Life Lives On The Edge

Increased biodiversity of flora and fauna along our road verges

County Wexford known as the 'Model County' located in the Sunny South-East and renowned for its beautiful beaches is introducing an ambitious plan to bring back the wildflowers along the National roads. The plan is to encourage an increased biodiversity of flora and fauna along our road verges. Wexford County Council believes this is the first scheme of this nature in the Republic of Ireland.

A pilot project entitled “Life Lives On The Edge” is set to be launched in the area of biodiversity conservation and roadside management. The overall aim of the project is to enhance or rediscover the range of visible biodiversity that potentially exists along our Wexford roads. The concept of this ambitious project originated from the Roads Strategic Policy Committee and has gained involvement and support from the Roads and Planning Departments of Wexford County Council.

In recent times, excessive concern with neatness on roadsides has led to development of verge management specifications that are not compatible with conservation of biodiversity, weed control or cost-effective vegetation management. This project is concentrated on maintaining the roadside vegetation at the four pilot sites thereby achieving biodiversity goals without neglecting safety or infrastructural maintenance objectives. These areas have been initially cut once in February/March and again in September. This should encourage the establishment of native wildflower abundance on the edge of our roads.

Four pilot study areas

The project will be rolled out initially over the chosen four pilot study areas. These areas are located on national roads in the environs of Tagoat, Crossabeg, Scarawalsh and Barntown. The designated areas vary in length and their boundaries will be defined by signposts at either end of the vegetated strips. These signposts will be recognisable by the projects slogan “Life Lives on the Edge”, which aims to highlight the importance of road verges and hedgerows as crucial wildlife corridors for Wexford’s flora and fauna.

 This is a long-term project and it is hoped that it will result in a range of colourful wildflowers along our roadsides as well as an increase in associated fauna such as butterflies and bees. Due to the resulting decline in habitat disruption it is expected that there will be an overall increase in other less visible fauna that exist within the hedgerows. If the pilot study is a success it is hoped that the project can target a wider area in the County, so that the expected colourful roadsides can be seen as characteristic of the Model County’s roads.

Maps

Project Contact

Niamh Lennon
Biodiversity & Forward Planning
Wexford County Council

Phone: (053) 9196540 Mobile: (087) 2484974

Email: niamh.lennon@wexfordcoco.ie

Contact