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.