All information Copyright, Cranfield University © 2017

Citation: To use information from this web resource in your work, please cite this as follows:
Cranfield University 2017. The Soils Guide. Available: www.landis.org.uk. Cranfield University, UK. Last accessed 16/12/2017

0411c EVESHAM 3

« 0411b EVESHAM 2 Associations Soilsguide Home 0643d Felthorpe »

Soil and site characteristics

Slowly permeable calcareous clayey, and fine loamy over clayey soils. Some slowly permeable seasonally waterlogged non-calcareous clayey soils.

Geology

Jurassic and Cretaceous

Cropping and Land Use

Winter cereals in dry lowlands; grassland with some cereals in moist lowlands.

Component soil series

Subgroup Series name Percentage WRB 2006 link
4.11 EVESHAM 40% Calcaric Stagnic Vertic Cambisols
5.13 ST LAWRENCE 15% Ruptic Calcaric Endostagnic Cambisols
7.12 DENCHWORTH 10% Eutric Vertic Stagnosols

Covers 852 km2 in England and Wales

Soilscapes Classification

9
Lime-rich loamy and clayey soils with impeded drainage

Top

0411c EVESHAM 3

Detailed Description

This association covers 816 km² on low ground on Jurassic and Cretaceous clays, mainly in Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire but also in Somerset and Leicestershire. The soils are mostly slowly permeable clayey or fine loamy over clayey, usually calcareous and are seasonally waterlogged. They are formed in clay or mudstone bedrock which is patchily covered by thin drift. The Evesham series, which belongs to the calcareous pelosols, is the main soil, covering about two-fifths of the land. The fine loamy over clayey St Lawrence soils are stagnogleyic brown calcareous earths, which together with the similar but non-calcareous Oxpasture series occupy a further third of the association. Denchworth and Lawford series, both pelo-stagnogleys, the former formed in mudstone and clay, the latter with upper layers in clayey drift, also occur and are often waterlogged for longer periods than the Evesham series. The coarse loamy moderately permeable Wick and the fine loamy Waterstock series are locally important where there are thick, river terrace drifts.

The Evesham series is often found on sloping ground and on knolls, whereas the Denchworth series generally occurs on drift-free concavities and more gentle slopes. The St Lawrence, Oxpasture and Lawford soils occur on low ground where it is thinly covered by drift. In Eastern England, the land is mostly arable and mainly in winter cereals, whereas in Somerset and Leicestershire it is mostly in grass.

The association covers 739 km² in Eastern England in the triangle between Peterborough, Cambridge and Luton and on raised ground in the Fens at Ely and near Soham. Evesham soils are variably mottled, many having grey mottles immediately below the plough layer, whilst others have a browner, relatively unmottled, upper subsoil horizon. Denchworth soils, non-calcareous in the upper layers, are usually calcareous within 1 m depth. The St Lawrence and Oxpasture series often contain sandy lenses usually just above an undulating stone line or thin stony layer at the junction between fine loamy upper layers formed in drift and a clayey subsoil. The fine loamy Hopsford series, which occurs locally with Wick soils, was previously described as Needham series.

In Somerset the association covers 66 km² north of Ilminster, near Crewkerne, at Glastonbury and Castle Cary. There is a small area at Longleat in Wiltshire. Lias clays containing thin limestone bands gives Haselor soils, and that covered by drift has Oxpasture and Lawford soils. Locally, on river terraces there is fine loamy Waterstock series.


Soil Water Regime

Evesham and Denchworth series as well as Lawford series have slowly permeable subsoils and are waterlogged in winter (Wetness Class III). St Lawrence and Oxpasture series have a slightly drier regime (Wetness Class II). Because of their slowly permeable subsurface layers the principal soils quickly become saturated in winter and rainfall runs off or passes laterally through the topsoil. Stony and sandy pockets in the subsoils of St Lawrence and Oxpasture series hinder drainage improvements. The loamy Hopsford and Waterstock series respond to drainage measures and are only occasionally waterlogged (Wetness Class II) whilst the small areas of Wick soils are well-drained (Wetness Class I). Most component soils have a moderate to high waterholding capacity, so in the dry climate are slightly or moderately droughty for cereals and oilseed rape, moderately droughty for potatoes and very droughty for grass. Locally a stony horizon in St Lawrence and Oxpasture soils impedes rooting, and, in drier years, causes differential crop growth.

Cropping and Land Use

In most years the series with clayey subsoils are at field capacity from late November or December to late March or early April and the soils are unworkable during this period. There are usually sufficient days in autumn for satisfactory cultivations, particularly in drier eastern districts. The soils are suited to direct drilling and minimum cultivations, which are now widely used. Periodic ploughing of the topsoil or subsoiling may be needed to alleviate compaction. In spring, opportunities for landwork are limited in wet years even on the drier St Lawrence and Oxpasture soils. The cropping system reflects the difficulties of spring landwork. Winter cereals are the main crops with autumn sown oilseed rape and, occasionally, field beans as break crops. Potatoes are rarely grown and the land is unsuited to sugar beet because of the difficulties of autumn harvesting which damages soil structure. The soils naturally contain little phosphorus.

Top

0411c EVESHAM 3

Typical Landscapes

Top

All information Copyright, Cranfield University © 2017

Citation: To use information from this web resource in your work, please cite this as follows:
Cranfield University 2017. The Soils Guide. Available: www.landis.org.uk. Cranfield University, UK. Last accessed 16/12/2017