Welcome to Life on the Verge
Life on the Verge in the Kesteven Uplands and South Lincolnshire Edge....
- was the first and largest of 3 citizen science road verge survey projects which ran between the summers of 2009 and 2016.
- was added to subsequently by two further surveys on the North Lincolnshire Edge and the Lincolnshire Wolds (all now complete within Lincolnshire).
- with the help of over 140 volunteers, covered 2,237 km/1,390 miles of road on the South Lincolnshire Limestone
- contributed to an overall total of 3,913 km/2431 miles of road surveys which also comprises 1115 km/690 miles of road throughout the Lincolnshire Wolds and 561 km/349 miles across the North Lincolnshire Edge.
- identified the most important roadside verges for limestone grassland wildlife in South Lincolnshire, North-East Rutland and East Leicestershire.
- identified 75 new candidate Local Wildlife Sites and 3 LWS extensions along 151km/93 miles of road in Lincolnshire and Rutland accounting for 217 ha/536 acres of verge.
- together with its sister projects, contributed to the designation of a total 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.
- ran 24 wild flower identification field classes in the Limestone Area during 2009-10 for 212 trainees.
- reached an audience of over 1,400 people through more than 68 community talks spreading the message about Lincolnshire's threatened chalk and limestone grassland.
Life on the Verge Lives on!
Life on the Verge would like to express a huge "Thank you!” to all voluntary surveyors who have helped to explore the project area since the summer of 2009. We have been delighted to see two large clusters of wildflower-rich roads emerge from the data. They are situated in the north and centre of the project area and are each contain approximately 50km of road. The course of the old Roman Road, 'Ermine Street' has been found to connect them with the rest of the landscape offering habitat connectivity on a larger scale than we thought possible. Although patchy in quality and mainly poor in condition, the persistent presence of scarce wild flower species indicates a high potential for the restoration of biodiversity.
Go to the Results Page to see what volunteers have achieved and how this newly discovered information is making a difference to conservation management on the ground in Lincolnshire.
Why is limestone grassland important?
With the right management, grassland growing on limestone soils can be one of the most diverse habitats in the country and a riot of wild flower colour in spring and summer. Over 30 species of plant can be found in a square metre of turf.
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. By conserving limestone grassland, we benefit a whole suite of plants and animals which include nationally threatened species such as dingy skipper, grizzled skipper and Duke of Burgundy butterflies, four-spotted moth, early gentian, pasque flower and commoner species such as glow worms and skylark.
Sadly, there has been a sharp decline in the extent of lowland limestone grassland across the country, particularly in the last 60 years. This has mainly been a result of changes in farming practices.
Click here to find out what Life on the Verge is doing