Roadside Verges are getting more biodiverse!
I came across this fantastic patch of wildflowers taking advantage of an area with reduced mowing frequency around some trees. At the moment Red Deadnettle, Dandelion and Shepherd's P
urse are in flower, and were glowing in the mid-afternoon sun.
Far from "weeds", these wild flowers are exactly what our imperilled native pollinators want to see. They grow in abundance and have long flowering periods, in some cases from early spring through to late autumn.
I counted four different species of bee feeding on this patch in a 5-minute period alone (Buff-tailed bumblebee- Bombus terrestris, Common Carder-Bombus pascorum, Hairy footed flower bee- Anthophora plumipes and Chocolate mining bee- Andrena scotica), compared to zero on the surrounding high-frequency mown verge. The benefits go way beyond pollinators, with all sorts of invertebrates, birds and mammals utilising the resources this habitat provides. And reduced cutting can also benefit maintenance workers' health, reduce costs and slow water run off.
Managing verges for biodiversity would be a great way to turn our roads from lifeless dividing lines in the landscape into nature highways, restoring connectivity of habitat and making cities much more interesting, nurturing and beautiful places to be.
There are verge projects cropping up across the country aiming to do just this.
The Brighton Roadside Verges Partnership is a developing group looking at how we can bring more biodiversity to our roadside verges, aimed at bringing together people already working in areas such as Withdean and Goldstone.
Get in touch with me, Kim, via the WFCS-BB Facebook page if you are already managing your verges for biodiversity or if would like to know more....
For more information look at Plantlife's road verge campaign at https://plantlife.love-wildflowers.org.uk/roadvergecampaign
And read their Good Verge Guide at https://www.plantlife.org.uk/.../good-verge-guide...