Wildlife superhighways

Terry Whittaker/2020VISION

I look at how the Wildlife Trust's are using our transport infrastructure to link nature reserves and create a 'green corridor' for wildlife.

The Wildlife Trust and other conservation groups, charitable, voluntary and statutory, do a fantastic job of preserving and restoring natural habitats with the resources they have. However, these reserves are often islands in the middle of our urban and agricultural areas.

Communities of plants and animals become vulnerable to disruptions such as disease, predation or hazards, natural or man-made. Once a species is gone it is not only hard to replace, its loss will negatively affect all the other species that rely on it for food, shelter or to keep their own predators at bay.

We need to find a way of connecting the spaces containing the collections of these species so that stocks can be replenished after a disturbance.

Life on the Verge

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

As a result the Wildlife Trust are promoting the use of our transport infrastructure to improve the mobility of native species, linking nature reserves.

Chiefly among these in Lincolnshire are roadside verges, which are some of the widest in Britain.

These roadside verges can be maintained in a way that replicates grassland, allowing one of Lincolnshire’s most fragile ecosystems to co-exist with the transport systems we rely on for our mobility, and become roadside reserves or ‘green corridors’.

To get these to work well it requires a number of people, groups and organisations to work to a common goal, in a coordinated manner to ensure that the right cutting and removal regime is implemented and that any positive effects are not negated by inconsiderate or misconceived actions, such as littering or planting of non-native species.

Needless to say, this is an extremely challenging task but Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers have identified the roadside that would have the maximum impact and have started to coordinate the effort to restore these ribbons to a habitat that would benefit our native species.

They have also worked with the local authority and land owners with anaerobic digesters so that unwanted cuttings can be usefully disposed of.

Doug

 

Find out more about our Life on the Verge project here: Life on the Verge