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St James Terrace “mini meadow”

You may have noticed a change in the verge in St James Terrace at the junction with Foxborough Road.  

Roadside verges are increasingly important for wildlife and increasing biodiversity. Over 97% of ancient wild flower meadows have been destroyed since the 1930s. Road verges are a vital refuge for many bees, butterflies, birds, bats and bugs – a good verge will supply a diverse source of nectar and pollen.

Prompted by local resident and professional landscape manager David Mulholland, the Parish Council has agreed to trial the creation of a ‘mini-meadow’ at the end of St. James’ Terrace. The cutting regime will be amended so that the range of wildflowers has a chance to flower and provide nectar for bees and butterflies. 

The grass cutting regime will be changed but not stopped altogether. If verges are left uncut they begin to decline so it is important to keep them maintained.  The plan is to cut a swathe around the outside edge of the grass verge to frame it and to stop the grass and wildflowers spilling over onto the road and footpath. The verge will be cut and the grass cleared at the end of August or early September, with cuts for the rest of the year done as normal. 

This will help to maximise flowering plant diversity on this piece of verge and maximise subsequent benefits for invertebrates and other wildlife through provision of nectar and pollen.

The project is starting this summer. The impact of the changes will not be apparent for some time.

Radley Parish Council June 2020

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