Roadside Verge Nature Reserves
The Roadside Verge Nature Reserve (RVNR) project is coordinated by the County Council's Greenspace Team in conjunction with the Highways Service and Ecology Service. The purpose of the project is to identify, protect and manage verges of significant conservation interest.
It has been estimated that 80% of Worcestershire's botanical diversity occurs on roadside verges. Many road verges are as old, if not older than the roads themselves. Roadside verges are a haven for plants, fungi and invertebrates that are becoming increasingly scarce in the wider countryside. Some of Worcestershire's rarest species exist on road verges, including deptford pink, tower mustard and spreading bellflower.
RVNR are designated following an ecological survey and consideration of other factors, such as road safety. A RVNR should meet one or more of the following selection criteria:
- Supports a species which is classified as critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable, near threatened or Nationally scarce in the National or County Red Data Book or very rare, rare, very scarce or scarce (as defined by Day 2001).
- It supports a good example of a plant community that represents a habitat characteristic of Worcestershire or is a Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Habitat.
- It supports any animal species protected under European or National legislation or supports a rare animal species or rich community of animals in the context of the county's fauna.
- It is a verge identified as a Special Wildlife Site (County Site), and therefore, via another set of criteria, has been identified for its ecological significance in a county context
There are clearly many more road verges within the county that would meet the criteria and as such could also be included on the register however logistical and financial limitations restrict the number of sites on the register.
RVNR are marked by red and white posts, with an information plaque. Each verge has its own specific management regime developed to benefit the special wildlife of that verge. Verges are monitored regularly to ensure that their wildlife value is being maintained or enhanced.
For more information please contact 01905 766155