Fleckney Parish Council is working with Leicestershire County Council to improve the biodiversity of their roadsides by creating a wildflower verge.
The county council’s verge initiative aims to improve biodiversity and encourage wildlife, by leaving wildflowers to flourish on roadside verges across Leicestershire. The initiative forms part of the council’s wider work to tackle climate change and commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
Fleckney Parish councillor, Tina McDonagh, said: “We are keen to work with residents to shape how our village looks. These wildflowers will be a great habitat for species such as insects and hedgehogs.
“Wildflower seeds were sown in March, and some have germinated this year. We will cut the grass in August and prepare the site over winter for the verge to be in full bloom next year.”
Fleckney in Harborough is one of 12 parish councils across Leicestershire to sign up to the county council scheme and who are working hard planting and cultivating verges for their new wildflower verges to bloom next year. Residents interested in joining the wild flower verge scheme can contact the team on: ETDSpecialProjects@leics.gov.uk
Trevor Pendleton, county council cabinet member for highways and transport, visited Fleckney's wild flower verge alongside Blake Pain, cabinet member for environment and member for the Fleckney area, who helped set up the verge scheme.
On his visit, Mr Pendleton said:
We take our climate and environmental responsibilities seriously. These new, more natural verges will encourage the growth of a range of wildflowers and provide habitats for wildlife to thrive.
We are really pleased that areas like Fleckney are willing to try out this new way of managing our roadways and want to improve the biodiversity of their communities, this verge doesn’t look much now but it is already providing vital habitats. We hope to work with many more parishes on this initiative in the futurePerson:Trevor Pendleton, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport
As well the wild flower initiative the county council have changed the management of rural verges between towns and villages. This year marked the largest reduction in the areas of rural verges the county council have cut, all to allow wildflowers to thrive and encourage pollinators.
Mr Pendleton continued; “Our priority will always be the safest possible use of our Leicestershire roads, there will always be verges that need to be cut in order to ensure the grass does not impede the vision of drivers.”
“If anyone in Leicestershire believes an area of road is being cut that does not need to be I urge them to discuss with their parish council the possibility of a wild flower verge.”
Although the majority of highway verges are the responsibility of the county council, some are privately owned, and some are managed by contractors on our behalf.