Road verges contain a variety of habitats, but in the Durham context their main value lies in the species rich grassland communities that have managed to survive in parts. These botanically species rich verges also have value for invertebrates.
Identification & Mapping
To meet the definition a road verge of conservation importance must:
- contain at least 5 species from the following list within at least one 20m linear section.
|Agrimony||Dyer’s greenweed||Marsh/Fen bedstraw||Sweet cicely|
|Betony||Eyebright Goat’s-beard||Meadow vetchling||Thyme-leaved sandwort|
|Bitter vetch||Fairy flax||Melancholy thistle||Tormentil|
|Bloody cranesbill||Great burnet||Milkworts||Water avens|
|Bugle||Gentians||Mouse-ear hawkweed||Water mint|
|Burnett saxifrage||Globe flower||Orchids||Wild marjoram|
|Carline thistle||Greater Knapweed||Pepper saxifrage||Wild thyme|
|Common bird’s-foot trefoil||Hairy violet||Pignut||Wood anenome|
|Common bistort||Harebell||Purple milk vetch||Wood cranesbill|
|Common Centaury||Hawkbits||Quaking Grass||Yellow rattle|
|Common meadow-rue||Hoary plantain||Ragged robin||Yellow-wort|
|Common rock-rose||Horeshoe vetch||Salad burnet||Small blue-green sedges|
|Common Knapweed||Kidney vetch||Saw-wort||Ancient woodland indicators|
|Cowslip||Lady’s bedstraw||Small Scabious|
|Devil’s-bit scabious||Lady’s mantles||Sneezewort|
(Derived from lists for lowland calcareous grassland and lowland meadow in DEFRA’s HLS-FEP handbook* with some adjustment for Durham.)
2. contain any of the red-listed* lady’s mantles Alchemilla acutiloba, A. glomerulans, A. monticola, A. subcrenata, A.wichurae, or Northern Hawks-beard – Crepis mollis.
3. be a recorded breeding site for any Durham BAP invertebrate species.
For the purposes of mapping a road verge parcel needs to be contained within a reasonable management unit (e.g between field entrances or road junctions).
There is currently no condition assessment defined for this habitat, although species lists from fixed quadrats on a sample of road verge parcels are recorded regularly to monitor species loss / gain.
*DEFRA (2005) Higher Level Stewardship: Farm Environment Plan – Guidance handbook. www.defra.gov.uk
*JNCC (2007). Conservation Designations for UK Taxa – downloadable spreadsheet. jncc.gov.uk