Welcome to Life on the Verge
Life on the Verge in the Lincolnshire Wolds....
- was a project that ran between 2011 and 2013 which surveyed roadside wildflowers along 1115km (690 miles) of road.
- involved over 1100 hours of volunteered time from over 100 volunteers who helped the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust discover vital wildflower-rich corridors for grassland wildlife throughout the Lincolnshire Wolds National Character Area.
- ran 31 free Wildflower Identification Field Classes over 3 summers for over 390 attendees.
- delivered an additional 68 talks over 3 years to over 1,400 people raising awareness of wildflower conservation.
- identified 71 new candidate Local Wildlife Sites along 82km (50 miles) of road in the Wolds accounting for 87 ha (215 acres) of verge.
- has been part of a larger 'Living Landscape' project which began in 2009 in the Lincolnshire and Rutland Limestone Natural Area.
- has added to results from work since 2009 on the Lincolnshire Limestone to achieve a grand total so far of 146 new Local Wildlife Site
designations and 12 Local Wildlife Site extensions along 233km (144 miles) of road
representing over 300 hectares (740 acres) estimated to contain at least 100 hectares (247 acres) of
previously undiscovered species-rich grassland.
Why is roadside grassland important?
With the right management, grassland growing on chalk soils can be one of the most diverse habitats in the country and a riot of wild flower colour in spring and summer. Both the variety of wild plants and animals it supports and its relative scarcity in Britain and Europe make this a habitat of high conservation value. Richer ‘drift’ soils, also found in the Wolds, support an additional suite of grassland plants and associated wildlife.
Scarce and declining grassland plants include orchids, meadow saxifrage, adder’s tongue fern and vital food plants of declining butterflies. Threatened birds dependent on grasslands include barn owl, corn bunting, grey partridge, linnet and skylark. Sadly, there has been a sharp decline in the extent of species-rich grassland across the country, particularly in the last 60 years due mainly to changes in farming practices.
Road verges represent a vital opportunity to link the few remaining patches of species-rich grassland across the landscape. A well cared for network of verges can act as green corridors that help plants and animals move as they need to cope with disturbance and adapt to climate change.
Click here to find out what Life on the Verge is doing in the