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 23/02/2018

0541b BROMSGROVE

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Soil and site characteristics

Well drained reddish coarse loamy soils mainly over soft sandstone but deep in places. Associated fine loamy soils with slowly permeable subsoils and slight seasonal waterlogging. Risk of water erosion.

Geology

Permo-Triassic and Carboniferous sandstone and siltstone

Cropping and Land Use

Cereals, sugar beet and potatoes, some field vegetables and fruit; mainly grassland in moist districts.

Component soil series

Subgroup Series name Percentage WRB 2006 link
5.41 BROMSGROVE 50% Eutric Chromic Endoleptic Cambisols
5.72 HODNET 10% Chromic Endostagnic Luvisols
5.41 EARDISTON 10% Eutric Chromic Endoleptic Cambisols

Covers 756 km2 in England and Wales

Soilscapes Classification

6
Freely draining slightly acid loamy soils

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0541b BROMSGROVE

Detailed Description

This association consists of well drained reddish coarse loamy soils developed in soft Permian, Triassic and Carboniferous sandstones. It is widespread, covering 714 km², in the Midlands and South West England. The fine and medium grained sandstones contain thin intercalations of siltstone and mudstone and are usually deeply weathered. Dominating the association are typical brown earths of the Bromsgrove series with deep, permeable sandy loam profiles passing to soft sandstone. In places where the sandstones are hard and occur within 80 cm depth, Eardiston soils, also typical brown earths, are included. Where siltstones and mudstones contribute significantly to the parent material, stagnogleyic argillic brown earths with slowly permeable subsoils occur. These include the coarse loamy Staunton series and the fine loamy Hodnet series. Well drained coarse loamy over clayey soils of the Sellack series are included locally where mudstones are thick enough and persistent enough to form discrete soil horizons. On some footslopes, where the sandstone is particularly deeply weathered, deep coarse loamy local drift gives well drained reddish Oglethorpe soils. On flat low-lying ground, often adjacent to alluvium, seasonal waterlogging produces strongly mottled coarse loamy Greinton soils . This is the most extensive association on Triassic and Upper Coal Measures sandstones. It covers about 545 km² on the Staffordshire-Derbyshire border near Ashbourne, around Ombersley in Hereford and Worcester, along the mid-Cheshire ridge, on the margins of the south Derbyshire-Leicestershire coalfield and around Lichfield and Market Drayton in Staffordshire and Shropshire respectively. Hodnet soils are sometimes co-dominant with Bromsgrove series near Ashbourne where the upper beds of the Triassic sandstone contain frequent inclusions of silty mudstone. Coarse loamy Lilleshall soils with clay-enriched subsoils over hard sandstone are also well represented here. Around Market Drayton, and elsewhere where the association is mapped on rocks formerly called Bunter Sandstones, well drained sandy Cuckney soils are well represented. Here the sandstones are coarser than is typical of the Triassic and Carboniferous sandstones and contain fewer siltstone and mudstone intercalations. On the Middle Permian Marl in Nottinghamshire the association consists almost exclusively of Bromsgrove and Sellack series. The Bromsgrove association is also mapped on the Enville Beds of the Upper Coal Measures near Highley in Shropshire, around Hints and Leek in Staffordshire and in those parts of the Shrewsbury coalfield where dissection along the streams has removed till cover. In Warwickshire, soils formerly called Shifnal series, now correlated with the Bromsgrove series, are incor-porated. There, the main associates are Hodnet (now including soils formerly called Kenilworth series), Sellack, Lilleshall and Whimple soils (now including Dodmoor series). In Warwickshire the composition of the Bromsgrove association on Upper Coal Measures varies and it includes a large proportion of well drained coarse loamy Eardiston soils over hard sandstone and fine loamy over clayey Whimple soils.

In Devon the association occurs between Exeter and Tiverton on Permian sandstone and further east in the Otter Valley on Triassic sandstones. The soils follow the geological formations northwards in a narrow belt into west Somerset. Bromsgrove soils are accompanied by similar fine silty soils close to Permian mudstone outcrops in the Exeter area. In north Somerset and around Newent in Gloucestershire fine loamy argillic brown earths, North Newton series, are mixed with Bromsgrove soils. On the more variable Triassic sandstones, Bromsgrove soils are often accompanied by unnamed gleyic brown earths. Brown sands of the Bridgnorth and Cuckney series occur sporadically. Where breccias and conglomerates are developed in the Permo-Triassic rocks of west Somerset, Crediton soils occur.


Soil Water Regime

The Bromsgrove series and most of its associates developed on permeable sandstone are naturally well drained (Wetness Class I). They readily accept winter rainfall even on steep slopes. The Hodnet series, with moderately permeable subsoils, is occasionally waterlogged (Wetness Class II) but can be drier or wetter depending on slope or long-term land use.

Cropping and Land Use

The Bromsgrove association is amongst the best agricultural land in the region. The level or gently undulating ground and easily worked soils encourage arable cropping. Grass is often restricted to the steeper slopes but short-term leys are sometimes sown especially on small farms as a part of an arable rotation. Around Stoke-on-Trent, where the annual rainfall is over 800 mm and the field capacity period approaches 200 days, the soils are less flexible than further south and cereals are the main arable crop. Elsewhere sugar beet, potatoes, horticultural crops including vegetables and soft fruit are widely grown. Although the soils are deep, reserves of available water are limited for grass and growth is checked sometime during the summer in most districts. Drought risk is greatest in the east and south-west Midlands where all crops are affected to varying degrees. Brassicas and soft fruit are grown between Kidderminster and Ombersley where irrigation is widely practised. Irrigation is also being increasingly used on sugar beet and potatoes. Cultivation is easy and there is a long autumn period when the topsoils can be worked safely. The spring working period is very short in Cheshire and Staffordshire but further south, even in the wettest years, there is some scope for spring cultivation. Topsoils dry rapidly after rain and usually only one dry day is required before cultivations can proceed. A slightly longer period is often advisable to avoid compaction and the formation of a pan beneath the plough sole. Once formed, a pan restricts rooting and impedes the downward movement of water giving saturated upper horizons in which slaking causes further compaction and increases the risk of water erosion. Compaction in these soils is often caused also by the late harvesting of root crops using heavy machinery when the soils are wet. Compaction, however, can be easily remedied by subsoiling. Bromsgrove soils in arable use are susceptible to erosion especially on slopes greater than 7 degrees. Sheet and gully erosion often occur during heavy storms particularly during the winter and spring when soils are fallow or where crop cover is incomplete. Short-term ley grassland helps to maintain normally small organic matter contents, and lessens the tendency of cultivated surface horizons to cap after heavy rain. The land is generally well farmed and fertility tends to build up with continued fertilizer dressings. pH values are usually near neutral as the soils are often limed before a sugar beet crop. Deficiency problems are rare, only boron deficiency in sugar beet being recorded.

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0541b BROMSGROVE

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 23/02/2018