One afternoon at the end of August I met with 7 neighbours to survey the vegetation outside our homes. We had been brought together by “On the Verge” and hoped to demonstrate the value of “re-wilding” our road side borders. The road is unadopted and the verges are not maintained by the local authorities. There are just 20 houses in the road and 5 were represented as we surveyed the verges, some of which were wild, some regularly mown and some mown once in early Spring.
The results were surprising. In those 20 verges we found at least 65 species! I say “at least” because there were some plants that we couldn’t identify – and we didn’t even attempt the grasses. The biggest diversity was on a patch of bare earth being re-colonised and not surprisingly the least diversity on the manicured lawns. What was obvious was the value to diversity of mowing once before the Spring flowers emerge, clearing away the cuttings and leaving well alone until Autumn.
Later we circulated our results to all the neighbours and will encourage them to do less work on their verges in 2022, encouraging the surrounding downland to creep down our street.
(first published in the Seaford Natural History Society magazine, many thanks to them)
Thanks Mike, we are delighted at the increasing biodiversity in Maurice Road, and so impressed with the results of the detailed survey, and how you’ve been spreading the word to neighbouring streets.
This road has a footpath directly onto Seaford Head Nature reserve, so really is a direct corridor for wildlife between nature reserves and our town.
If you and your neighbours would like your street to become a “Nature Street” we would love to hear from you, and can offer support and advice.
On The Verge