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Ongoing ‘managed messiness’ campaign picks up pace

(c) Dominic Murphy

A long-running campaign which aims to transform our road verges into diverse wildlife havens by cutting less and cutting later has continued to pick up pace following the launch of a dedicated website.

The ‘road verge hub’ was funded by Rees Jeffreys Road Fund and went live in November. It aims to raise awareness of the significant impact which managing verges differently could have on both biodiversity and reducing carbon emissions.

As well as helping us promote our best practice guides on managing these habitats, the easy-to-access hub also features campaign updates, recorded webinars, case studies and blog posts. It includes an interactive map where local authorities can publicise the steps they have taken towards favourable management for wildflowers and encourages people to lend their support to the drive for managed messiness by signing the road verge pledge.

(c) Mark Schofield
(c) Mark Schofield

The campaign was given a further boost with a panel event in autumn 2021, which was organised as part of the ‘Fall into nature’ series to showcase positive stories of wildlife-friendly road management. The webinar featured a presentation from National Highways England, insights from a service provider in Cornwall, a community case study from Shropshire and a report from Denbighshire County Council, and has so far been viewed more than 900 times.

enquiries received about the initiative

The publicity generated by the hub and webinar helped the project to maintain momentum during the year, with Plantlife receiving 378 enquiries about the initiative. Of these, 303 came from individuals, while 41 were from community groups, 32 from local authorities and the final two from non-government organisations.

Image credits: Header image - Dominic Murphy, images 2 & 3 - Mark Schofield

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