VOLUNTEERS from Restoring Shropshire’s Verges Group planted up a section of roadside verge on Sheet Road, in Ludlow with a range of wildflowers, to provide a diverse source of nectar and pollen, to help the U.K.’s declining bees, butterflies and other wildlife.

“The success of any project like this, depends on the support of local residents and we realised very early on how important it was to engage with local people,” said Christina O’Neill, one of the volunteers.

We delivered over 100 leaflets, inviting comments and have been delighted by the support, with some residents offering to grow plants for later and to help with watering.

A site survey carried out before planting by local Botanist, Polly Bolton showed that a variety of beneficial wildflowers were already present in the verge including: Cranesbill, White Clover, Daisies, Dandelions, Cow Parsley, Timothy Grass, Lesser Celandine, Sorrel, Yarrow and Self-Heal.

All these should now flourish, alongside the new plantings, when the new mowing regime, is put in place. Far from just being left to go wild, the site will be monitored and carefully managed, reducing some dominant species, if necessary.

A small strip around the edge of the verge will be kept closely mown, to provide definition of where the wildflower planting begins and signs have been erected to show that this is a managed verge.

The volunteers grew or donated all the plants including Birds Foot Trefoil which is a food plant for over 130 species of invertebrate and Yellow Rattle, a semi-parasitic plant that weakens grass growth, therefore allowing the wildflowers to establish more quickly.

The RSVP a supported by The National Trust, Caring for God’s Acre, Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Shropshire Wildlife Trust and Plantlife.

To get involved or suggest a verge people can contact RSVP by email on ReclaimOurEarth@outlook.com