Think Sustainability

Highway Verges Project

Roadside verges are an important wildlife habitat and managed appropriately, they can support a wide range of biodiversity.  With 10,000km of highways in Hampshire, this provides approximately 13,000 hectares of roadside verge, equivalent to 3% of the county's land area.

Highway Verge

Road verges may :

  • contain rare species or flower-rich swards

  • act as reservoirs of wildlife in intensively farmed or urban areas

  • lie alongside good quality habitat,

  • be a haven for insects, reptiles and small mammals

  • act as a food resource for birds

The County Council is responsible for the management of the verges on all roads (except motorways and major trunk roads) in the county.  The Road Verge Project aims to identify verges of ecological importance that support important flora and to maintain or enhance these sites through appropriate management and protection, such as

  • manipulating cutting regimes

  • scrub clearance

  • planting up verges

  • preventing damage during road maintenance or public utilities operations

  • surveying to safeguard protected species

  • on-going survey programme (approximately 15 – 20 per year)

Highway verge in bloom

The Ecology Group advises the Highways Department on the management of these ecologically important road verges, whilst satisfying road safety requirements.  Around 250 such verges have been identified, with approximately 100 under special management.

For more information contact Megan Owen on 023 8038 3462, megan.owen@hants.gov.uk, or visit the website at http://www3.hants.gov.uk/biodiversity.htm (link opens in a new window)