Nature-friendly road verges

How we can all help manage our community's roadside verges and support the environment.

1 Community Road Verges

Community Road Verges (CRVs) are a new classification for roadside verges in urban areas. They have been identified by local communities interested in attracting pollinators.

In most cases, the local community also oversees the verge and monitors it for improvements in biodiversity and wildflowers.

There are currently 11 CRV locations across the county.

Each CRV will have a sign like this nearby, usually on a lamppost:

Community road verge images

By making some verges wilder, we are helping to increase the biodiversity of West Sussex. This will mean that our local environment works better for all of us. CRVs also help to deliver some of the actions in the council’s Pollinator Action Plan.

We look after CRVs in a different way. Rather than five cuts per year, the CRVs receive one in the autumn. After the grass cut, the local community rakes and disposes of the grass cuttings.

The objective is to lower the fertility of the soil, enabling wildflowers that often already have seeds in the depths of the soil, to out-compete the grass. After a few years, the wildflowers should look more abundant.

Fewer cuts will also give the native species the chance to grow. For a while the verges may look a little straggly, but this is a long-term project and they will improve. With the help of the local community we will be monitoring their progress. Weeds aren’t sprayed in and around CRVs.

New CRV locations for 2022

During 2022, we will be designating a further ten locations, again selected by local communities. The selection process for 2022 is happening now.

To send us comments about CRVs and images of wildflowers or insects that you’ve spotted, please email active.communities@westsussex.gov.uk.

If you think there is a problem with a roadside verge, you can tell us by reporting a grass safety issue.

2 Pollinator highways

A wildflower verge here and there isn’t as helpful as it could be for our travelling pollinators. That’s why we are also looking at ways of linking Community Road Verges (CRVs) to the many projects in West Sussex and across the South Downs that are helping to create wildlife corridors.

We are also working with local partners to establish pollinator highways - linked habitats joining up different areas. One of the first has been set up in Lancing along the A2025 through the centre of the village, from the sea to the A27.

Lancing Parish Council, one of our project partners, hosts further information about the project.

We hope to establish more pollinator highways during 2022.

3 Nature verge network

We run a quarterly online networking meeting for all communities involved with CRVs or pollinator highways. The idea is to share ideas and experiences.

Each meeting has a speaker providing an insight into the wilding process, or some informal training, followed by a discussion.

To find out more about the Nature verge network, please email active.communities@westsussex.gov.uk.

Last updated:
21 October 2021
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