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County council wildflower scheme to bloom

Twelve parish councils signed-up to take part in the project

Highway verge

A scheme is set to blossom thanks to a trial that will see wildflowers and wildlife flourish on roadside verges across Leicestershire.

The Urban Wildlife Verge Project will aim to improve biodiversity and encourage wildlife. It forms part of our wider work to tackle climate change and commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

We have been working alongside parish councils, giving them the opportunity to turn urban roadside verges into dedicated wildflower verges.

A total of twelve parish councils signed-up to take part in the project, which will involve volunteers giving up their time to make a difference in their community by weeding, planting seeds and developing areas of wildflowers at identified locations in the county.

We take our climate and environmental responsibilities seriously. 

“This trial will help to introduce new areas that will be managed differently to encourage growth of a range of wildflowers and provide habitats for wildlife to thrive.

We began our annual grass-cutting programme on rural verges earlier this month.

Currently only grass in rural areas where it impacts on road user’s visibility at junctions and on bends will be cut to ensure highway safety. 

We maintain nearly 3.8million square metres of urban grass in residential areas, and we will begin cutting these verges from Monday, 4 May.

We reviewed our highways work due to COVID-19 and initially delayed our urban grass cuts as they are primarily for aesthetic rather than safety reasons. In line with further government guidance and our social distancing practices, we are now in a position to carry out our urban grass-cutting operations as well as the rural visibility splays at junctions.

“We will review our current approach regularly to make sure we’re working safely and maintaining social distancing. 

“At the moment, we can’t specify cutting dates for individual areas and therefore unfortunately can’t respond to individual queries. Thank you for your patience and understanding while our staff work hard to cut the grass across the county.

Nine two-person gangs using a ride-on mower with flail and a strimmer cut the grass in towns and villages.

Although the majority of highway verges are our responsibility, some are privately owned, and some are managed by contractors on our behalf. 

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