For its work to succeed, the planning for the WLA had to be excellent. England and Wales were divided into seven regions. Each region administered itself but reported to Balcombe Place. The seven regions were served by 52 county offices, and each county office had its own administrative force. In this way, the WLA had an organisational unit right down at farm level and inspections of farms could be carried out with a degree of regularity.
Women who wanted to join the WLA had to be interviewed and given a medical if they passed the interview. If accepted, training depended on just what work farms needed to be done. In theory, new members of the WLA should have been taught a number of farming issues, such as milking cows, drainage, and a host of other things. In reality, such was the demand for food that what was learned was learned 'on the job'.
Though the WLA had the word ‘army’ in its title, it was, in fact, a civilian organisation. Women were recruited by the farmers themselves and, if they did not work sufficiently well, could be dismissed from the farm's service. Also, women could move to another farm if they wanted to. There were ways for WLA members to express their grievances with farmers as well if they felt that they were being unfairly used.
The uniform of the WLA was functional. Women who worked on farms got dirty so by the very nature of their work, day-to-day uniforms were suited for the task as opposed to being fashion statements. On joining, every girl was supplied with two green jerseys, two pairs of breeches, two overall coats, two pairs dungarees, six pairs of stockings, three shirts, one pair of ankle boots, one pair of shoes, one pair of gum boots or boots with leggings, one hat, one overcoat with shoulder titles, one oilskin or mackintosh, two towels, an oilskin sou'wester, a green armlet, and a metal badge. After every six months of satisfactory service she received a half-diamond cloth badge which was sewn on the armlet; after two years’ service a special armlet, and then after four years’ service a scarlet armlet to replace the two-year one.
With the outbreak of peace the WLA remained in existence doing vital jobs on the land until demobilisation was complete. The WLA was formally disbanded in 1950. At the end of their service, Land Girls received their last week’s pay, a letter from the Queen thanking them for their efforts, their greatcoats (provided they were dyed blue), their armbands, and in return for the rest of their uniform, a humiliating 20 clothing coupons. In some extreme circumstances, they might also receive some money from the Land Army Benevolent Fund. The Land Army girls had to wait another 58 years before their services were finally recognised by the Government, with the presentation of a small brooch in 2008 by Gordon Brown.