The borough of Rochdale is taking a stand and creating flowering grass verges to help stop the worrying decline of bees and other insect pollinators.

Rochdale is leading the way with a scheme to improve biodiversity across the borough and have already been contacted by other councils wanting to follow in their footsteps.

Seeding of informal flowering lawns, clover verges and wildflower meadows has started at 16 sites, with more to follow this autumn. The chosen sites are in semi-rural areas where the lawns are in keeping with land management styles.

The new lawns and verges will grow at lower levels, and include flowers producing a hint of colour in the summer and providing a green matt in the winter.

Over time the verges will need less cutting, reducing costs through reduced traffic management needs and will deliver a higher quality roadside environment.

The European Commission states that one in 10 pollinating insects is on the verge of extinction, and a third of bee and butterfly species is declining. According to the Royal Horticulture Society, one of the biggest problems for pollinators is a lack of flowering plants, especially those packed with pollen and nectar.

Pollination by bees is said to be worth over £400 million per year as crops need insect pollination to produce good yields and quality fruit.


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