Hampshire accelerates maintenance programme
Hampshire Highway teams have brought forward the annual maintenance programmes for verge and grass cutting this year to help protect wildlife.
County transport chief Councillor Rob Humby said: “We are committed to the careful management of Hampshire’s verges to ensure not only the safety of all those who use the roads but also that any disturbance to flora and wildlife is kept to an absolute minimum.
“Following discussions with the conservation charity, Plantlife, on the optimum time for carrying out verge maintenance to promote wildflowers, we brought forward our programme of works to early spring, though the coronavirus lockdown has disrupted the start of the programme this year, and some work may take place into the early summer. However generally, only critical safety work will be done on the verges during June and July, for example at junctions or other areas where visibility might be compromised – to allow wildflowers and other plants to flourish and seed.”
Work will begin again in some areas in late September so that species have had time to flower and set seed for next year.
Work on most of the rural road verges consists of a one metre wide cut but at junctions, bends and in front of traffic signs, the grass is normally cut back further to ensure good visibility for road users.
In addition, the remaining areas of verge are cut once every two years in rotation to prevent them from becoming overgrown.