Soil Site Reporter

Soil Associations

0342b UPTON 2

Soil and site characteristics
Shallow well drained calcareous silty soils over argillaceous chalk. Some deeper well drained calcareous clayey soils.

Cropping and Land Use
Winter cereals, cereal and grassland rotations; some dairying.

Component soil series

Subgroup Series name Percentage WRB 2006 link
3.42 UPTON 50% Rendzic Leptosols
3.42 WANTAGE 10% Rendzic Leptosols
5.11 BLEWBURY 10% Calcaric Endoleptic Cambisols
Covers 83 km2 in England and Wales

Soilscapes Classification
Shallow lime-rich soils over chalk or limestone

0342b UPTON 2

Detailed Description

This association of shallow rendzinas and deeper brown calcareous soils is found on knolls and low ridges on the Lower Chalk in Wiltshire and Dorset . Upton soils in this association are moderately stony silty clay loams and are less calcareous than Upton soils on Middle and Upper Chalk. The soils are moisture retentive and sticky when wet and the underlying grey argillaceous chalk is hard and difficult to penetrate by roots. There are few flints but tabular chalk stones are commonly brought to the surface by ploughing. Associated soils in shallow valleys and gentle footslopes, include deeper Blewbury series, Wantage series on softer chalk, and Gore series in colluvium from the Middle and Upper Chalk.

The association is most extensive on the wide undulating Lower Chalk bench on the north side of the Vale of Pewsey and around the Marlborough Downs. Elsewhere the argillaceous Lower Chalk outcrop is narrow and the association is confined to knolls and convex footslopes below the main Middle Chalk scarp, where there are fine silty over clayey Yatesbury and extremely calcareous silty Gore soils. Clayey Blewbury soils are included on valley floors. On the watershed of the Frome and Wylye west of Warminster, associated soils include fine silty over clayey Winterbourne and silty Burwell serie. South of Swindon around Cherhill and Wroughton, where the association merges with Wantage association, there are inclusions of Wantage and Gore soils.

Soil Water Regime

These soils are naturally well drained (Wetness Class I) and surplus winter rainfall passes easily downwards through the soil and chalk below. The Lower Chalk is often strongly bedded at shallow depth and roots do not penetrate as readily as in other chalk soils.

Cropping and Land Use

These soils, which are mainly under cereals or cereal and grass rotations, are readily compacted and prone to surface capping, though they tend to re-structure on drying. Yields of cereals and grass are lower than those on other chalk soils, mainly because of summer drought. Upton soils have a moderate retained water capacity and in spring there are relatively few work days when the soils can be ploughed without the risk of damaging soil structure. Response to nitrogen fertilizer is not as good as on deeper chalk soils such as the Wantage and Gore series.

0342b UPTON 2

Distribution Map

Note that the yellow shading represents a buffer to highlight the location of very small areas of the association.

Keys to component soil series

South Western Region

Typical Landscapes

South Western Region

All information Copyright, Cranfield University © 2024

Citation: To use information from this web resource in your work, please cite this as follows:
Cranfield University 2024. The Soils Guide. Available: Cranfield University, UK. Last accessed 16/07/2024

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