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RSPB wants colour returned to verges

Road verges are home to around 700 species of wildflower which are important for a range of birds and insects.
Road verges are home to around 700 species of wildflower which are important for a range of birds and insects.

The RSPB is looking to bring back the colour to the roadsides of East Riding by returning verges to their former glory.

Road verges in the UK are home to around 700 species of wildflower, many of which are important for a range of birds and insects.

However, poor management of verges in recent years means that many of these flowers are vanishing, together with much of the wildlife that depends on them.

In East Riding, a number of the verges are designated as nature reserves and the East Riding of Yorkshire County Council manage them specifically for the benefit of plants and wildlife.

However, the RSPB said this management has largely stopped in recent years due to funding cuts.

Chris Tomson from the RSPB in East Yorkshire said: “The great variety of flowers that used to transform our roadside verges into vivid seas of colour during summer are vanishing at a worrying rate.

“Yet, the solution to bringing these flowers back is simple and inexpensive.

“Instead of cutting at the start of summer or not mowing the verge at all, it needs to be cut once a year between mid-July and September, with the cuttings then removed.”

Farmers and local parish councils can contact Chris for advice on managing verges by emailing him at christopher.tomson@rspb.org.uk or by calling 01484 868426.