All information Copyright, Cranfield University © 2018

Citation: To use information from this web resource in your work, please cite this as follows:
Cranfield University 2018. The Soils Guide. Available: www.landis.org.uk. Cranfield University, UK. Last accessed 23/05/2018

0311c WETTON 1

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Soil and site characteristics

Very shallow loamy upland soils over limestone, mostly humose and sometimes calcareous. Some deeper silty soils. Frequent steep slopes. Extensive bare rock crag and scree.

Geology

Carboniferous limestone

Cropping and Land Use

Stock rearing on herb-rich grassland habitats of good grazing value; recreation.

Component soil series

Subgroup Series name Percentage WRB 2006 link
3.11 WETTON 50% Umbric Leptosols
3.41 MARIAN 12% Rendzic Leptosols
3.13 CRWBIN 12% Eutric Leptosols
5.41 MALHAM 12% Eutric Endoleptic Cambisols

Covers 125 km2 in England and Wales

Soilscapes Classification

3
Shallow lime-rich soils over chalk or limestone

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0311c WETTON 1

Detailed Description

This association occurs on steep valley sides in Carboniferous Limestone country and is characterized by predominantly shallow soils over rock. It is mapped between 150 and 580 m O.D. in the Pennines from Staffordshire to Durham. The prevailing climate is cool and wet, and many sites are exposed. Shallow soils with dark humose surface horizons predominate; most belong to the non-calcareous Wetton series, humic rankers, but calcareous soils of the Marian series, humic rendzinas, also occur. Brown rankers, Crwbin series, with non-humose, non-calcareous topsoils, and fine silty typical brown earths of the Malham series make up most of the remaining soils but patches of bare rock and scree occur throughout. In the Midlands the soils are mainly confined to the Peak District of Derbyshire and Staffordshire, covering about 50 kmĀ² of rocky dales and hillsides with slopes of up to 35 degrees. There are also two small patches near Whitewell and Clitheroe, Lancashire. The Malham series occurs throughout but is most common on lower slopes; locally it is replaced by the similar but fine loamy Waltham series. Small strips of alluvial soils are included along the Manifold, Dove and Wye valleys. In the smaller dales, Crwbin soils may be as common as those of the Wetton series.

The association is mainly in Wharfedale and Swaledale; also in Craven. Most soils are on steep slopes and there is little drift material. Rendzinas are thus more common in this association than in areas of limestone pavement. Small strips of complex bottomland or alluvial soils are occasionally included and, in some Yorkshire dales, there are gleyed soils in till covering valley floors and sides. The Malham series occurs throughout but is most common on lower slopes; locally it is replaced by the similar, but fine loamy Waltham series.


Soil Water Regime

The soils are all well drained and readily absorb winter rainwater, except on very steep slopes where there is some surface run-off during periods of heavy rainfall.

Cropping and Land Use

As slopes are often too steep for pasture improvement or commercial afforestation, the land is used mainly for rough grazing. Although part is covered by deciduous woodland or scrub woodland with hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) and wild roses (Rosa spp.), much is in semi-natural Sesleria grassland of good grazing value. The low grazing pressure on these steep slopes distinguishes them from most pastures on limestone. Blue sesleria (Sesleria albicans) and sheep's fescue (Festuca ovina) predominate. In cracks and crevices there are many small herbs including hoary whitlow grass (Draba incana), common rockrose (Helianthemum chamaecistus), wall-pepper (Sedum acre) and wild thyme (Thymus drucei), with ferns such as green spleenwort (Asplenium viride). This limestone country, which is within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, forms attractive scenery.

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0311c WETTON 1

Typical Landscapes

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All information Copyright, Cranfield University © 2018

Citation: To use information from this web resource in your work, please cite this as follows:
Cranfield University 2018. The Soils Guide. Available: www.landis.org.uk. Cranfield University, UK. Last accessed 23/05/2018