Plantlife | Road Verges Campaign
"...verges are actually fascinating habitats...because they are these fragments of the surrounding countryside that are preserved along ancient routes..." Most of us are aware now that biodiversity is in decline. Plant biodiversity here in the UK has especially suffered: wild flowers have been lost from huge areas of Britain, and so have the pollinators and other invertebrates that depend on them. Conservationists are having to look to protect what’s left of our wildlife in areas that may not be optimal, but that nevertheless hold a surprisingly important range of flora and fauna. Along with our gardens, one of those areas is our rural road verges, those largely county council-owned strips of land next to our roads which, according to the UK charity Plantlife, make up a network that is equal to half of the country’s remaining flower-rich grasslands and meadows. Charlie Moores spoke with Dr Trevor Dines, Plantlife’s exuberant Botanical Specialist, about the charity’s excellent Road Verges Campaign, which has been running for a couple of years now and is having positive and hugely encouraging results. Road verges may have the potential to literally re-seed our denuded countryside and looking after them sounds like such a simple solution to plant biodiversity loss, but do we actually have the data to quantify just how important our road verges really are?