Life on the Verge
A vision for the future of wildlife-rich limestone grasslands of Lincolnshire, Rutland and Leicestershire
Life on the Verge ....
is the largest wild flower survey of Britain's roadside verges
aims to identify the most important roadside verges for limestone grassland wildlife in South-West Lincolnshire, North-East Rutland and East Leicestershire
will rely on local volunteers of all skill levels - please help in the survey if you can!
Natural Areas are subdivisions of England defined by their wildlife and natural features. The Lincolnshire and Rutland Limestone Natural Area lies within three counties and stretches north from Peterborough to Lincoln. It is dominated by a band of limestone with shallow soils that give rise to some of the richest grasslands in the country. These grasslands can contain 40 species of plant in a square metre of turf including nationally scarce plants such as early gentian and pasqueflower, and support butterflies, glow worms, lizards, skylarks and barn owls.
In the 1940s, the Lincolnshire and Rutland Limestone area was recognised as one of the country's hotspots for biodiversity. But changes in agricultural practices and development have resulted in continued losses of this nationally important wildlife habitat. Now, only an estimated 100 hectares of flower-rich grassland remains, confined to small fragmented sites mainly on nature reserves, quarry sites and roadside verges.
Limestone grassland is so scarce and vulnerable that its survival is a conservation priority under national and local Biodiversity Action Plans. Natural England, Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust and Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust have launched a bold vision for the future of these limestone grasslands. They believe that together with land management advisors, local authorities and quarry operators the limestone grassland, geology and landscape of this Natural Area can be protected and enhanced.
How you can get involved
The Life on the Verge Project aims to identify the most important roadside verges for limestone grassland species in south-west Lincolnshire, Rutland and East Leicestershire. With the help of volunteers, botanical surveys will be carried out on the 2000km of verge in the area over the next two years.
You donít need to have identified plants before as training will be provided along with a "Life on the Verge Wild Flower ID Guide" which aimed at non-experts. It includes a handy checklist of those wild flowers that are characteristic of limestone grassland and so indicate important verges.
Visit the Life on the Verge
website to find out more. Click on "Get Involved" to see details of the free wild flower identification classes.
Life on the Verge is supported by: