Waste of Space case study: Wildflower verges in Hyde

Waste of Space case study: Wildflower verges in Hyde

© Sarah Perrin

Residents of Wilder Hyde, a Team Wilder community group, recognised that the mowing regimes by the council was preventing wildflowers from thriving and in turn harming pollinators.

Residents of Wilder Hyde, a Team Wilder community group, recognised that the mowing regimes by the council was preventing wildflowers from thriving and in turn harming pollinators.

Community group takes action: 

Residents of Hyde and Abbotts Barton in Winchester had commented that they were frustrated by the council mowing. Fortunately, there were already a couple of community groups in the area whose members were very keen in taking action for nature. The groups Wilder Hyde and Abbotts Barton Community Group joined forces and got in touch with Winchester City Council, and they agreed on a pilot project to reduce their mowing regimes. 

Planning the transformation: 

Wilder Hyde and Abbotts Barton Community Group were fortunate to set up a great working relationship with Winchester City Council. A council ecologist visited the area and walked around listening to the community leader’s ideas and in turn the ecologist identified suitable verges for the project.  

Challenges faced: 

Winchester City Council doesn’t always know when their contractors are coming to mow which created some communication issues. The verges still need to be cut, but only twice a year. One cut was missed, and the group had to cut the verge themselves. 

Road verges – what they look like now: 

The first steps of transformation were made in Autumn 2020, and so it will probably be a couple of years yet until we see a thriving population of wildflowers in the area. 

Image of black sign on grass. Sign reads, "pardon the weeds, we're feeding the bees"

© Sarah Perrin

Is there a #WasteOfSpace in your area?

With a lot of wasted space in our towns and cities, there's a tremendous opportunity to transform these spaces into bright colourful places full of life. Any area, no matter how small, will contribute to a Nature Recovery Network, and help rewild where we live.

Get involved!