Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Road Verge Campaign: The Cutting Edge update

Its always heart-warming to log on to good news. So thank you Liz Anderson for the following message and photograph posted on our Facebook page:

This is a fabulous example of Central Beds. Road Verge Nature Reserves - such an improvement on last years cutting regime they look fantastic and deserve a well done:

We can't help but agree.

We've also received praise for Isle of Wight Council and South Derbyshire District Council. And there was also this lovely tweet from Carl Cornish:

@cornishca: @Love_plants Photo of common spotted orchids on Notified Road Verge at Eaton Wood, Notts:

Alas, according to Steve James, all was not well elsewhere in Nottinghamshire:

@stevejamesPCC: Upper Broughton's top green planted as a wildflower meadow in 2000 was strimmed completely Saturday morning.

And it was happening on the road verges too:

Now this is not to take away from the good work that is evidently being done at Eaton Wood Notified Road Verge. But it does beg the question: should a road verge have to be designated as "Notified" or a reserve in order for it to be managed with a bit more care for our wildlife? Please let us know your thoughts in the Comments below.

Elsewhere we received complaints about Leeds and Worcestershire County Councils:

@WildlifeofLeeds: @Love_plants @leedscc mowing down 1000s of meadow buttercups right now on Roundhay Ring Road

@Blacklaceknits: @Love_plants lovely wild verges along A456 being mown to ground level by Worcestershire County Council. Very disappointing.

And some more "Before and After" images to add to our Gallery of Shame: 

Susie Clark on Facebook: I am currently staying in Staffordshire and on way to Fradley South shops from Fradley village witnessed the decimation of a wildflower meadow into a green flattened area.



But let's end on a more positive note. We received the following image from Charlie Bloom, of a wild flower garden she created to raise awareness of our meadow and road verge flora. It won the RHS Bronze Medal winning Show Garden at BBC Gardeners World Live.


Let's hope the message is getting through. As always you can sign the petition and rate your council on the campaign homepage.

A Discovery at Deep Dale

Posted by Joe Costley, Plantlife Reserves Manager

Yesterday, as I worked with volunteer warden Lee Waterman at our Deep Dale nature reserve in Derbyshire, squally showers swept the fields, carried on winds that were strong enough to bring down branches. 

Under the shelter of beech trees we found a dozen birdsnest orchids, their frail and ghostly beauty accentuated by the stormy conditions.

The photo on the left is one of those self-same orchids, caught in the moment on that very day.

Our Deep Dale reserve is open to the public throughout the year. For more information and how to get there click the link below:

Monday, 17 June 2013

Flowers on the Edge: The Cutting Edge

Its been three weeks since we launched our 'Flowers on the Edge' campaign to help save our road verges and the wildlife they support and the response has been immense.

We've received almost two and a half thousand signatures on our petition so far and it seems your voice has been heard - councils have been contacting us, asking for guidance on how to improve their mowing practices and help conserve our road verge wildlife.

Thank you also for all your stories and photos. We've received too many to print here, but we can provide a taste. First of all, a classic example of what we've been campaigning against. Responding to our call for 'Before' and 'After' photos, Andy Williams of Monmouthshire tweeted us the following:

@andy_tyfelin Maybe you can help me persuade Monmouthshire CC. This taken today: hundreds of kms treated like this:

Attached was a couple of photos of the B 4293 nr Little Cophill Farm, Chepstow. One before...

And one after...

The difference is stark.

That said, it wasn't all bad news. As we're keen to point out, some councils do an exemplary job and many are now contacting us to find out how things can be improved. Here's a few positive posts we received on Twitter:

@sysengshep: Swindon BC have just NOT mowed the bit of verge near my house that I've been trying to let flower:

: (Bridgend Council) Thank you for not mowing all the roadside verges & letting the beautiful wildflowers flourish

@SebInTransition: This verge in #Stroud was left while others were mowndown:

As you can see, we can make a difference! If you've not already done so, please visit our Road Verge Campaign site here and sign the petition and please keep your photos coming!

We'll have another Flowers on the Edge: The Cutting Edge update this time next week.