Most of our land area is in agricultural use. How this important natural resource is used is vital to sustainable development. This includes taking the right decisions about protecting it from inappropriate development. This note explains the Government Policy to protect agricultural land and the Agricultural Land Classification system and uses. To review the regional land classification maps see Regional Agricultural Land Classification maps.
We are now making the post 1988 agricultural land classification surveys available as open data, under the Open Government Licence as part of our OpenDefra contribution. The data consists of scanned original paper maps and reports for individual sites surveyed in detail by the then Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (now Defra) at varying scales. It is the most detailed and up-to-date ALC dataset. The surveys published to date can be seen at Agricultural Land Classification detailed Post 1988 ALC survey .