Hedgerows and Verges
In 2004 Lincolnshire County Council commissioned Lapwings Consultants Ltd to undertaken ecological surveys of road verges and roadside hedgerows as part of the wider project to restore habitat linkages across the Limewoods area.
Over 200 sections of hedgerow were recorded, with hedges identified as “ordinary roadside”, “parish boundary” or “former woodland boundary”. Species composition and frequency of species were recorded, with former woodland boundary hedges having the widest range of species diversity.
Over 80 sections of roadside verge were recorded with each section assigned to a different vegetation type. The dominance of tall coarse grasses and or tall herbs of nutrient-rich soils indicated that there has been a deterioration in the flora of roadside verges, due to the loss of meadow plants and the increase of species characteristic of enriched and unmanaged conditions.
Two Protected Roadside Verges (PRVs) exist in the Limewoods area, both being cut for hay by local farmers. This type of management maintains the species diversity of these important verges.
Following the completion of the report, conservation staff at Lincolnshire County Council liaised with staff in Highways to improve management of verges with some botanical interest through the removal of cuttings to reduce soil fertility.