The Scottish Palaeoecological Archive Database (SPA Database) provides information on sites in Scotland where the natural archives of peat bogs, mires and lochs preserve evidence of past environments and environmental change. The University of Edinburgh and Historic Scotland are jointly involved in the development of the SPA database as a national resource, available through the medium of the Internet.
2005-2008 has seen a major upgrading of the Scottish Palaeoecological Archive Database. The database and server have been upgraded and all of the searches have been rewritten and improved. We hope that users will notice the improved speed and ease of use of the system.
Details about the ArcMap and ArcView compatibility of the SWAD are available here.
Palaeoecology is the study of ancient life. It aims to reconstruct how past ecosystems worked and how the environment has changed through time. By gaining an understanding of how the environment has changed over time we may gain a better explanation for the environment of today.
Palaeoecologists use many different forms of evidence ranging from fossil plants to animal bones to the sediments in which they are found; in Scotland the majority of our evidence for past environments comes from the study of peats and lake sediments and the fossil pollen and spores which they contain. This database, therefore, concentrates upon those sites where pollen evidence has been recovered although the addition of other classes of palaeoecological data will be possible in the future.
It is important you are aware of the Copyright Restrictions on the use of the SPA Database, before trying to access it.
We greatly value your comments, both on the utility and functionality of the system and on the data records held. Please email feedback to the address below. Please include as much detail as you can, particularly if you encounter any problems. For example, please describe the series of operations you have undertaken, or specify which site, worker or other data record was in error.