Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Flowers on the edge

Road verges are close to many peoples’ hearts. In fact, Plantlife receives more enquiries about them than anything else, from both our members and non-members frustrated and upset when their favourite local flower-rich verge is mown to within an inch of its life.

In response we felt moved to launch our 'Flowers on the Edge' campaign. Road verges are the bank we should all be investing in. They give so much pleasure: we pass them every day, colourful slivers of countryside in towns, or vital sanctuaries for wildlife in an intensively farmed countryside. Whilst there are only 85,000 hectares of flower-rich grassland left, there are about 238,000 hectares of road verge in Great Britain. They are literally on our doorstep.

A road verge in North Wales. Photo by Pierino Algieri.
Yet so often, this vital habitat is mismanaged and under attack; cut too early when still in flower, sprayed off with poisons as ‘weeds’ and smothered with cuttings so leading to the loss of diversity as nettles, coarse grasses and cow parsley take over. As the floral diversity disappears, so both its value for wildlife and its beauty vanishes.

So please help us do something about it. Visit our campaign page here and sign our petition, send an email to your council, rate your local verges or simply send us a lovely photo. Together we can change things for the better - for our wildflowers and the wildlife they support.