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Development and Application of a Land Use Capability Classification for a Selected Area of Co. Laois

Adrienne M. Eacrett, Peter Wilson


A land use capability classification, based on soil, slope and altitudinal attributes, has been developed and applied to a selected area of Co. Laois. The actual land use of the area was also recorded, from a false-colour satellite image, in order to determine whether land was being used to its maximum capability. Actual land use is appropriate to the established capability classes over half of the area; 40% of land is being used below its potential and 9.5% above its potential. Underutilisation is attributed to land that is capable of arable production being used for grassland and is probably a function of traditional agricultural practices and farm structure. The classification does not imply that land should be always used at its maximum capability but seeks to determine the capability of land as an aid to land use planning decisions.

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