Soil Environment Services

We assess soils on sites ranging from nature reserves to contaminated building sites

Farms investigations

  • Soil management plans
  • Soil erosion risk plans
  • Soil nutrient sampling and testing
  • Applications for spreading waste on land
  • On farm composting applications

 

Agricultural Land Classification for Greenfield site development

 

Land classification surveys are undertaken  across the UK on a regular basis for development on single sites or across broad areas for strategic planning by local authorities or mineral extraction operators.

 

ALC Survey – Agricultural Land Classification (England and Wales) Defra ALC Leaflet

 

To assist in assessing land quality usually for development and planning purposes, the former Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) developed a method for classifying agricultural land by grade according to the extent to which its physical or chemical characteristics impose long-term limitations on agricultural use for food production. Agricultural Land Classification (ALC Survey) is undertaken strictly in accordance with:

 

    Agricultural Land Classification of England and Wales
    Guidelines and criteria for grading the quality of agricultural land
    (Revised guidelines 1988 and Draft second revision 1996, MAFF, London)

 
The detailed soil assessment needed for an ALC survey encompasses the themes set out in the UK first Soil Action Plan (see Defra Soil Action Plan).

 

The classification includes a review of previous surveys and site information followed by an in depth field examination of the soil carried out in accordance with current survey methods and guidance documents. Field assessment of the soil by our experienced soil survey consultants is essential.

 

Laboratory analysis may be required for soils from some sites. Flood risk information, if needed, is taken from Environment Agency records.

 

Reporting will include:

 

  • Separate colour maps for soil types and ALC Grades.
  • Appendices with all MET Office Agro-climatic data.

 

LCCA Land Capability Classification for Agriculture (Scotland)

 

We undertake LCCA surveys in Scotland also for development and planning purposes. The general survey and methodology is similar to the ALC system outlined above, however the classification is derived from the United States Department of Agriculture system and ultimately results in a greater number of land grades than the ALC system.

 

Again, the classification includes a review of previous surveys and site information followed by an in depth field examination of the soil carried out in accordance with current survey methods and guidance documents.

 

LCCF Land Capability Classification for Forestry

 

LCCF surveys have been undertaken by Soil Environment Services for developments in upland areas as this land classification system is 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 Britain in terms of forestry.

 

Unlike the land classifications systems for agriculture, LCCF includes an assessment of the windthrow hazard that may occur in an area. Due to the prevalence of planting in the hill areas of Britain where high wind speeds and soils producing shallow rooting are most likely to occur in combination, windthrow hazard is recognised as a limitation in this land classification.

 

Desktop study or risk assessment for barn conversions

 

Desktop Study or Land Contamination Survey to address the condition in your planning application permission

 

We specifically undertake this study to the requirements of your local Contaminated Land Officer. There can be some variation across the UK so sometimes we do need to speak with them. This does need to be a professionally prepared report and not an ‘off the shelf’ print out which can leave you with more questions than answers.

 

Professional Indemnity Insurance is held to cover all aspects of this work.

 

Please contact us if you require this type of investigation.