Help protect our roadside verges
As part of its aim to restore and increase flower-rich habitats the North Pennines AONB Partnership is calling on people to pay attention to their local roadside verges.
Often overlooked, this network of narrow grasslands is home to some of the most spectacular and unusual plants in the UK but changes in the way verges are being managed means many of the plants are disappearing for good.
Once grazed by livestock, and looked after by specialist ‘lengthsmen’, these valuable verges are now generally managed by contractors on behalf of local authorities and because of budget cuts they are not always seen as a priority.
A refuge for rare plants
With hundreds of miles of verges throughout the North Pennines, the AONB Partnership is asking residents to let them know about any really flower-rich verges near where they live. This will enable them to work more closely with councils and local communities to protect these vanishing stretches of grassland that are often the final refuge of plants like orchids and globeflower.
Rebecca Barrett, Biodiversity Officer at the North Pennines AONB Partnership, said: “Road verges might be narrow but they link together to from a wonderful network of habitats across the North Pennines landscape. They are now some of the best places to see once-common wildflowers like wood crane’s-bill and melancholy thistle and are increasingly important wildlife corridors for other creatures like hares and bumblebees.”
Tell us about your roadside verges
“We are concerned that our road-side wild flowers are disappearing because of changes in the way they have been managed in recent years. We would like to encourage people who live in the North Pennines to have a look at their local verges and let us know of any that are especially flower-rich. Once we know where our best verges are, we can work with local communities and local authorities to make sure our verges keep hold of their wildflowers into the future.”
With careful management, and the cooperation of local communities, Rebecca believes that the roadside verges can continue to flourish and provide wildlife with a valuable habitat and food source.
If you know of a roadside verge that is either rich in wildflowers, or one you feel needs looking after and would like to know how you can help, please contact Rebecca on 01388 528801 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Released: 15 July 2016