Launch of Soil Map of North & East Dartmoor

Dr Tim Harrod

Soil Map of North & East Dartmoor

A pioneering Soil Map of North & East Dartmoor is to be launched at the Chagford Show on 20th August 2015.

The wonders of Dartmoor ‘above ground’ are known to us all, but not many of us give much thought to what is below the surface. Not so Dr Tim Harrod, (formerly of the Soil Survey of England & Wales 1965–2001) who has spent much of his working life discovering the composition of the ground beneath our feet. This work has now resulted in a new map of North & East Dartmoor Soils that will be launched on the Dartmoor Society stand at the Chagford Show on 20th August 2015.

The map is the culmination of many years of research into Dartmoor Soils by Dr Harrod both in his capacity working with the Soil Survey, and by research carried out after his retirement. The unfinished Soil Survey of Devon, whose completion could not be funded, has now been completed singlehandedly for this area of Dartmoor, by Dr Harrod in his own time. The area covered is nearly 50,000 acres of ground in the Chagford and Moretonhampstead area of Dartmoor, ranging from the deep peat of the high moor to a wide variety of enclosed land.

Cartography for the map was carried out by internationally recognised cartographer Hanno Koch based in Manaton. Soil types found in the area are identified by colour, conforming to the recognised soil classification system for England and Wales and the whole mapped area is overlain by the Ordnance Survey map, so it is easy to locate specific places and their soils.

There are in fact two maps – one is soils and the other terrain. The Dartmoor Society recognised this pioneering work when Dr Harrod was presented with the Dartmoor Society Award 2014. It was also the first organisation to make a grant towards the publication of the map. Since then, many organisations and individuals have been involved including Dartmoor National Park Authority, Dartmoor Trust, Dartmoor Preservation Association, Dartmoor Mires Project, Upstream Thinking, Land Research Group, Land Research Associates and the Stapledon Memorial Trust.

Dr Harrod is in the process of writing an accompanying ‘Record’ – the story of how the Dartmoor Soils Map was created and how it was finally able to be published. The map will be on display on the Dartmoor Society stand at the Chagford Show and copies will be available for purchase on the day or can be obtained from Dr Harrod – 01647 24330.

Caya Edwards
The Dartmoor Society

Base map credit Ordnance Survey and Dartmoor National Park Authority license No 100024842.