Roadside Verges

Special Roadside Verges in Essex  

Since the 1970s over 100 sites covering more than 44 km of roadside habitat in Essex have been designated as Special Roadside Verges. Current management ensures that rare plant species are conserved and a wide variety of plants are able to thrive. This in turn benefits butterflies and other insects, small mammals and birds, providing them with food and shelter. Roadside verges are also important in linking isolated habitats providing 'wildlife corridors' that enable animals to move between 'islands'.

"A favourite verge is at Wicken Bonhunt, found on the north side of the B1038 road that sweeps down the hill to the east end of the village. During June and July the pale yellow Sulphur Clover is in flower. A local resident keeps an eye on the verge and has recorded the plants growing there for a number of years. The flora includes orchids, vetches, knapweeds and scabious". Sarah Kenyon, Natural Sciences Curatorial Officer & Verge Representative, Saffron Walden Museum.

What can you do to help?

  •     Ask about Special Verges in your area and let us know if you see any damage to them
  •     Leave cutting to authorised contractors
  •     Avoid planting trees and non-native plants such as bulbs, bluebells and other garden plants
  •     Neighboroughing landowners can keep hedges and scrub under control
  •     Become a Verge Rep and help to monitor the verges
  •     Encourage local councillors and MPs to protect Special Roadside Verges
  •     Enjoy the beauty of natural wild flowers and grasses and encourage others to do the same, so that future generations can enjoy them too.
Further information:
Essex County Council
Telephone: 03330  0136855
or visit Place Services website
Essex Wildlife Trust

For general information about verges and their wildlife please contact:
Essex Wildlife Trust 01621 862980


Download Special Roadside Verges in Essex leaflet (PDF 668KB)

Download Essex Roadside Verges article  (PDF 50KB)