This dataset comes from an amalgamation of classes 1 and 2 of the MLURI Land capability classificaton. LCA Class 1 - Land capable of producing a very wide range of crops LCA Class 2 - Land capable of producing a wide range of crops Land Capability for Agriculture maps at 1:250K scale were produced and published in 1982. These maps provided a national and regional appreciation of the location and areal extent of the Land Capability for Agriculture classes and were specifically designed for strategic planning purposes. More detailed maps of the main arable areas of Scotland were carried out and published in the mid 1980's. These covered classes 1, 2 and 3.1. The purpose of these maps was to assist planners and agricultural officers in assessing cases made for development and determining priorities in relation to retaining areas of high quality agricultural land.
The Land Capability Classification for Agriculture has as its objective the presentation of detailed information on soil, climate and relief in a form which will be of value to land use planners, agricultural advisers, farmers and others involved in optimising the use of land resources. The classification ranks land on the basis of its potential productivity and cropping flexibility determined by the extent to which its physical characteristics (soil, climate and relief) impose long term restrictions on its agricultural use. THE CLASSES Class 1. Land capable of producing a very wide range of crops with high yields Class 2. Land capable of producing a wide range of crops with yields less high than Class 1. Class 3. Land capable of producing good yields from a moderate range of crops. Class 4. Land capable of producing a narrow range of crops. Class 5. Land suited only to improved grassland and rough grazing. Class 6. Land capable only of use as rough grazing. Class 7. Land of very limited agricultural value. THE DIVISIONS A division is a ranking within a class. As the requirements of the crops suited to Classes 1 and 2 are fairly stringent, land in these classes has inherently low degrees of internal variability and no divisions are present. The requirements of crops grown in the remaining classes are less rigorous, consequently land included is more variable in character.
The main use of the Land Capability Classification for Forestry is as an aid to decision-making at broad planning levels, as a guide for land managers and as a statement of the natural resources of the land of Scotland in terms of forestry potential for educational and general interest purposes. The system is an interpretation derived from several sources and, as with all such approaches, will be subject to some degree of arbitrary decision. Class F1. Land with excellent flexibility for the growth and management of tree crops Class F2. Land with very good flexibility for the growth and management of tree crops Class F3. Land with good flexibility for the growth and management of tree crops Class F4. Land with moderate flexibility for the growth and management of tree crops Class F5. Land with limited flexibility for the growth and management of tree crops Class F6. Land with very limited flexibility for the growth and management of tree crops Class F7. Land unsuitable for producing tree crops Please cite as: Soil Survey of Scotland Staff. (1988). Land Capability for Forestry of Scotland at a Scale of 1:250 000. Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Aberdeen.
The map shows the risk of a bare soil being eroded by water under intense or prolonged rainfall and primarily covers the cultivated land in Scotland. Soils with mineral topsoils have been classified separately from those with organic (peaty) surface layers. The risk of soil erosion is shown in 3 main classes for soils with mineral topsoils; High, Moderate or Low. The risk of erosion is greatest on coarse textured soils with a low water adsorption capacity on steep slopes. Each main class is divided into 3 subclasses (H1-3, M1-3 and L1-3) with the greater numbers in each risk class indicating a higher risk of erosion due to increases in slope, soil textures becoming more coarse and/or the soils having a lesser ability to absorb rainfall. The risk of soil erosion for soils with organic (peaty) surfaces is also shown in 3 classes; High, Moderate or Low. The Moderate and Low erosion risk classes are divided into subclasses (Mi–iv and Li-iii) with the greater numbers (i-iv) in each risk class indicating a higher risk of erosion due to increases in slope and/or the soils having a lesser ability to absorb rainfall.
The fragile area dataset was digitised in 1998 on behalf of the Agriculture Department. There is no defintion of 'fragile' land for the context of this dataset. A fragility index has been applied to the LFA designation since 2003. This is part of the payment mechanism for lfass, it is set at parish level and changes from year to year. It is not known whether the fragile land and fragility index are linked.
The map shows the vulnerability of subsoils to compaction by traffic. It covers most of Scotland’s cultivated agricultural land area. The subsoil compaction risk gives information on the likelihood of the subsoil becoming compacted due to heavy machinery in four classes (Extremely vulnerable, Very vulnerable, Moderately vulnerable or Not particularly vulnerable) based on the soil texture and the amount of water left in the soil after any excess has drained away (known as field capacity).
Agricultural parishes are based on Civil Parishes which were abolished as an administrative unit in Scotland in 1975. Agricultural parishes continue to be used for boundary and statistical purposes. There are 891 agricultural parishes in Scotland and they are used in the Agricultural Census and for the payment of farming grants and subsidies. The dataset contains parish boundaries, parish names and parish codes.
An allotment garden, often called simply an allotment is a plot of land made available for individual, non-commercial gardening or growing food plants. Such plots are formed by subdividing a piece of land into a few or up to several hundreds of land parcels that are assigned to individuals or families.
In recognition of the different physical and socio-economic characteristics across the regions, the European Union introduced the Less Favoured Area (LFA) designation to support farming where production conditions are difficult. The criteria for LFA designation were first established in European legislation in 1975 (Directive 75/268 EEC and accompanying measures). There are 3 types of LFA's; all in Scotland fall into the category of simple LFA's marked by poor soils and low agricultural income. Scotland's LFA's are defined by: (i) The presence of poor land of poor productivity, which is difficult to cultivate and with a limited potential which cannot be increased except at excessive cost, and which is mainly suitable for extensive livestock farming. (ii) lower than average production, compared to the main indices of economic performance in agriculture. (iii) a low or dwindling population predominantly dependent on agricultural activity, the accelerated decline of which could cause rural depopulation
The map shows the risk of water flowing overland (runoff) carrying potential pollutants into water courses. This map primarily covers the cultivated land in Scotland. The digital dataset gives information on the likelihood of a potential pollutant applied to the soil surface running off the land to a water course in 3 classes: Low, Moderate or High and is based on fundamental soil characteristics such as depth to a slowly permeable layer, soil porosity and flow pathways through the soil.