Managing road verges for wildlife
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.
A trial we began in 2019 was successful - the number of wildflowers increased in the trial areas.
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.
Where this is happening
The following roads have verges managed this way:
- A406 Redbridge roundabout, Redbridge
- A406 North Circular by Elmhurst Gardens, Redbridge
- A406 Charlie Brown's roundabout, Redbridge
- A12 Gants Hill roundabout, Redbridge
- A40 Western Avenue, Hillingdon
- A4180 West End Road, Hillingdon
- A1 Rowley Lane roundabout, Barnet
- A406 Pinkham Way, Barnet
- A1 Mill Hill Circus, Barnet
- A406 North Circular approaching A13 Alfred's Way, Barking and Dagenham
- A10 Great Cambridge Road, Enfield
- A406 South of Stonebridge Park Station, Brent
- A30 Staines Road, Clockhouse roundabout, Hounslow
- A4 Jolly Waggoner roundabout, Hounslow
- A406 Gunnersbury Avenue, Ealing
- A21 Sevenoaks Road, Bromley
- A20 Sidcup bypass, Bexley
- A240 Kingston Road, Kingston
- A23 Farthing Way, Croydon
- A214 Trinity Road, Wandsworth
- A3 Kingston Road, Wandsworth
- A12 East Cross Route, Hackney
We're looking into adding more sites by 2024.
Find out more about the importance of roadside verges for wildlife on the Plantlife website.