Are you working towards Net Zero by 2040? Do you need a land classification survey to support a rural renewables project? We can help.

About Agricultural Land Classification (ALC)

The ALC system classifies land according to the extent to which its physical or chemical characteristics impose long-term limitations on agricultural use.

Land can be classified into one of five agricultural grades or certain nonagricultural grades. Grading depends on climate, site and soil factors. Grade 1 denotes high-quality land with little/no limitations for agricultural use. Grade 5 is the lowest quality. Development of grades 1, 2 and subgrade 3a is avoided to protect the ‘best and most versatile’ soils.

Our expertise

We have a wealth of experience in land classification across England and Wales. In the 1980s as part of MAFF, we developed and tested the national ALC methodology and guidelines which are still in use by Natural England to this day. This expertise is retained within our company.

In 2020, we completed a major re-survey of Welsh farmland for Welsh Government’s Capability, Suitability and Climate Programme – the largest survey programme in decades.

Our clients include landowners, developers, councils and national governments. We have provided expert evidence for a wide range of rural developments, including large infrastructure projects such as rail, road, solar, wind and mixed renewables.

Our experienced consultants are independent and trusted. We offer standalone ALC reports or can input into Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environmental Statements (ES).

For multiple sites, we can provide advanced desk studies or ‘reconnaissance’ fieldwork to identify lower quality land.


To discuss your requirements, please get in touch with ALC Consultant Martin Worsley