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Why are road verges so important?

Every summer, Plantlife hears from despairing supporters, upset that a favourite flower-rich verge has been destroyed. In a matter of minutes, a bank covered in beautiful native species is reduced to a shorn strip. It’s heartbreaking stuff for us but even worse for our hungry pollinators and other wildlife.

1. Road verges are the life-giving arteries of the countryside, linking habitats and acting as vital corridors for wildlife to thrive on. They also represent a remnant of our native grassland which has suffered catastrophic losses over the last century.

2. They can act as buffers to some of the most impoverished areas, be they six lane motorways or intensively farmed fields.

3. Combined with railway edges they are the single most viewed habitat in the country, giving millions of people every day direct contact with the changing seasons and colours of the countryside. They also provide distinct local character to each region, from the flower rich hedgebanks of Devon to the heather covered moorland verges of Yorkshire.

4. When managed correctly road verges can support remarkable diverse collections of species. The good news is that good management often involve simply doing less, allowing the verge to develop and plants to set seed before cutting takes place.

5. Road verges can be genuine community reserves, people form close relationships with them and there is an army of volunteers who with training can act as the guardians for them.

Help us persuade councils to manage our "Bee Roads" better: Sign our petition