Catchment Information System

Welcome to CatchIS

CatchIS News Blog
  1. University wins fifth Queen's Anniversary Prize: December 1, 2017
  2. CatchIS Survey Launched: September 8, 2016
  3. International Year of Soils (IYS): January 1, 2015
  4. Cranfield Soil and AgriFood Institute (CSAI) launched: October 1, 2013
  5. GIS at Cranfield: January, 2013
  6. First CatchIS User Conference: May, 2010
  7. MSc by Research - funded place available: November, 2008
  8. Launch of new CatchIS website: August, 2008
  9. Cranfield University join the ESRI Business Associate scheme: October, 2004


University wins fifth Queen's Anniversary Prize

Recognition of research and education in large-scale soil and environmental data for the sustainable use of natural resources in the UK and worldwide

December 1, 2017

Queen's Anniversary Award

Cranfield University is delighted to announce that, for the fifth time in its history, it is the proud recipient of a prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize. Cranfield is one of only eight institutions to have won the award on five or more separate occasions.

Cranfield received the award for its research and education in large-scale soil and environmental data for the sustainable use of natural resources in the UK and worldwide. This is the first time in the Prize’s history that an award has been given for soil science.

Cranfield has a long history of soil science research and education. In England and Wales alone, the equivalent of over 200 years of fieldwork has identified over 750 different types of soil. Together with a unique, parallel international soils archive, the University has created the largest collection of soil information in Europe. Cranfield University has been designated by the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs as the national reference centre for soils.

The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes are awarded to universities and colleges who submit work judged to show excellence, innovation, impact and benefit for the institution itself and for people and society generally in the wider world. They are the UK’s most prestigious form of national recognition open to a UK academic or vocational institution.

The Queen’s Anniversary Prize is a tremendous recognition of the soils work of the university, and the curation undertaken of the national soil resource datasets, stretching back to when the Soil Survey of England and Wales joined Cranfield back in 1987, forming the Soil Survey and Land Research Centre, through to the current day. These datasets are held in our Land Information System, LandIS, described at, plus the parallel World Soil Survey Archive and Catalogue WOSSAC ( The Prize is a great testament to all the many survey staff who were responsible for gathering this unique body of data about our soil resources, and recognises the many ways in which this data has been put to use by a broad spectrum of users, with many soil resource applications ranging from food security to environmental impact assessment, ecosystem services and natural capital to geotechnical interpretations.

Stephen Hallett

For more information, see:


CatchIS Survey Launched

September, 2016

CatchIS User Survey

CatchIS is currently offered in two basic configurations – firstly, as a software application and tool embedded in the geographic information system ArcGIS (which provides the greatest flexibility); and also as a bureau service operated by Cranfield supplying risk assessment reports to you (which offers the greatest ease of adoption).

An Anglian Water spokesperson said: “We have been using the CatchIS bureau service for about eight years now. The annual outputs form a key part of our catchment strategy in terms of informing our monitoring programme and assessing the risk of individual pesticides impacting the raw water quality of our abstractions.”

There has been interest in another configuration to assess pesticide risk in drinking water for England and Wales – a set of web-based tools and services based on the CatchIS tools / models, and datasets from environmental consultants ADAS UK Ltd.

A short survey to ascertain your views, and potential requirements, is available at:


2015 International Year of Soils

January, 2015

2015 UN IYS

The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils (IYS)

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has been nominated to implement the International Year of Soils (IYS) in 2015, within the framework of the Global Soil Partnership and in collaboration with Governments and the secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

The IYS 2015 aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions.

The specific objectives of the IYS 2015 are to:

  • Raise full awareness among civil society and decision makers about the profound importance of soil for human life;
  • Educate the public about the crucial role soil plays in food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation, essential ecosystem services, poverty alleviation and sustainable development;
  • Support effective policies and actions for the sustainable management and protection of soil resources;
  • Promote investment in sustainable soil management activities to develop and maintain healthy soils for different land users and population groups;
  • Strengthen initiatives in connection with the SDG process (Sustainable Development Goals) and Post-2015 agenda;
  • Advocate for rapid capacity enhancement for soil information collection and monitoring at all levels (global, regional and national).
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Cranfield Soil and AgriFood Institute (CSAI) launched

Incorporating the former NSRI and food science group

October 1, 2013

A farewell to NSRI as we merge with Cranfield food science group to form the new Cranfield Soil and AgriFood Institute (CSAI).


GIS at Cranfield University

January, 2013

Cranfield University offer a well-respected MSc in Geographical Information Management (GIM) which can be taken full or part-time and which is designed very much with the practical environmental application of GIS technologies in mind. The course is taught by staff including the CatchIS development team.

The MSc is considered suitable for graduates wishing to specialise in or develop knowledge in the practical application of the geographical information technologies of remote sensing, geographical information systems (GIS), spatial data management and the global positioning system (GPS). The part-time option will allow practitioners to enhance their professional development within their current employment.


The Cranfield MSc programme commences in September. Typically the part-time programme is offered on a two-year basis on a "module on, module off" basis throughout. Each of the eight course modules lasts a fortnight, with opportunities for supporting home working.

Further MSc Information

For information on the MSc Geographical Information Management:

For information for prospective students:

For information on tuition fees:

Please contact us for further details.


First CatchIS User Conference

May, 2010

The CatchIS team are to hold the first CatchIS User Group conference to allow the community of CatchIS users to share experiences and help to guide the future development of the tool. Further information on this conference is available from


MSc by Research - funded place available

November, 2008

The CatchIS team are looking to recruit an MSc by Research student for a studentship funded by the Environment Agency of England and Wales. The project is provisionally entitled “Evaluating predictions of pesticide transfers from land to surface waters in monitored catchments”. [This position is now closed - get in touch with us if this is an area that interests you!].


Launch of new CatchIS website

August, 2008

The CatchIS team present a new look for the project website. A more contemporary, standards-compliant format improves the experience users will have and hopefully make it now easier to learn more about CatchIS and its capabilities.