Hidden wildlife in roadside verges

First published in

Take a wild look Appeal to chart verges teeming with activity Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) is looking for volunteers to help assess the abundance of wildlife found on Dorset’s ‘mini nature reserves’.

The roadside verges in the South Dorset Ridgeway Area of Outstanding Beauty (ANOB) from Bridport to Broadmayne are teeming with wildlife. As spring approaches, bluebells, snowdrops, small copper butterflies and bullfinches can be seen flourishing on the verges, which DWT says are an important part of our landscape, not only adding to the beauty of an area but also providing a home to a remarkable variety of wildlife.

The network of verges creates a wildlife corridor, allowing wildlife to link to larger areas of conservation and allowing less mobile species to move around more freely.

DWT’s community conservation officer, Joy Wallis said: “There are around 100 roadside verges noted for their wildlife value in Dorset. As part of the Heritage Lottery-funded South Dorset Ridgeway Project and working with Dorset County Council, we need help to visit each section of the roadside verges south of Dorchester, from Bridport to Broadmayne.

“Each verge will need to be visited twice during 2014. We are looking for people who are reasonably fit and comfortable entering their findings online.”

Verges will be assessed for their wildlife value and potential for improvement throughout 2014.

Recommendations will be made from this data, and a contractor will be engaged to carry out restoration and enhancement work of selected sites during 2015. These sites will then be monitored during the remaining three years of the project (2018) for signs of improvement.

Full training and botanical identification training will be given if needed. A training session will be held at 7pm on Wednesday February 26 at Dorset Wildlife Trust HQ, Brooklands, Forston, near For more information contact jwallis@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk or call 07891 009951.

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