Following an increase in the level of interest regarding grass verges and the possibility of reducing the level of cuts to enable the existing flora and fauna to flourish or to plant wild life areas we have launched a scheme allowing parishes to develop their own wildlife area.
This opportunity is a chance for your community to come together and collectively contribute your efforts to improve biodiversity and increase the aesthetic appeal of your area.
Please be aware that:
- We will only enter in to discussions about a change in mowing regime or wildflower/wild grass areas with parish or district and borough councils
- We are aware that discussions regarding grass cutting and whether it should or should not be cut can become quite controversial and making a change in a parish is not something we would consider unless the request comes from a parish or district and borough councils
- Any change to the cutting regime would need to take into account any safety implications and be subject to a formal agreement
Starting the process
If a council wishes to create a wildlife verge, they must submit a request to Leicestershire County Council.
- We can only accept requests from a parish, town, borough, or district council. Any individuals or organisations will need to contact their local council and have them submit a request to be considered.
- All requests must be made via EnvironmentTeam@leics.gov.uk
- Documents, such as maps and photos, confirming the proposed location for a verge need to be provided in addition to recording the location on the required paperwork.
- An introductory meeting will be arranged to be held on the prospective site with an employee from Leicestershire County Council. The purpose of this meeting will be to determine whether the location is appropriate to be turned into a wildlife verge.
Criteria that needs to be met
In order to grant a request, the location proposed for the wildlife verge must meet the following criteria:
- Chosen area must be on LCC highway land
- Within the 30/40mph speed limit
- Cannot compromise the safety of, or unreasonably hinder, the passage of highway users
- Shall not obstruct junction sight lines
- Consultations need to be made with any of the affected properties within the vicinity of the verge
- Co-ordinate with the plans of any statutory undertakers that have assets within the area
- Area must to be directly accessible
As with everything there might be costs incurred, if the local council decides to proceed with the opportunity. They must be prepared to potentially pay for:
- The cost of purchasing the wildflower seeds where appropriate
- Regular maintenance of the wildlife verge, ie weeding, re-seeding, and any desired cutting
- Applicants will be entirely responsible for any health and safety requirements being fulfilled. This includes the purchase of the correct personal protective equipment for volunteers to wear while working on the verge.
- Public liability insurance must be in place to the recommended value to allow for work on the verge
- This opportunity is a wildlife process, meaning that it grants permission for wildflower seeding only. It does not allow for the planting of bulbs or for digging into the verge. A request of the latter type is for a License to Cultivate which is a difference procedure.
- Not all grass verges can be converted in to wildlife verges. The suitability of a proposed wildlife verge location will be determined by a member of the County Council during the site visit.
Please contact us via EnvironmentTeam@leics.gov.uk if you're interested in taking this initiative forward, by completing the wildlife verge agreement form.