Stroud District council have just announced a plan to seed road verges with wildflowers. (more here)
Green Party councillor Simon Pickering, chair of Stroud District Council's Environment Committee, said:
"The wildflower verges will make a cost-effective attractive addition to our district this summer. They are less expensive to create and manage than formal flowerbeds and much better for wildlife. We're hoping for a blooming good display!"
Like many Green policies, it’s a simple move that improves quality of life at a reduced cost, whilst also being good for nature. Looking after our wildlife, and providing corridors for our vitally important bees, is in all our interests.
Human efforts to manage and control the natural world tend to involve a lot of cost, effort and often risk, in order to force nature to do our will. This kind of approach can, for example, lock us into costly cycles of dredging rivers, because once you start dredging, you increase erosion and then have to keep dredging to keep ahead. Working with nature is often easier and more effective – wetlands are the most effective way of managing excess water.
Letting native plants grow on the road verges will encourage bees and butterflies, and provide a haven for other insects and small creatures. This in turn is good for the birds. A bright splash of colour on the roadsides should be cheering, and we could all use a bit of that!
The Stroud area already has some remarkable plant life – there are 25 sites of special scientific interest in the Stroud area (list here) and our local commons are home to a number of orchids.