Brighton & Hove City Council’s Wilder Verges project trialled how managing verges differently improves their wildlife and biodiversity.
Brighton and Hove City Council worked with Brighton & Hove’s Wildlife Forum and volunteers from across the city to deliver the project. The aim was to see if changing how we manage mown grassland (like verges), benefits urban nature. Natural England funded the project as part of their work to explore the potential of urban nature recovery networks in England.
The 23 verges across the city were left unmown during the spring and summer 2022. We monitored the Wilder Verges areas to learn how changes to how often and when we mow, affected our urban nature.
The Wilder Verges project helped to increase our diverse range of wildlife and plants. Its aim was also to bring residents and visitors closer to nature.
The results, detailed in our Wilder Verges Report, show:
- nearly half (48%) of the sites saw an increase in pollinator or downland plant species present (11 out of the 23 sites)
- 10 out of 23 sites (43%) saw the amount of pollinator species increase from 2021 (short mown) to 2022 (unmown during the main flowering season)
- 70% of the verges (16 out of 23) recorded a pollinator or downland plant species not seen as present in the 2021 survey.
View the project report here.