Manage verges carefully to save plant species, charity says


Conservationists are urging local authorities to take better care of road verges as a report reveals nearly 100 plant species are threatened with extinction.

A new report from conservation charity Plantlife has warned that 91 (12.6%) out of the 724 species that grow on our verges are either ‘threatened’ or ‘near threatened’. This figure rises to 97 out of 809 (12%) if hedgerows and ditches are included.


The charity has published an open letter calling on councils to adopt its guidelines in order to conserve the variety of plant life that can be found alongside roads and pathways.

The guidelines include careful management of verges to preserve flower-rich habitats, reduced amounts of cutting so that plants can complete their full life-cycle, and the removal of grasscuttings.

The letter acknowledges that given the financial constraints councils are under, caring for verges ‘is often low on the list'.

‘But we believe that the adoption of a few basic principles will improve our verges for nature, bringing benefits for wildlife, for us and for future generations,’ it concludes.

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