Managing road verges for wildlife

wildflower verge

Increasing biodiversity is a goal of the Mayor's Transport Strategy. We want to help existing wildflowers in our grass verges to grow and produce new flowers - this will supply nectar and other food resources, plus shelter for wildlife including bees, butterflies, birds and small mammals.

The variety of plant life will increase over time, helping to support even more wildlife species.

What we're doing

To encourage wildflowers, we've changed the number of times we cut the grass in wildflower verge areas to twice a year, in spring and autumn. This allows wildflowers to grow.

At the same time, we cut the first metre of verge back from the carriageway more regularly to keep long grass from encroaching on roads or pavements.

We also remove grass cuttings from the full width of the verge. Removing grass cuttings helps wildflowers by reducing soil nutrient levels gradually. This gives them a chance to outcompete the grasses that normally dominate when soil nutrient levels are high.

Find more about the importance of road verges for wildlife on the Plantlife website.

See what else we're doing to encourage green infrastructure and biodiversity in London.

Where this is happening

We have an interactive map of our 2023 wildflower verges sites.

The latest sites will be added to the map in 2024.

Get involved

If you'd like to get help encourage pollinators and wildflowers, the Butterfly Conservation is running a project in London called Big City Butterflies.