Soil Site Reporter

Soil Associations

0712f CREWE

Soil and site characteristics
Slowly permeable seasonally waterlogged reddish clayey and fine loamy over clayey soils, often stoneless.

Reddish glaciolacustrine drift and till
Cropping and Land Use
Dairying on permanent grassland; some cereals in drier districts.

Component soil series

Subgroup Series name Percentage WRB 2006 link
7.12 CREWE 65% Clayic Chromic Eutric Stagnosols
7.11 SALOP 20% Chromic Eutric Albic Luvic Stagnosols
Covers 700 km2 in England and Wales

Soilscapes Classification
Slowly permeable seasonally wet slightly acid but base-rich loamy and clayey soils

Alert ! - slowly permeable soils with seasonal wetness read the alert

0712f CREWE

Detailed Description

The Crewe association consists of clayey and fine loamy soils in reddish, stoneless till or lacustrine clay. It has been mapped extensively in North Yorkshire, Cleveland, Durham, and from Cheshire to Warwickshire, with small areas in Gwent. The Crewe series, pelo-stagnogley soils, occupies two-thirds of the area, mainly on flat land with slopes rarely greater than 1 degree. The fine loamy over clayey Salop series, typical stagnogley soils, occur on gently undulating topography and sloping valley sides. The association occurs mainly in Cheshire and on the Needwood Forest plateau in east Staffordshire. Small areas have also been mapped in Shropshire and Warwickshire. Salop, Clifton and related stoneless soils are the main associates, occupying in some places over half the area, as for instance around Crewe. In Needwood Forest Ragdale soils are on scattered remnants of chalky till. Near Knutsford and Northwich coarser soils of the Rufford and Arrow series are found marginal to till or where the lacustrine clay has been eroded. In Warwickshire slightly gleyed soils in calcareous clayey till, the Pailton series, occur between Rugby and Coventry. In Wales it occupies nearly 7 km², in valleys and basins adjacent to the Milford association between Monmouth and Usk.

Apart from two small areas at Brampton, Cumbria, and Chillingham, Northumberland, the association occurs around Teeside, covering 415 km². East of a line from Thirsk to Sedgefield, as far as the coast, and on the gently sloping till plain bordering the North York Moors, the parent material is mainly stoneless laminated reddish clay, which may be a flow till. Around Stockton-on-Tees and Egglescliffe the Crewe soils are on slightly higher ground, with Salop soils in shallow depressions where fine loamy material has accumulated. Between Moorsholm and Mickleby and to the south of Ugthorpe, on the northern edge of the North York Moors, Salop soils, in slightly stony drift, are more numerous but have been included in the Crewe association because the pattern of stoneless and slightly stony drift is complex.

Soil Water Regime

In most years, Crewe soils are waterlogged to the surface throughout the winter and into the growing season; effective drainage measures can restrict this to winter (Wetness Class IV), but both topsoils and subsoils are slowly permeable and not easily improved. These clayey soils hold only moderate amounts of water available to plants, even though the retained water capacity is large. They can, therefore, be slightly droughty for most arable crops and moderately droughty for grass. Winter run-off is rapid because of prolonged waterlogging at shallow depth.

Cropping and Land Use

The association is mainly under permanent pasture; some fields are cropped for cereals, though these tend to be autumn sown because, as with the Salop association, there are few good machinery work days in spring. Cultivations must be carefully timed to avoid severe damage to soil structure and these soils are generally very difficult to work. There is great risk of poaching by stock when the surface soil is wet, because of its large retained water capacity. This risk is greatest in winter although summer poaching is possible on intensively stocked farms during wet years. Forestry is limited by wetness and shallow rooting depth. There are some small wooded areas, including Wynyard Forest north of Stockton-on-Tees with hybrid larch and Corsican pine; the latter has been planted because of its resistance to air pollution from Teesside industry. Oak, ash and sycamore have also been planted, particularly for amenity purposes.

0712f CREWE

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


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 18/06/2024

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