Richard Field Groundworks Ltd

Groundwork Contractors in Midhurst | Experience with All Soil Types

When it comes to groundworks of any kind, the type of soil onsite in Midhurst or the surrounding areas has a huge impact on how we approach the project. As such, we tailor our drainage preparation, sand school construction and complete range of services as groundwork contractors and septic tank installers to suit the specific soil conditions we encounter. However, excavation comes with a certain amount of unpredictability. Put simply, we can have a reasonably good idea of what soil lies beneath the surface based on our extensive experience, but there always remains the chance of a surprise. With our understanding of local soils, however, we use a flexible approach to ensure a smooth and efficient service.


We have provided below a brief summary of the most common soil types we encounter during our work as groundwork contractors and septic tank installers in the Midhurst area.


A Guide to Soil Types


  • Rock: Rocks such as solid chalk, sandstone, limestone, shale and granite have a high load-bearing capacity. In the best scenarios, we only need to strip back and level-off the rock to produce a building platform. When it comes to impervious rocks, we install drainage features for water management
  • Chalk: Our groundwork contractors frequently use strip foundations. With chalk that isn’t too soft, we use a width of 450mm for low-rise buildings. But the foundations must remain below frost action, usually a depth of 700mm. When presented with soft chalk, our groundworks team simply excavates to a depth until the material firms up
  • Peat: This type of soil provides a very poor subsoil for any groundworks. Be it drainage preparation, sand school construction or foundation installation, our groundwork contractors and septic tank installers usually need to strip the peat back to find adequate load-bearing ground with a depth of at least 1.5m
  • Sand and Gravel: With a dry and compact nature, gravel, or sand and gravel, subsoils work well with strip foundations. However, bearing capacity halves when high water tables submerge such soil. Generally speaking, our groundwork contractors keep these foundations in Midhurst as high as possible
  • Clay: The first 900mm to 1,200mm of clay soils have a certain instability due to the way it shrinks and expands with different moisture contents. As a result, our groundworks specialists dig out to a minimum depth of 1m but can reach as deep as 3m if there are, or previously were, trees in the area. Clay becomes more stable at such depths
  • Filled Ground: If sites in Midhurst have been previously excavated and subsequently backfilled, our groundwork contractors usually need to dig down to a level below the fill. This ensures the required support for drainage preparation services, sand school construction and our work as septic tank installers

If you live in Midhurst and require more information about any type of groundworks, including drainage preparation and foundations, call 01483 894 461 or 07976 626 890.