Apart from general management problems, typical for Vertisols, the valley Vertisols in the Tigray Highlands, Ethiopia, raise the problems of physical and chemical destabilisation by increased gullying and of stone mantle formation. This study indicates that gully head development depends in some cases on activity of polygonal bow structures in the Vertisols. Evidence is provided that the stone mantle, resting on the valley Vertisols, is coarse material from below, pushed up along the edges of active polygons. A preliminary estimation of the rate of upsqueezing is given. Solutions for the reduction of gully head development and stone cover formation comprise inactivation of valley Vertisols.