Devon County Council’s environment team has launched its long-awaited wildflower verge policy, following my work with three pilot verges in my ward of Otter Valley.
I started the pilot in late 2013 working with highways officers and Devon Wildlife Trust, to boost the numbers of insects after it became clear that populations were falling away dramatically.
It was also to offset the recent decision to not cut highways verges (except on junctions and bends) due to government budget cuts.
It has been a legal challenge to put together this guidance, due to highways and health and safety regulations but I’m delighted that the information went live on Devon County Council’s website a few days ago…..
From a practical point of view, it will be necessary to check with officers on the suitability of the road verge for wildflowers, and also to get the mix right.
Additionally, people need to do a short online health and safety training exercise.
It’s wonderful news and I know that many town and parish councils will want to get stuck into wildflowering their communities and so attracting the abundance of insects back to Devon that we’re so desperately lacking and we so desperately need.
Officers are also, as part of the project, calling for champions to help support the work of rewildflowering Devon. See the link below for more details!
Pic: Seeding the West Hill wildflower verge in autumn 2013, with Cllr Roger Giles, Emily Stallworthy from Devon Wildlife Trust and resident, Dick Beardsall