ROAD­SIDE VERGES

This England - - Notes From A Cottage Garden -

As I was driv­ing through a nearby vil­lage I came across a series of signs on the road­side verges. They’ll be ad­ver­tis­ing the vil­lage fete, I thought, but as I got closer I saw that they said “No Mow”. The verges were ablaze with wild­flow­ers and hum­ming with bees, pro­vid­ing the per­fect pic­ture of an English coun­try lane.

All too of­ten the coun­try­side verges are mown as soon as the cow pars­ley dares to raise its head, and these won­der­ful and vi­tal habi­tats are ru­ined as a re­sult.

Of course, safety must come first and it is im­por­tant that verges are not over­grown on junc­tions and bends. How­ever, on clear stretches, surely these wildlife cor­ri­dors could be left? So many of the in­sects vi­tal for pol­li­na­tion are in de­cline and grass verges pro­vide the per­fect habi­tat.

Or­gan­i­sa­tions such as the Bri­tish con­ser­va­tion char­ity Plantlife are work­ing to raise aware­ness of the im­por­tance of pre­serv­ing wild­flower areas. Plantlife is or­gan­is­ing a pe­ti­tion to be sent to lo­cal coun­cils to urge them to re­think their verge-cut­ting pol­icy. To find out more, visit www.plantlife.org.uk.

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