The Environment

James Hutton geologist
JAMES HUTTON (1726 – 1797)

Much of the research at the James Hutton Institute leads back to the environment and that’s where the name comes from – James Hutton was a leading figure of the Scottish Enlightenment, an eighteenth century golden age of intellectual and scientific achievements centred on Edinburgh. He is internationally regarded as the founder of modern geology and one of the first scientists to describe the Earth as a living system. James Hutton’s thinking on natural selection influenced Charles Darwin in developing his theory of evolution.  

The James Hutton Institute delivers fundamental and applied science to drive the sustainable use of land and natural resources.  James Hutton Limited can supply expert advice and information for developers, planning consultants and land managers based on a wide range of advanced laboratory and field studies, computer modelling, a sound understanding of the UK planning system and close professional links with many regulatory bodies. 



Whether the environment is your overall business concern or whether it's just one consideration of your current project, James Hutton Limited can provide support to ensure that natural capital is maximised to full potential and any impacts are minimised. 

The multi-disciplinary expertise available at the James Hutton Institute is ideally suited to address many issues facing the environmental sector both in the UK and internationally.

Renewables & Spacial Planning

  • Renewable energy impact assessment
  • Visual Impact Assessment
  • Visualisations & 3D Modelling
  • Visualisation for public participation
  • Decision support tools
  • Shadow flicker, photomontage and wireframe

Land Quality

  • Contaminated Land Surveys & Risk Assessments
  • Bio-remediation and site specific strategies for recovery from contamination 
  • Ground gas monitoring and assessment
  • Soil & peat resource assessment
  • Site characterisation
  • Land capability classification 


  • Ecological Impact Assessment
  • Protected species and fauna surveys
  • Habitat and vegetation surveys
  • Evaluation of land management practice
  • Invasive species surveys
  • Biological water quality surveys

Water Resources

James Hutton Limited is a member of the Water Test Network; an ERDF funded project which provides SMEs in North-West Europe (NWE) with both funding and the correct resources to test, develop and validate new products for the water sector, supporting innovation, accelerating time to market and increasing the proportion of new innovations that reach the market. 

The business recently became the second UK based organisation to offer Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) reports on environmental technologies in the United Kingdom.

Aside from these services to support the water sector, James Hutton Limited can offer services from the James Hutton Institute labs which include;

  • Flood risk assessments and modelling
  • Water resources assessment
  • Water quality/effluent sampling, monitoring and analysis
  • Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUDs)
  • Rural land drainange
  • Coastal planning and environmental management

Analytical Services

  • Analyse and characterise:
  • Waters, oils, effluents and saline solutions
  • Plant material and animal feeding stuffs
  • Soils, rocks and sediments
  • Organic and inorganic deposits
  • Animal tissue

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Watch our free analytical webinar covering problem samples & scientific solutions / exploring investigative techniques for the energy sector 

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A follow up to our March 2021 webinar. Putting techniques into practice. 

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Providing SMEs in North-West Europe (NWE) with both funding and the correct resources to test, develop and validate new products for the water sector.


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Our team has over 30 years’ experience working in industry, Government bodies and research institutions, carrying out microbiological analysis on a range of materials using culturing and Most Probable Number (MPN) techniques.
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Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that involves the development and application of computational methods for the analysis of large-scale biological data ranging.
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Improving science and society through an understanding of variation, uncertainty and risk.
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Our expertise in all aspects of crop science – including breeding, diagnostics, soils, pathogens, genetics and phytochemistry, lends itself to the burgeoning European cannabis and hemp agricultural sector.
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Techniques providing quantitative and qualitative analysis of organic and inorganic contaminants / pollutants in a variety of matrices including, but not limited to waters, chemicals and soils.
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James Hutton Limited manages a number of collaborative projects with industry partners who seek to benefit from scientific research and innovations.
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Providing credible, reliable and independent verification of environmental technologies which have an impact or added value for the environment.
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FTIR Spectroscopy is an extremely versatile analytical technique which can provide a chemical fingerprint for a diverse range of both organic and inorganic samples.
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GIS is the backbone of 21st century environmental planning and decision making; knowing where to make changes, what to expect, how to measure impacts and interventions, all rely on good GIS.
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The analysis of a wide range of stable isotopes, bulk and compound specific analysis of light isotopes including, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen and Hydrogen, and heavy isotopes, including Strontium, Neodymium, Samarium and Lead.
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James Hutton Limited can help support work such as harbour construction or enlargement, flood defence systems, construction of new buildings, which will require an MS-LOT licence.
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The multi-disciplinary scientific expertise available at the James Hutton Institute is ideally suited to address issues facing the developing renewable energy sector in the UK and internationally.
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The James Hutton Institute, and its predecessor organisations, is synonymous with soils with over 90 years experience of working with soils and farmers, as well as being responsible for the National Soils Database for Scotland.
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A leading forensic research and analysis service with unparalleled experience in analysis of soils, waters and other ecological/environmental materials.
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James Hutton Limited is one of ten European partners of the Water Test Network; an ERDF funded project which supports SMEs in North-West Europe (NWE) to test, demonstrate and develop new products for the water sector.