Predictive Agricultural Land Classification (ALC)

Welsh Government

What is the online viewer for?

The online viewer is used to inform planning authorities and the public of the predictive quality of agricultural land in Wales.

Predictive Agricultural Land Classification (ALC) Map

The predictive ALC model for Wales is based on the principles of the Agricultural Land Classification System of England & Wales, the Revised Guidelines & Criteria for Grading the Quality of Agricultural Land (MAFF 1988).

The Predictive ALC Map also allows users to view other predictive information, including ALC grades by individual limitation according to: climate, soil depth, droughtiness, rock outcrops, wind exposure, top soil stone, gradient, workability & wetness, and surveyor experience. It does not take account of agricultural flood criteria, frost or chemical limitations. Work is ongoing to refine the Map and develop national flood and frost information which are planned to be incorporated into the first update.

A definitive ALC grading can only be given following a detailed site assessment

Agricultural Land Classification Surveys:

Surveys include those completed by the Welsh Government, the Welsh Office Agricultural Department, ADAS Statutory and commercial organisations. Commercial surveys have only been included when validated by the Welsh Government.

All surveys have been completed in accordance with the Revised Guidelines & Criteria for Grading the Quality of Agricultural Land (MAFF 1988). Survey reports can be requested from Land Quality Advice Service using the survey reference number.    

All survey information overrides the predictive ALC grade.

The Predictive Agricultural Land Classification (ALC) Map shown in this viewer is derived from soils data which remain the property of Cranfield University.

Soil data © Cranfield University (NSRI) and for the Controller of HMSO 2017

This viewer is a free to use service but the user is reminded not to copy decompile, disassemble or otherwise reverse engineer the data without a valid or current licence. To check if you or your organisation has a valid licence, please contact A lower resolution version of this data is available to re-use under an Open Government License on the Lle Geoportal

Further information on Agricultural Land Classification can be found here.

View Application

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December 2017