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 15/12/2017

0573a WATERSTOCK

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Soil and site characteristics

Deep permeable mainly fine loamy soils variably affected by groundwater. Some deep well drained fine and coarse loamy soils.

Geology

River terrace drift

Cropping and Land Use

Short term grassland and cereals; some field vegetables and fruit in drier districts; dairying in Dorset and Somerset.

Component soil series

Subgroup Series name Percentage WRB 2006 link
5.73 WATERSTOCK 30% Endogleyic Luvisols
5.73 WORMINGHALL 20% Endogleyic Luvisols
5.71 LUDFORD 15% Haplic Luvisols
5.71 MAPLESTEAD 10% Haplic Luvisols
8.41 SHABBINGTON 10% Luvic Gleysols

Covers 248 km2 in England and Wales

Soilscapes Classification

6
Freely draining slightly acid loamy soils

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0573a WATERSTOCK

Detailed Description

This association is found in South East England and in Cambridgeshire, Northampton-shire, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Devon and Dorset. It occurs chiefly on level or gently sloping river terrace drift or related Head. It is often adjacent to floodplains, and overlies clayey substrata at depth. Waterstock soils are fine loamy gleyic argillic brown earths with ochreous mottling in the subsoil. Worminghall soils are similar but have sandy subsoils. Shabbington soils are fine loamy typical argillic gley soils with grey and ochreous mottling throughout. Ludford and Maplestead soils are fine and coarse loamy typical argillic brown earths. The association is found on, and adjacent to, river terraces along the Nene near Northampton. In Cambridgeshire it occurs on gravels which cap the Jurassic clay of the Fenland islands of Whittlesey, Eastrea, Chatteris and Honey Hill at heights between sea level and 10 m O.D. The distribution of the component soils is mainly determined by the thickness of loamy and sandy horizons over clay; the soil water regimes are influenced by frequent variations of subsoil lithology and by slope. Thus, well drained Ludford and Maplestead soils are found on the thickest drift and on elevated sites, seasonally waterlogged Shabbington and Wickham soils occur sporadically where the drift thins, especially on the lowest ground on the fen margins, and the dominant Waterstock and Worminghall soils on the land between. Small inclusions of Peacock soils are included near the fen boundary.

In south Somerset and north Dorset, the association occurs in flinty and cherty drift and on low river terraces along streams draining the clay vales. Shabbington soils usually occur on the low-lying ground near the floodplains and Ludford and Maplestead soils on higher ground away from streams, with the dominant Waterstock and Worminghall soils on the land between. The thickness of the river terrace drift over the underlying clay partly controls the soil water regime, and Shabbington soils are also found in places where the clay is at moderate depth. Thin strips of Fladbury or Conway soils are included on narrow floodplains too small to separate. Wickham and Oxpasture soils are present where the drift is very thin over the underlying clay. Near Gloucester small areas are found on low terraces of the river Severn, where Oxpasture soils are particularly common.

Shabbington soils usually occur on the low-lying ground near the floodplains and Ludford and Maplestead soils on the high ground away from streams, with the dominant Waterstock and Worminghall soils on the land between. The thickness of the river terrace drift over the underlying clay controls the soil water regime, and Shabbington soils are also found in places where the clay is at moderate depths. Thin strips of Fladbury or Conway soils are included on narrow floodplains too small to separate. Wickham and Oxpasture soils are present sporadically where the drift is very thin over the underlying clay.

Worminghall soils together with similar soils over gravel are locally dominant, for example in the Thame valley east of Oxford Here the association has been mapped on several river terrace levels and Wickham soils occur on the slopes between terraces. It has also been mapped on high-level terraces over London Clay near Canterbury and over Weald Clay near Marden in Kent. On the north bank of the Medway, around Hadlow, on land previously mapped as part of their Park Gate association in their survey of Kent, Park Gate, Hook and Hamble series are common associate soils. Maplestead and Efford soils are common around Barcombe in the Ouse valley and near Hellingly along the Cuckmere valley.


Soil Water Regime

Waterstock and Worminghall soils are occasionally waterlogged by groundwater (Wetness Class II), but are well drained (Wetness Class I) where an efficient drainage system has been installed. Ludford and Maplestead soils are well drained (Wetness Class I). Shabbington soils are seasonally waterlogged (Wetness Class III or IV); where improvements are made they are occasionally waterlogged (Wetness Class II or III), but the effectiveness of field drainage is commonly limited on the lowest-lying land by unsatisfactory outfalls. The main soils have moderate reserves of available water and are slightly droughty for cereals, but moderately droughty for grass and potatoes which therefore benefit from irrigation.

Cropping and Land Use

The soils have moderate reserves of available water and are mainly under winter cereals. The soils return to field capacity very late in the autumn, especially in Cambridgeshire, and there is little restriction to either autumn or spring cultivations. Grass is an uncommon crop because summer growth is limited. Even in Northamptonshire, where rainfall is greater, grassland yields are very restricted by lack of summer moisture. There is negligible risk of poaching. Large areas near Whittlesey have been excavated by the brick industry, and gravel has been extracted elsewhere.

Where drained, these soils are dry enough in most years to be cultivated for long periods in autumn and spring. The only exceptions occur in wet springs and on Shabbington soils where drainage is unsatisfactory. The land is mainly under arable cultivation with cereals and ley grass the principal crops; there is a little horticulture and some fruit and hops are grown in Kent and Sussex, particularly around Hadlow and Marden. Because available soil moisture is limited in summer, especially in the Medway valley near Tonbridge, grass growth is limited although there is little risk of poaching.

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0573a WATERSTOCK

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 15/12/2017