The “Life on the Verge” project needs volunteers to take part in an ambitious survey of roadside verges. Project Officer, Mark Schofield said: "We plan to survey 2,000km of roadside verge and identify those which are the most valuable for flowers and other wildlife.
"Last summer, volunteers discovered almost 60km of roadside verges that are of high conservation value. We’d like more volunteers to join us and you don’t need any special botanical knowledge. Our free wild flower training days will provide the confidence to identify some key flower species such as greater knapweed, clustered bellflower and small scabious, which show that a verge is supporting a high biodiversity. Anyone can take part in the surveys and contribute to securing a safe future for some of our scarcest wildlife."
The free training events are a great opportunity to learn about wild flowers and understand more about the local habitat in which they grow. Each session lasts 3 to 4 hours and will combine a short talk indoors with a field trip to a local nature reserve. Previous experience is not required and beginners are welcome. A wild flower identification booklet and a high visibility vest are also provided to all volunteers for free.
Wild flower identification training days
Grimsthorpe Estate Conference Centre and SSSI areas on Estate Grounds
Wednesday 19th May ~ 10am to 2pm - FULLY BOOKED
Sunday 20th June ~ 10am to 2pm
Sunday 4th July ~ 10am to 2pm
Rutland Water Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre
Followed by a field trip to Bloody Oaks Quarry Nature Reserve and nearby roadside verges
Sunday 23rd May ~ 10am to 2pm
Friday 4th June ~ 10am to 2pm - FULLY BOOKED
Saturday 19th June ~ 10am to 2pm
Ancaster Village Hall and Ancaster Valley SSSI
Saturday 15th May ~ 10am to 2pm - FULLY BOOKED
Saturday 29th May ~ 10am to 2pm
Saturday 5th June ~ 10am to 2pm
Saturday 12th June ~ 10am to 2pm (advanced)
Places on the training days must be booked in advance by contacting Mark Schofield on email: email@example.com, mobile: 07825 970930, switchboard: 01507 526667.
The area of south-west Lincolnshire, Rutland and east Leicestershire was identified in the 1940s as a prime area for conservation but since then the grasslands and their important species have become increasingly scarce. Road verges represent a vital opportunity to link the few remaining patches of limestone grassland across the landscape. A well cared for network of verges will act as green corridors that help plants and animals move as they need to in the face of climate change and disturbance. Once the verges that still retain lots of wild flowers are identified, they can be managed more appropriately.
“Life on the Verge” is a Living Landscape scheme managed by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust on behalf of project partners the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust, Natural England and Lincolnshire County Council. The project has received £115k from Natural England’s Countdown 2010 Biodiversity Action Fund, £89k from the SITA Trust and a further £5k from Ringway Infrastructure Services.