Survey Results for 2009-2013
How you have helped
Over 140 volunteers were active in the Limestone Area and have surveyed over 750km/470 miles of road. We estimate that this may have involved as much as 2000 hours of volunteer time!
This huge effort was nearly three times as much as what Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust staff were able to survey in the same time. An additional 545 km of road were surveyed with Google Maps Street View facility online to discount those stretches with no verge or suburban management and a further 22 km of private roads were not surveyed.
In total, across all roadside survey projects in the county, more than 1250km / 775 miles of road have been surveyed by over 250 volunteers who have braved wet summers and persevered each season to cover considerable distances often investing several days of their own personal time and travel expense each year. We estimated that volunteers gave an overall total of at least 3,000 hours of their time over five years averaging over 85 man-days per year between 2009 and 2013. This huge level of support has made possible a grand total of 146 new Local Wildlife Site designations and 12 Local Wildlife Site extensions along 233 km / 144 miles of road representing over 300 hectares (740 acres). This area is nearly ¾ the size of Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve, twice the size of Whisby Nature Park and more than twice the total area of the 64 RNRs throughout the county. This overall area is estimated to contain at least 100 hectares (245 acres) of species-rich grassland, which found strewn as lost strands of fragmented habitat can now be woven into a Living Landscape that celebrates the cultural and ecological fabric of Lincolnshire and will help to safeguard the vital ecosystem services of the county such as the pollination of our crops.Progress in designating Local Wildlife Sites
Seventy-five new candidate Local Wildlife Sites and 3 LWS extensions have been identified along 151 km (93 miles) of road in the Limestone Area accounting for 217 ha (536 acres) of verge since 2009. Although not a legal designation, LWSs are a way of 'putting a pin in the map' so that resources can be focused to achieve priority habitat restoration to best effect.
How this information is being used
With funding from Natural England and the SITA Trust, Life on the Verge was able to undertake 6 ha (15 acres) of roadside scrub and tree clearance and 30 km/25 ha (18 miles/60 acres) of roadside hay baling. Survey information enabled this work to be targeted precisely where it delivered most benefit to grassland wildflowers. Over the winter of 2011-12, Lincolnshire County Council undertook twice the amount of scrub clearance along the High Dyke. This work has continued in succeeding winters. Most recently in 2015-16 a further 500m of verge along the High Dyke near Wellingore was cleared of trees and scrub with funding from the Heritage Lottery and support from local landowners and the local community. This has allowed grassland wildflowers to recover which are the priority for conservation in the area. This was largely a response to information provided by Life on the Verge surveys which have shown Ermine Street to be a vital wildlife corridor in the region.
Having identified important corridors for wildlife along verges, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and its partners are now able to engage local communities and landowners in order to increase their awareness and encourage stewardship of the wildflower-rich grassland that remains in the county.
Maps have been prepared for use by Lincolnshire County Council when organising cutting schedules on road verges and for the attention of utilities companies. In this way, the project is helping public bodies and other organisations carrying out functions of a public character under a statutory power to keep to their 'Biodiversity Duties' under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006.