Life on the Verge 'Biosphere'
Road verges are an important wildlife resource and an integral part of Devon's heritage. They provide a range of habitats and are increasingly important wildlife corridors for threatened species and pollinators. They also provide one of the only opportunities for us to see wildflowers on a daily basis, in towns and villages, as well as in a largely intensively managed countryside. For more background about the Life on the Verge - Biosphere project and it's goals please click here.
Get involved with the Life on the Verge -Biosphere project and help to protect and conserve these fascinating and vital pockets of wildlife. The first stage is for volunteers to survey verges across the Biosphere to find out which and how many plant species are visible on a particular verge. Once we know this, we can work out the best management techniques to help them into peak condition! This will often involve annual cutting and removal of clippings after the growing season, but might also involved techniques such a green haying or oversowing with local seed.
There are 15 verges in the Biosphere Reserve that have previously been identified as 'special verges' which we will be re-surveying as part of the project, but we are looking to survey more than just these. After survey, and with the help of volunteers, selected verges that aren't currently as diverse as they could be or are at risk of deterioration will be enhanced by simple management techniques (click here for Plantife's Good Verge Guide). So whether it's species rich or simply a strip of rye grass, if there's a local verge you think should be part of the project, or you'd just like to get involved as an individual, please do get in contact on 07392 239719 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Together we hope to discover many more verges that are special to you. ....
Our verge survey is designed to be as simple as possible so that even those with no prior knowledge of botany can get involved. There's scope within the survey to show off your skills as they develop and for those with more advanced knowledge of our native plants already. Find all the survey documents you'll need to get you started. Our main priority is to ensure your safety , so please do ensure you read our guidance carefully before heading off to survey a verge. Free training session will be available though the project each summer - so sign up to our newsletter and keep an eye on our Facebook page for further details.
In order to ensure that all volunteers are as safe as possible while working beside the highway, Devon County Council has recently released a free eLearning module on Highways Safety Training. You first need to register your name and email address with email@example.com once they reply to you, login to the eLearning site at www.devon.learningpool.com and search for the course ‘ Highways Safety Awareness' as 'Self Enrolment'. We would urge all volunteers to complete this training, rest assured it doesn't take long to complete and it will help to keep you and those around you as safe as possible on our roads.
Follow the project on social media, contact us on 07855660319 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Project Co-ordinator appointed
The Life on the Verge Project- Biosphere has appointed local conservationist Jo Pullin to work with communities on road verge management.
Jo Pullin says, “there are some wonderfully rich and diverse road verges in this area and it is great to have this chance to help communities look after them for wildlife and for the benefit of local people and visitors. Life on the Verge - Biosphere has been supported by a £49,300 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to help communities to manage roadside verges for wildlife”.