Soil Site Reporter

Soil Associations


Soil and site characteristics
Permeable calcareous coarse loamy soils affected by groundwater over chalky gravel. Some deep, in part non-calcareous fine and coarse loamy soils affected by groundwater.

Glaciofluvial sand and gravel
Cropping and Land Use
Cereals, sugar beet and potatoes; some gravel extraction.

Component soil series

Subgroup Series name Percentage WRB 2006 link
5.12 LANDBEACH 47% Calcaric Endogleyic Endoskeletic Cambisols
5.43 ARROW 14% Eutric Endogleyic Cambisols
5.12 BLOCK 14% Calcaric Endogleyic Cambisols
5.11 POCKLINGTON 12% Calcaric Skeletic Cambisols
Covers 189 km2 in England and Wales

Soilscapes Classification
Freely draining lime-rich loamy soils


Detailed Description

The Landbeach association consists mainly of permeable calcareous and non-calcareous loamy soils which are affected by groundwater and overlie chalky glaciofluvial and river terrace drift. The drift is of variable thickness and often channelled into the underlying Jurassic clay, till or glaciolacustrine deposits. The association, which occurs on level or gently undulating land between 6 and 60 m O.D., is found in Northern England in the Vale of Pickering, and at the foot of the Yorkshire Wolds escarpment north of Hull, and in small patches on the Holderness plain. South of the Humber it occurs below the Wolds escarpment and in Lincolnshire it covers 24 kmĀ² around Bigby between Brigg and Caistor and is also found east of the Lincolnshire Wolds around Great Limber. The dominant Landbeach series , coarse loamy gleyic brown calcareous earths, occurs on gravel consisting largely of chalk and flint, with some quartzite and other far-travelled stones. Also included are the Block series, fine loamy gleyic brown calcareous earths, and the Pocklington series, coarse loamy typical brown calcareous earths. The soil pattern is generally simple, but becomes more complex wherever non-calcareous profiles, for example Arrow series, are encountered. Locally there are calcareous fine loamy Badsey, calcareous sandy Methwold, sandy Ollerton, and coarse loamy Quorndon soils.

In the Norththe soil pattern is generally simple, but is locally complex. The Landbeach series is dominant and accounts for more than half of the area mapped, with Arrow, Block and Pocklington soils generally occupying the remainder in roughly equal amounts. The Brandesburton series occurs in Holderness and similar soils are found in drift in the Vale of Pickering, where chalk from the Wolds is mixed with limestone from the North York Moors. Also included are occasional profiles of the calcareous fine loamy Badsey and sandy Methwold series and the non-calcareous sandy Ollerton and coarse loamy Quorndonseries.

Soil Water Regime

The soils are permeable and either well drained or only occasionally waterlogged (Wetness Classes I or II). Water in the underlying gravel, held up by impermeable clay, is easily removed by arterial and field drainage. The loamy soils retain useful reserves of water for plant growth, with rather smaller reserves in the gravelly Pocklington soils. During summer, groundwater level is normally too low to be accessible to the roots of annual crops. During a normal season three of the principal soils become moderately droughty under grass and the fourth, Landbeach series, becomes very droughty. Potato growing is also affected, but less so, the Landbeach and Pocklington soils being moderately droughty.

Cropping and Land Use

The mainly loamy soils retain useful reserves of water for plant growth but during summer, groundwater is normally too deep to be accessible to the roots of annual crops. The principal soils are very droughty under grass in a normal year except those of the Block series which are moderately so. These are good general purpose arable soils well suited to wheat, barley and oilseed rape. Soil stoniness causes rapid implement wear and makes some of this land less than ideal for potatoes, but the crop is grown and yields well. Subsoiling during autumn when the soil is dry is regularly practised to overcome surface compaction.

Gravel has been quarried extensively near Brandesburton and derelict sites, with their deep pools, are popular for recreation. Some of the old workings have been restored to agriculture and future developments are likely to be similarly treated. A little gravel is also extracted near Pocklington but there is negligible disturbance to either agriculture or the landscape.


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

Northern Region

Typical Landscapes

Northern 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 15/07/2024

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