Cheshire East Highways has signed up to support a national campaign that advocates careful management of rural grass verges to benefit wildlife conservation.
The Plantlife road verge campaign, fronted by TV presenter Alan Titchmarsh, recognises that grass verges on rural roads provide a rich habitat for vast amounts of wildlife.
The campaign aims to ensure that road verges are managed for wildlife whilst being safe for motorists. It recommends that rural road verges are only cut more than once a year if this is required for road safety.
Cheshire East’s grass cutting programme, which started in May and continues until the end of June, supports the principles of the campaign.
Rural verges in Cheshire East are also cut in a single 1.2 metre wide swathe from the roadside, allowing for grass at the back of the verge to be retained for wildlife.
Requests for rural verges not to be cut for conservation purposes are also carefully considered on a case-by-case basis. Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) are also sensitively managed.
Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This approach to grass cutting ensures that rural verges do not create a road safety hazard and that they can thrive with diverse and interesting wildlife.”Further information on ‘Alan’s Army’ and the rural verge campaign can be found at plantlife.org.uk.