WMO03743, Larkhill

Posted: September 10, 2012 by tchannon in Analysis, Surfacestation


WMO03743, Larkhill

51 12 06N 01 48 21W
Altitude 132 metres

Class 5, improper ground cover. Time series shows building works but is not a full explanation. Applying the WMO relocation rule,

“The primary objective of this classification is to document the presence of obstacles close to the measurement site. Therefore, natural relief of the landscape may not be taken into account, if far away (i.e., >1 km). A method to judge if the relief is representative of the surrounding area is the following: does a move of the station by 500 m change the class obtained? If the answer is no, the relief is a natural characteristic of the area and is not taken into account.”


“The indicated vegetation growth height represents the height of the vegetation maintained in a ‘routine’ manner. A distinction is made between structural vegetation height (per type of vegetation
present on the site) and height resulting from poor maintenance. Classification of the given site is therefore made on the assumption of regular maintenance (unless such maintenance is not practicable).”

I modify the latter to include negligence [update, hour or so later: that was sloppy wording on my part, I thought neglect but chose the wrong usage.  For whatever reason the land seems to have no good vegetation and signs of human activity, has for some reason not had grass maintained around and near the Stevenson screen. 00:39 bst –Tim]

The former quoted is useful, this site is on Salisbury plain, a largely flat and grass covered area where relocation would lead to Class 1.

If proper ground cover was present, Class 2.

UHI, local army base buildings, distance, none.

Am I unfair? Discuss.

  1. Sounds fair enough to me – I work just down the road but I can’t go to have a closer look as there are men with guns to prevent me doing so..

  2. tchannon says:

    Chicken. 😉

    I think there is enough from 150+ stations to have a fair idea without a detailed look at many. With luck a pattern will appear from the data.

    Some time ago I concluded the Larkhill site was no longer used. Think it moved, a surprise to find it marked active.

    I have close historic ties with Durrington, forebears, pay respects looking over the Avon once in a while. A shame they are no longer proper water meadows, it’s changed like so much else and closed where once you could walk.

  3. John Hallam says:

    I work here and site is fine. The field to the left has horses in it, and after a wet winter, it turns to mud, but come summer, grass returns. Site is still active, and has been for many years.
    Area to the north east of enclosure has also been given over to horses, so the quality of this will change. All grass areas further north east are grazing land for horses, but beyond the camp fence.

  4. tchannon says:

    Thank you, that is very useful input. I expect to revisit many of these articles for a second pass in the light of later knowledge, not going to touch this one at the moment. (the total is 152 synoptic, an awful lot to trawl though rapidly)

    Quite possibly my take will be ground cover is usually good but historically varies. More difficult is going to be what to do about any site paving, something I had left until I could unearth more.