An assessment of the biodiversity of soils was a component of the Countryside Survey 2000 (CS2000). This was the first integrated survey of soil biota and chemical properties at a national scale. A total of 1052 soil samples were collected across Great Britain during CS2000 and analysed for a range of soil microbial and invertebrate characteristics resulting in the production of a series of robust datasets. A principal objective was to use these datasets to investigate relationships between soil biota and environmental factors such as geographical location, vegetation, land use, land cover, soil type and pollutant levels as first stages in characterising the inherent biodiversity of British soils and investigating the potential of soil biodiversity as indicators of soil health at a regional or national scale. Preliminary results for culturable heterotrophic, invertebrate taxa, Acari, Collembola and Oribatid mites are presented here to illustrate the nature of the data collected and the patterns of soil biodiversity in relation to large-scale regional, vegetation and soil characteristics across the British countryside.\ud \u
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