As part of the ‘Love Your Verge’ campaign, Dorset Council has published a series of videos to explain its approach to roadside management in Dorset.
Dorset Council says it has made changes to its verge management policy in recent years. Safety remains the top priority, so the approach aims to strike a balance between cutting verges regularly where needed for visibility and working to protect and enhance Dorset’s natural environment. It forms part of the council’s work to mitigate the declared Climate and Ecological Emergency.
Where safe, verges are cut less often and methods are used to increase biodiversity. The approach not only saves money and reduces carbon emissions, but it will also help to slow the growth rate of verges over time, says the authority.
Verge maintenance prompts many questions and comments from residents. While some people prefer verges to be kept short and neat, others love the wilder looking verges, it says.
The series of ‘Love Your Verge’ videos seeks to clarify how verges are maintained and why. They explain the methods used to create a better environment for wildflowers to thrive, which is important for attracting pollinators.
The videos are part of the popular ‘Love Your Verge’ campaign, a countywide collaboration between the council’s Coast and Greenspace Service and Litter Free Dorset. The campaign encourages residents and visitors to value verges and open spaces. Signs situated in specific locations around the county explain how open spaces are individually managed due to the specific local habitat, while aiming to reduce incidents of littering.
Councillor Ray Bryan, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder Highways, Travel and Environment, said: ‘Safety is our primary duty and our teams will continue to cut verges regularly where it’s needed. However, there are many miles of verges where there’s opportunity to manage in a way that’s more sympathetic to wildlife and ecology.
‘The loss of natural habitats is a major threat for pollinators. Leaving verges to grow for longer and encouraging wildflowers to thrive can provide a rich habitat to help compensate for this.
‘We hope the campaign will help to inform residents and visitors about Dorset Council’s approach to verge maintenance and why it’s so important for local wildlife populations. We are committed to a healthy environment and ensuring that future generations can enjoy our natural world and the wildlife that lives within it.’
To find out more about the Love your Verge campaign and watch the videos, visit litterfreedorset.co.uk/love-your-verge