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Climate And Soil

Relief, Drainage And Soils

The river bed consists of hoggin sealed with clay that has been washed down from other areas over the years. At about twenty feet down there is a layer of chalk which reaches a depth of about 180ft . At about 200ft water can be found. There are several reasons why the river is naturally dry during the summer, excluding the water from the sewerage plant. 

The water table has become slightly lower, so limiting the amount of water flowing into the river 
The water extracted by pumping, drains any small amount of water from the river during the summer

Moulton lies in a valley and at its base is cut by the river Kennett, which eventually flows into the Lark and into the Wash. The hills that surround Moulton rise to a height of 250ft. At the base of the valley near the river, grazing land is possible for sheep, because of the well drained chalk soil. Plantation Hill, which is behind the church, shows a topsoil of chalk, it stands 200ft above sea level. North of the valley the river bed was normally dry during the summer, which is typical of the Kennett. The floor narrows and the sides steepen. the steepness is especially marked on the Gazeley side of the river. On the Newmarket side of the river is the large tributary valley which follows the road from Moulton to Newmarket, along part of its way. It seems possible that when the run off was greater, the water flowed down the tributary valley with such force that it caused the Kennett to undercut on the opposite side, giving steeper valley sides. Out of Moulton, the valley's side becomes more regular and uniform. A cross-section of the bourne, shows that the gravel content is increased slightly.

The soil in the parish falls into three main types: 

Well drained course and fine loam soils, shallow calcareous course loam over chalk or chalk rubble in places. Slight risk of water erosion. 
Deep non - calcarseous loam soils in places.
Shallow well drained calcareous course loam and sandy soils over chalk rubble. Slight risk of water erosion.
Relief and Drainage, by Gordon Slack of Newmarket.

The Climate Of Moulton

As Moulton lies in a valley it is not subject to high winds. The climate is moderate and allows cereals to be grown on the farms. As Moulton is fairly small, it has no weather station of its own, but weather forecasts and recordings can be gained from local weather stations, situated in both Newmarket and at R.A.F.Mildenhall station. The following chapter refers to Suffolk climate as a whole, but for the local climate it is advisable to consult the readings of the weather stations to gain some idea of the climate and the annual rainfall. Suffolk, owing to its geographical position, suffers from east winds in winter and especially in the spring, and thus tends to be cold at these times of the year. Occasional strong winds arise which blow for days together, (known locally as 'the blows'). These in former days were broken by the numerous trees and hedges scattered over the face of the county, which gave some protection from the force of the gales. The wholesale removal of these natural windbreaks during recent years, in the interest of agriculture, is to be deplored, for, with their destruction not only has much of the picturesqueness of the countryside been spoilt, but there has been a tendency for the higher parts of the country to become bleak and unattractive, especially in the West. The local temperature is conditioned by the county being bounded on the East by the sea, this tending to lower it in summer and raise it in the winter, with the result that it is fairly equable all the year round. As regards rainfall, Suffolk must be ranked on of the driest counties, for its yearly average is only about 23 inches which is much below that for the rest of the country (36 inches). 

Month

Rainfall

Sunshine

January 1.99 inches 52.6 hours
February 1.41 inches 69.9 hours
March 1.45 inches 118.8 hours
April 1.20 inches 167.1 hours
May 1.65 inches 209.6 hours
June 1.90 inches 210.2 hours
July 2.50 inches 189.5 hours
August 2.15 inches 181.9 hours
September 1.99 inches 136.6 hours
October 1.93 inches 108.1 hours
November 2.13 inches 58.8 hours
December 1.74 inches 43.5 hours
The figures above were supplied by RAF Mildenhall in 1965:

Many people in the village speak of the winds that would continue for days on end, they were called 'the blows'. Damage would be caused to crops, blowing seeds away. In the winter of 1946/47 the village was cut off for several days by large snow drifts.

 

A Forest Heath District Council (Suffolk) Project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Millennium Festival 2000 Designed by ArtAtac