Blooming lovely! Worcester’s roadside verges and green spaces help boost biodiversity


Worcester's roadside verges and green spaces are becoming a riot of colour again this year as Worcester City Council continues to expand its wildflower initiative.

The City Council declared a biodiversity emergency three years ago, recognising that action needed to be taken immediately to stop the decline of native species.

Since then it has been looking to boost biodiversity wherever possible by keeping the edges of grass verges trimmed, planting wildflowers and leaving patches to nature itself. Mowing of these areas is carried out every two to three weeks, depending on the weather.

Biodiversity is also high on the agenda in the City's parks and open spaces where patches of poppies, cornflowers and a host of other plants are flourishing, creating the perfect habitat for bees, butterflies and other insects and wildlife.

Information boards explaining the initiative have been put up in many areas.

Chair of Worcester City Council's Environment Committee, Cllr Karen Lewing, said: "We are increasingly receiving positive comments about our approach to managing nature in the city as residents understand the importance of helping wildlife. Our aim is to keep our roadside verges neat and tidy around the edges, but also to provide a valuable habitat where flora and fauna can flourish by providing 'important wildlife corridors' or 'connected natural habitats' through the built up urban environment. This gives a huge boost to local biodiversity and looks very pretty too!"

Other biodiversity-boosting measures taken by the City Council include placing bat boxes and bird boxes in many areas, as well as some log piles to attract reptiles such as slow worms. Areas of long grass are also kept, providing habitat for small mammals.

The council is working alongside Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, Worcester Environmental Group, Severn Rivers Trust and the RSPB, as well as volunteers from the 'Friends' groups of local parks.

Paul Snookes, cofounder of Worcester Environmental Group, said: "We are happy to be working with Worcester City Council on these biodiversity initiatives. Research has shown that when we manage our green spaces and grass verges with wildlife in mind, it results in a huge increase in the numbers of bees, bats, butterflies and many other species, all of which means we can also flourish in this thriving environment."

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