. There is an average annual rainfall of around 1200mm. Winters can be severe and snow may lie in patches until late March. The meteorological conditions are recorded both manually and automatically with a recently upgraded weather station that is capable of transmitting real-time data back to the institute.

The target sampling site is located at an altitude of 300m on heather dominated (Calluna vulgaris) moorland interspersed with patches of blaeberry (Vaccinium myrtillus). It has a westerly aspect and straight slopes of up to 20o. The soil is predominantly freely draining humus iron podzol of the Strichen Series.

The water chemistry sampling point, flume and in-stream measurements are made on the Birnie Burn at an altitude of 240m. The catchment area above the sampling point is around 100ha. Precipitation and atmospheric chemistry samples are collected adjacent to the stream at a similar altitude.

James Hutton Institute


Related links

  • This site is part of the Acid Deposition (UKEAP) network.
  • This site is part of the COSMOS-UK network. COSMOS (the Cosmic-ray Soil Moisture Observing System UK), is a new network that will deliver real-time weather monitoring and field scale measurements of soil moisture across the United Kingdom.



Ms Helen Watson

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, AB15 8QH

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