Geology and soil types

Before planting trees and shrubs directly into Faringdon soils it is important to know the geology and soil type of the area. This is so that we can match trees and shrubs to the types of soils that they prefer.

Faringdon is built on a ridge of Corallian Limestone (sometimes known as coral rag). This is a sedimentary rock which was formed from coral animals and laid down in Jurassic times. Some hilly outcrops, such as Folly Hill, rise above the corallian ridge and are composed of Lower Greensand. Further information on Faringdon’s rocks and fossils can be found here.

Faringdon’s soils reflect the underlying geology and consist of the following types when moving from north to south:

Gleyed Brown Earths of the Shellingford Series (Loamy: interbedded loams, sands, and clays from the Jurassic and Cretaceous)

Brown Calcareous Soils from the Sherborne Series (Fine loamy or clayey: over Jurassic limestone)

Surfacewater Gley Soils from the Denchworth Series (Clayey: clay from the Jurassic and Cretaceous)

Groundwater Gley Soils from the Holwell Series (Loamy: drift over clay from the Jurassic and Cretaceous)

Brown Earths from the Shippon Series (Clayey: over Jurassic limestone)

These are all likely to be reasonably fertile and quite well-drained soils, suited to planting with fruit, salads and vegetables of many types.