We hope that you enjoyed No Mow May and thinking about how to improve our gardens for nature. Can we now do the same for our road verges?
Why Are Verges Important For Nature?
Only 1-3% of our grassland in the UK is wildflower-rich and many pollinators are facing climate change stuck in these small grassland pockets with nowhere to go. Making our gardens more nature-friendly is one way to help them. Could our road verges become more wildflower and nature-friendly too?
Road verges, particularly in urban areas, tend not to have many wildflowers because they are cut too frequently (not allowing the flowers to grow) or cut at the wrong time (so the flowers can’t set seed) and the cuttings are not removed (blocking the sunlight and making the soil too fertile).
CRV Scheme in Hurstpierpoint
West Sussex County Council’s Highways department is running a ‘Community Road Verge’ scheme to support the authority’s Pollinator Action Plan. Where visibility and road safety allows, communities can select road verges to be managed in a more nature-friendly way. Hurst Rethink, our colleagues at HKD Transition and the Parish Councils of Hurstpierpoint and Sayer’s Common and Hassocks are working with West Sussex County Council to trial the Community Road Verge scheme here this year.
A few roadside verges in both villages will be mown less and these verges monitored to see what wildflowers grow. Wildflowers prefer poor soil, so when the grass is cut, the cuttings will be raked and removed by volunteers living close by, to help reduce the soil nutrient levels. The research this year will help us understand how best to support West Sussex County Council with this project going forward. Look out for these signs indicating the verges in the pilot scheme.
Have you seen any verges that have lots of wildflowers? Or would you and your neighbours like to see your verges become more nature-friendly? If you would like to get involved in this project or any other Hurst Rethink project please get in touch via our website www.hurstrethink.org.
For more information on the CRV scheme, have a look at the leaflet below: