Soil transect of WimpoleRodney Burton

Soil transect of Wimpole
Rodney Burton

St Lawerence series
St Lawerence series

There are many different soil series (profiles) on the Wimpole Estate. The diagram provided by Rodney Burton above shows you these soil series in a transect north to south with the high ground (about 70m above sea level) to the left. The photo with the St Lawerence series was revealed at Cobbs Wood Farm and shows the grey-blue Gault clay with an orange layer of gravel and sand. Further up it gets browner with lots of clay and lastly, as this was originally in  a garden, it has a very organic, dark, rich soil. This soil series drains well as it has this gravel & sand layer and is ideal for growing most trees which can tolerate seasonal waterlogging. Oaks would do well here.

This is a tricky soil series and is in a clunch pit (quarry) in Orwell village. A very shallow top soil over an Upper Chalk geology. If it was ploughed,  the shallow soil would be mixed with more chalk making it very similar to the Landwade soil series. This quarry at Orwell was once mined for its soft chalk stone and the very useful Burwell stone that you see in the local churches and well-to-do houses of past times,  however it is not mined anymore and is a wildlife site SSSI for its range of wild chalk grassland flowers and the Chalkhill Blue butterfly . You get very good viewing points from here and it’s just behind Orwell church.

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