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The Roots software program was developed in 2005 to help developers create attractive and sustainable green environment on brownfield sites. RootsTM facilitates a structured approach to site characterisation, problem-solving, species selection and successful planting schemes. Through the structured approach it explains and interprets data and generates custom-built site-specific specifications for tendering.

The software has 4 distinct stages:

  • Collect and collate: Site Characterisation for the investigation and systematic collection of information on site properties and soil attributes forming the basis of a site constraints report.
  • Calculate: Six “Ready Reckoners” to aid practitioners in determining cost-effective approaches and solutions to a range of commonly arising issues in reclaiming disturbed land e.g. plant protection and requirements in respect of lime, nitrogen and organic amendment addition.
  • Plan and design: Species Selection tools to allow the user to plan and compile appropriate specifications for the planting and establishment of trees, shrubs, wild flowers and legumes.
  • Specify: Specification clauses to enable the user to create custom contract documents for tendering purposes e.g. bill of quantities.


Previously the software was available on a commercial basis. Forest Research is now distributing RootsTM for free, to interested parties, under the following conditions.

  • The software is no longer supported. Staff at the Forestry Commission, Forest Research and Muddy Boots Software will not be available to fix software issues or to provide assistance in using the software.
  • This software was originally developed for older Windows operating systems. The software has been known to work in capability mode on Windows 7 and 10, though has not been extensively tested.
  • No liability will be accepted from any problems relating to the use of RootsTM.
  • No contact should be made with Muddy Boots Software concerning RootsTM.
  • Forest Research is unable to support the use of RootsTM, however we are happy to discuss its use and request feedback from users.


  • English Partnership (succeeded by Homes England)
  • Forestry Commission England
  • Northwest Regional Development Agency (abolished 2012)
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