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Land Capability for Forestry (LCF)


The Land Capability Classification for Forestry [PDF, 25KB] aims to present detailed information on soil, climate and relief in a form which will be of value to land use planners, foresters, consultants and others involved in optimising the use of land resources.

Further information

The Land Capability Classification for Forestry is based on an assessment of the increasing degree of limitation imposed by the physical factors of soil, topography and climate on the growth of trees and on silvicultural practices. The system described is designed for use at several levels depending on the amount and accuracy of the available data and on the purpose for which the information is required. 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 Britain 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.

A careful study of the assumptions and explanations underlying the classification is advised so that the scheme is properly understood and its benefits and limitations appreciated.

Further information can be found in a series of Land Capability for Forestry Field Books as listed below.

Learning & Resources


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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.