Protect your road verges!

How often do you drive along country roads in the summer, delighting at the feast of colour on the verges from plants, bushes and wildflowers?

It's a wonderful sight, and one which we take for granted when the sun is shining and we're taking a leisurely ride through the countryside.

However, we are hearing on an increasingly regular basis about road verges throughout the county being destroyed, and a formerly flower-rich patch covered in beautiful native species is suddenly reduced to a shorn strip. What's more, there is apparently little thought spared for hungry pollinators and other wildlife.

The main threats to wayside flowers include grass being cut too often, mowings not being collected, and the effects of pollution. The 5 most threatened species are: lady’s bedstraw, early purple orchid, crosswort, harebell and meadow crane’s-bill.

Why are road verges so important?
 

  1. Road verges create important corridors for wildlife to thrive on and link a variety of habitats.
     
  2. They also represent a remnant of our native grassland which has suffered catastrophic losses over the last century.
     
  3. They can act as buffers to some of the most impoverished areas, from six-lane motorways or intensively farmed fields.
     
  4. Combined with railway edges, they are the single most viewed habitat in the country, giving millions of people daily direct contact with the changing seasons and colours of the countryside.
     
  5. When managed correctly, road verges can support remarkable diverse collections of species. The good news is that good management often involve simply doing less, allowing the verge to develop and plants to set seed before cutting takes place.
     
  6. Road verges can be genuine community reserves, and volunteers are often keen to get involved, recording species and acting as their guardians. 

How you can help

We want to hear from interested individuals who want to stand up and protect road verges in their local area. Only by finding out the species and habitats that thrive there can we then work to safeguard them. We also hope you will sign the Plantlife petition to protect road verges UK-wide. Please fill out the form below to register your interest, and also to record any species you have spotted when out and about. Better still, if you have taken any photographs to support the species you have recorded, please email them to us.