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Cranfield University 2017. The Soils Guide. Available: www.landis.org.uk. Cranfield University, UK. Last accessed 18/10/2017

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Soil and site characteristics

Slowly permeable seasonally waterlogged fine loamy and fine silty over clayey soils and similar fine loamy soils with only slight seasonal waterlogging.

Geology

Till from Palaeozoic rocks

Cropping and Land Use

Cereals and grassland; dairying and stock rearing.

Component soil series

Subgroup Series name Percentage WRB 2006 link
7.11 PINDER 45% Eutric Albic Luvic Stagnosols
7.11 PROLLEYMOOR 25% Eutric Luvic Stagnosols
5.72 BISHAMPTON 20% Endostagnic Luvisols

Covers 236 km2 in England and Wales

Soilscapes Classification

17
Slowly permeable seasonally wet acid loamy and clayey soils

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Detailed Description

The Pinder association consists mainly of slowly permeable brownish fine loamy and fine silty over clayey soils and is found in Shropshire and Powys. It is developed in locally derived loamy till containing Palaeozoic siltstones and sandstones and some far-travelled Welsh greywackes and igneous stones. It occurs between 75 and 300 m O.D. on the undulating Shropshire till plain and in narrow valleys in the hills of south Shropshire. There are also small areas to the west of the Malvern Hills. Typical stagnogley soils dominate, notably the fine loamy Pinder series and the fine silty over clayey Prolleymoor series. Less mottled soils, belonging to the Bishampton series, are found mainly on steeper slopes and are classified with the stagnogleyic argillic brown earths. There are smaller inclusions of Hamperley, Cegin, Stanway, Baschurch and Brickfield series. Pinder series is usually dominant and is particularly well represented around Bicton and Forton near Shrewsbury. The Prolleymoor series is generally subordinate but it is the most common soil around Minsterley in west Shropshire. Here the till is mainly derived from Silurian siltstones and silty shales of the Long Mountain which impart a large silt content to the soils. Bishampton and Hamperley series are most extensive on steeper slopes where drainage, particularly horizontally in upper soil horizons is more rapid. Small patches of very stony soils, Baschurch series, associated with glaciofluvial outwash terraces too small to map with the Ellerbeck association have been included. These are found on flat sites often close to the present day streams. The association merges eastwards into Clifton association accompanied by a very gradual reddening of the soils due to an increase in reddish material from Triassic mudstone and Upper Coal Measures sediments. Discrete patches of Salop and Clifton soils developed in reddish till occur within the Pinder association, as around Stony Stretton, where the till is relatively thin and includes a larger proportion of material from the underlying Upper Coal Measures. Two small separates have been mapped on stony Head west of the Malvern Hills. The Head consists mainly of Silurian siltstones and shales together with hard Malvernian igneous fragments. These soils, formerly described as the Brockbury series (Palmer 1976) are brownish, dominantly fine loamy and have slowly permeable subsoils. They are now correlated with the Pinder series. The association is restricted to eastern Powys around the northern and eastern slopes of the Breidden Hills. Pinder series is usually dominant and Cegin series also present. The boundary between cambic stagnogley soils in moist western districts and typical stagnogley soils on the lowland plains is unclear and gradual. This land lies on that boundary.


Soil Water Regime

Pinder and Bishampton series are seasonally waterlogged (Wetness Class IV and III respectively) although in the dry areas around Shrewsbury, in the rainshadow of the Welsh hills where there are less than 150 field capacity days, Bishampton series is Wetness Class II and Pinder Wetness Class III. The Prolleymoor series with fine textured subsoils is waterlogged for long periods in the winter (Wetness Class IV). Surface waterlogging results from dense slowly permeable subsoils and slow surface run-off from relatively flat land. Excess winter rainwater is only shed laterally through upper horizons (above 50 cm depth) on steeper land.

Cropping and Land Use

Mixed farming is the main enterprise around Shrewsbury but dairying and livestock rearing increase in importance with wetter climate towards the south and west. Generally, over half is under grassland with leys more widespread than permanent grass. In western Shropshire, around Melverley and on the fringes of the Long Mynd, there is a long growing season and grass yields are seldom restricted by drought. In the drier lowlands around Shrewsbury the inherently low available water contents typical of both Pinder and Bishampton soils often combine with compact subsoil horizons and surface waterlogging to inhibit rooting, so checking grass growth in dry summer spells. The autumn flush is less productive here than further west. The utilization of early and late growth is often checked by wet topsoil conditions. Grazing or silage harvesting when the soils are wet causes poaching and soil compaction with a consequent deterioration in the sward and soil drainage. Careful grazing management is therefore necessary particularly on reseeded pastures. While poaching risk is only slight at Shrewsbury it is severe around the Long Mynd and in western Shropshire. These soils are easily cultivated when not too wet or dry and they form a good tilth when cultivated with conventional machinery. Winter wheat is the main arable crop but recently there has been a move to winter barley. The proximity to the sugar beet factory at Allscott near Telford encourages occasional plantings of sugar beet. Beet harvesting late in wet years causes serious soil damage and depresses the yields of succeeding crops. After a wet period, a week of rain-free days is needed before soils are sufficiently dry to allow cultivations to proceed safely. Good spring work days are usually limited and, in one year in four, are insufficient to allow spring cultivations to proceed without soil damage. Cultivations are therefore best completed in the autumn when there are ample days for landwork and, even in wet years, there are opportunities to work under good conditions.

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