Residents go wild for flower-filled verges

Planning and Environment
13:31, Thursday, 5th August 2021

Roadside verges across North Lincolnshire have burst into flower, sparking a rush of compliments from residents.

Mottlash/Mortal Ash Hill (A18) in Scunthorpe is believed to be one of the biggest roadside wilding projects for a single stretch on the North of England, amounting to 25,000 sqm of wild meadow.

One delighted resident said:

“The central reservation on Mortal Ash Hill is absolutely beautiful – covered in wildflowers it’s a site to behold. It’s a credit to the council for such a display, it’s something that you don’t see very often these days. Wildflower meadows are a rarity and if anyone is lucky to see one it won’t come close to the display on this central reservation.”

The verges were seeded with the help of volunteers in the spring, when a mass-litter pick was also carried out by council staff alongside Broughton Bloomin Wombles.

Other verges, parks and roadside banks, including Queensway and Mannaberg Way, have also received praise.

Local conservationist Nicholas Crampton said: “Have just had a look at your re-seeded section along the A18. What a splendid ecological achievement.”

Other comments include:

“The meadow on Mortal Ash is breathtaking already, it’s a different journey.”

“The meadow strips in Sheffield Park are teeming with pollinators and being widely enjoyed.”

“Please can you provide details on your seed selection and method of sowing so I can replicate.”

As 97% of Britain’s traditional meadows have vanished since the 1930s, road verges are increasingly important habitats for plants and wildlife.

The verges will start to wilt towards the end of August but mowing will be held off until the plants have set seed. They will be carefully managed in order to become self-sustaining, supporting wildlife and insects and ensuring another spectacular display next year.

Wildflower planting is part of the council’s ongoing commitment to enhance the local environment, particularly the main arterial routes into Scunthorpe.

The council maintains more than four million square metres of green land, open spaces and parks and more than 31,500 miles (500,000 km) of roadside verges and footpaths. If placed end to end this would stretch around the Earth one and a quarter times.