Could road verges help us in the climate and nature crisis?

Valuable Verges Zoom Forum took place on 12 May 2021

Across England roadside verges and small green spaces are being transformed to help reverse wildlife decline and are now refuges for almost half of the wild plants in the UK, home to more than 700 species of wildflowers, including threatened and rare plants.

Through others’ experiences we wanted to find out how the 110 hectares of roadside verge in East Hampshire, including Petersfield’s verges, could be managed to help reverse the catastrophic decline in insects, especially pollinators.

Our speakers were Dr. Kate Petty (Plantlife – No Mow May), Rick Smith, Principal Ecologist, Winchester City Council and Christopher Slack, Biodiversity Officer, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. They inspired us with verge & green space projects that respond to the climate & nature crisis.

We welcomed a large audience from in and around Petersfield, and further afield, who were concerned about biodiversity and the part we could play in reducing the decline in natural habitat and pollinating insects.

Dr Andy Moffat, environmental consultant and convener of the Petersfield Society Green Infrastructure Group closed the meeting. 

See the contributors presentations in pdf format

These presentations were accompanied by verbal commentary so are best experienced by viewing the Forum Recording, however they may provide a useful reference.

Melanie Oxley, member of Petersfield Sociey’s Green Infrastructure Group, committee member for PeCAN, and Chairperson of this zoom call: view here

Dr Kate Petty, Plantlife, a British conservation charity working nationally and internationally to save threatened wild flowers, plants and fungi: view here

Rick Smith, Principal Ecologist, Winchester City Council: view here

Christopher Slack, Biodiversity Officer, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council: view here

Further reading

If you are interested in Valuable Verges you may also find the following links interesting:

An introduction to Plantlife

News from the verge –the Road Verge Campaign Newsletter

Cut less, cut later – the transformative national road verge guidelines

PeCAN’s Verges Campaign on Facebook