Roadside verges are often overlooked as a habitat but with some changes to their management they can become wonderful wild spaces for animals and plants to thrive.
At present nine local verges have been chosen as a trial for creating these ‘roadside reserves’. These verges won’t receive any treatment other than an adjustment to the cutting regime down to two cuts per year – early spring (cut) and late summer (cut and collect). The late summer grass cut and collect being the most essential to reduce the nutrients in the soil and reduce the dominance of the grasses in order for a greater diversity of wildflowers to become established. The maintenance will be reviewed depending on the variety of plant communities that emerge. This may take a few seasons to assess but these verges will quickly become important wild spaces that can also provide some colour and interest for local residents to enjoy.
Signs saying ‘Growing Wild – do not mow’ will be placed on the verges to highlight the change in maintenance to both residents and our contractors.
The verges chosen for the trial scheme in our parish are:
- Verge by St John the Baptist, Eton Wick
- Verge opposite Clifton Lodge, Eton Wick
Eton Wick Road alone is 2.42Km long (Eton and Eton Wick wards of the Parish), which hosts 1.87km of verges that have the potential to become Roadside Verge Nature Reserves. At the moment we have 100 metres of RVNR, with an additional 340 metres joining the living highways in 2021. A strengthening of Bee-Lines from 5% to 18% .
For more details, please check this link: