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

0651c EARLE

« 0541d EARDISTON 2 Associations Soilsguide Home 0541x EAST KESWICK 1 »

Soil and site characteristics

Loamy very acid upland soils over igneous rock with a wet peaty surface horizon, often with thin ironpan. Some shallow peaty soils over rock. Boulders locally.

Geology

Basic and intermediate igneous rock

Cropping and Land Use

Wet moorland habitats of moderate grazing value.

Component soil series

Subgroup Series name Percentage WRB 2006 link
6.51 EARLE 30% Placic Endoskeletic Histic Stagnic Albic Podzols
6.54 HARTHOPE 25% Endoskeletic Histic Stagnic Albic Podzols
3.11 PRESELI 25% Histic Leptosols

Covers 68 km2 in England and Wales

Soilscapes Classification

16
Very acid loamy upland soils with a wet peaty surface

Top

0651c EARLE

Detailed Description

This association covers the gentle to strong slopes of a dissected plateau of andesitic lava, mainly between 245 and 550 m O.D., which forms part of the Cheviot Hills. It consists of the Earle and Harthope series, ironpan and ferric stagnopodzols respectively and the Preseli series, humic rankers. The climate is cool, windy and wet, with a short growing season. The Earle and Harthope series frequently occur in close association, either of them may predominate locally. The Preseli series is found near rock exposures or on gentle slopes in the higher, more rainy areas (more than 900 mm). There are also patches of raw hill peat and basin peat.


Soil Water Regime

On average, soils are at field capacity for over 250 days and are normally too wet to cultivate. The peaty topsoil restricts downward percolation into the subsoil. Consequently, little winter rainwater is absorbed and there is rapid run-off during periods of heavy rain.

Cropping and Land Use

The land is marginally suitable for grassland, giving only moderate yields because of the short growing season. The wet, peaty surface makes the soils easily poached and inaccessible to machinery. Surface drainage can be improved by subsoiling to disrupt the pan or by other deep cultivations. Fair summer pasture is provided for both sheep and cattle, consisting mainly of Molinia, with Nardus either locally abundant or co-dominant. Sheep's fescue (Festuca ovina), wavy hair-grass (Deschampsiaflexuosa) and heath mosses (Hypnum spp) are also usually present, and there are smaller areas of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), heather (Calluna vulgaris) or, mainly on the steepest land, bracken (Pteridium aquilinum), with little grazing value.

For forestry, stagnopodzols need deep cultivation to break the pan and permit improved drainage and aeration. This will facilitate deeper rooting to give improved anchorage against wind. Most of the ground is exposed, restricting choice to a few species, Sitka spruce usually being preferred. Phosphorus is necessary, both at planting and subsequently.

Top

0651c EARLE

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