Wild Verges in West Berkshire!

2020VISION

The Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) is excited to announce a new initiative which will create ribbons of wildflowers along West Berkshire’s roads and roundabouts.

In partnership with West Berkshire Council the Wild Verges project will run from 2020 – 2023, and will create a network of wildlife-friendly habitat along roadsides which will support crucial pollinators like bees and butterflies.

This network of verges will also act as corridors allowing birds and small mammals to move and thrive, contributing to the future Nature Recovery Network.

Working closely with the Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre (TVERC), BBOWT will first undertake a rapid assessment of West Berkshire’s 1100km road network to identify priority road verges for wildlife.

From 2021 - 2023, comprehensive road verge surveys will be carried out, with the help of local volunteers, to ascertain whether greater plant and animal diversity can be supported on these potential priority verges. The verges will be monitored to help West Berkshire Council achieve a gain in biodiversity along its road network in the future. Innovative and cost-effective road verge management techniques will also be trialed.

“These are important habitats that are worth protecting and restoring,” says Dr. Prue Addison, BBOWT’s Director of Conservation Strategy.

“Our partnership with West Berkshire Council will make it possible to achieve significant gains for wildlife in the wider countryside so that wildlife is no longer struggling to survive in isolation.”

Wild verge 2

Richard Somner, West Berkshire Council’s Executive Member for Transport and Countryside said: “We’re delighted to be supporting this important project, building on our successful trial this year. Not only are wildflower verges attractive, they are of huge benefit to the environment, providing vital refuge for bees, butterflies, birds, bats and bugs.

“West Berkshire has a serious commitment to the environment and is aiming to be carbon neutral by 2030. Projects such as this are important steps to achieving this goal.”

In the spring and summer of 2021, we will begin working with volunteers to undertake road verge surveys. Please keep an eye out on our social media channels and website to find out how to get involved and hear the latest updates from our Wild Verges project.