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

0572a YELD

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Soil and site characteristics

Fine silty soils with slowly permeable subsoils and slight seasonal waterlogging, associated with well drained fine loamy calcareous soils over limestone and well drained fine silty soils over siltstone.

Geology

Silurian silty shale. siltstone and limestone

Cropping and Land Use

Stock rearing on permanent grassland, some winter cereals; deciduous woodland on steep slopes.

Component soil series

Subgroup Series name Percentage WRB 2006 link
5.72 YELD 55% Endostagnic Luvisols
5.11 ABERFORD 20% Calcaric Endoleptic Cambisols
5.41 BARTON 15% Eutric Endoleptic Cambisols

Covers 132 km2 in England and Wales

Soilscapes Classification

8
Slightly acid loamy and clayey soils with impeded drainage

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0572a YELD

Detailed Description

This association of fine silty soils over Silurian silty shales and siltstones, and calcareous fine loamy soils over associated limestones is confined largely to strongly sloping ground in the Welsh Borderland. It covers 116 kmĀ² in Shropshire and Hereford and Worcester. The contrasting hardness of the underlying rocks produces distinctive scarp and vale topography. Altitudes vary from 50 m O.D. near Coalbrookdale to 280 m O.D. on Wenlock Edge. The main soils belong to the fine silty Yeld series, stagnogleyic argillic brown earths developed in olive and greyish silty shale and siltstones. The rocks are generally soft but form a barrier to roots at about 1 m depth. Harder bands of rock occur occasionally above 80 cm depth. Interbedded hard limestones give fine loamy calcareous brown earths belonging to Aberford series, which often occur on scarp crests. Occasionally where limestone is near the surface, as on Wenlock Edge, there are very calcareous soils of the Elmton series but where it is deeper usually on concave slopes, the non-calcareous Wilderhope series is developed. Where hard siltstones are dominant they often form steep slopes on which fine silty typical brown earths of Barton series are developed. Valley floors cut into soft shales support fine silty Stanway soils which have distinctly mottled horizons above 40 cm depth. The association occurs on Wenlock Edge and extends to Leintwardine and Wigmore in the south and Buildwas in the north. It is also found on the south-eastern slopes of the Wrekin and north of the river Severn between Leighton and Coalbrookdale. Wilderhope, Aberford and Stanway series are the main associate soils but Munslow series is often found rather than Barton series on the siltstones. On the Abberley Hills, Barton soils are more common than in Shropshire and Wilderhope and Aberford soils are restricted to the limestones of Penny Hill. On the Woolhope Dome east of Hereford, the soils are found on concentric ridges with steep slopes leading down to narrow intervening valleys. Here Wilderhope series is the main subsidiary soil. East of Ledbury, the Silurian shales and limestones form distinctive hills which extend northwards in scarp and vale topography west of the Malvern Hills culminating in the Suckley Hills and Yeld soils predominate on the shales with the Barton soils on interbedded siltstones. Wilderhope soils are more common on the limestones than Aberford soils with the Stanway series restricted to valley footslopes.


Soil Water Regime

Yeld soils normally suffer slight seasonal waterlogging (Wetness Class III) in most districts, but where the land has been drained they have a drier water regime (Wetness Class II). Aberford and Barton soils are naturally well drained (Wetness Class I). Moderate amounts of excess winter rain are absorbed but run-off is accelerated by the widespread moderate to steep slopes.

Cropping and Land Use

Much of the land is under woodland, the rest being mainly grassland as the moderate to steep slopes limit the scope for cultivation. Semi-natural deciduous woodland is well developed on Wenlock Edge, the Abberley Hills and the Woolhope Dome. Oak, ash, sycamore and hazel are the main species with alder, holly, and occasionally the wayfaring tree, often with a calcicole shrub layer. There are several coniferous plantations in which Douglas fir, European larch and Western hemlock grow well. Western red cedar and several species of fir are also suitable, giving good yields. These soils also support good grassland, which is most widespread around Much Marcie and south of the Abberley Hills where sheep and some beef cattle enterprises are common. Yields are good in the moist climate of southern Shropshire, but further south the soils are slightly droughty for grass in normal years. In Hereford and Worcester the risk of poaching is slight on Yeld soils but is significant in Shropshire. Barton and Aberford soils seldom poach because of their good natural drainage. Cultivations are normally confined to slopes of less than 8 degrees and are easier on Aberford and Barton than on the Yeld soils. Smearing and compaction result from mistimed operations and, when fallow, the surface of these silty soils caps readily. Where the soils are capped and on moderate slopes, erosion often occurs during heavy rain. Nutrient reserves are generally good though lime and nitrogenous fertilizers are needed to maintain fertility. Under woodland surface horizons can be moderately acid.

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0572a YELD

Typical Landscapes

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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