Pollinating insects and other insects of all types are in serious decline in the UK as in many other countries. They are vital for our food supplies and to support the whole ecosystem. They need wild areas with a diverse selection of plants that provide flowers through the season in order to flourish but such areas are in decline across the country as farming and housing has become more intensive. Some pollinating insects are quite specialised to small selections of plants and so some locally occurring pollinators require locally occurring plants, others are more adaptable but require flowers throughout the season. To support the diversity of insects and pollinators that we have we need to provide diverse habitats and native local flowering plants. Our roadside verges can provide excellent habitats for them if we manage the verges with them in mind.
We are undertaking a pilot project to improve some of the verges in and around Hathersage. The pilot project is the verge on Jaggers Lane leading up to Coggers Lane (excluding the area near the junction which will be kept short for reasons of road safety).
The main verge will be mowed in a way that will encourage wildflowers and provide a habitat for pollinating and other insects. We are trialling mowing one section once a year and the other section twice a year to provide habitats for the greatest diversity of plants and pollinators. We will continually review the species present and we will adapt the mowing in the light of experience. Over a period of a few years we will gradually introduce additional wildflower species that occur naturally in the valley. It will take time for the population of wildflowers to adapt and while that happens the verge may look unkempt from time to time.
Naturalised wild verges are a beautiful feature of our local countryside. Please consider allowing verges outside your own house or parts of your garden to naturally rewild to provide a habitat for nature.
We are starting to develop a group of people in the Hope Valley who are interested in wildlife gardening, if you would like to find out more please contact email@example.com.
The pilot project is being undertaken in consultation with Hathersage Parish Council http://www.hathersageparishcouncil.gov.uk/
If you would like to know more about how to rewild and the role that verges can play, see https://www.plantlife.org.uk/uk
We are the Hathersage rewilding group which is a part of Hope Valley Climate Action https://hopevalleyclimateaction.org.uk/