Wolds Survey Results for 2011-12
Click on this updated map for the Lincolnshire Wolds which displays the survey results recorded over the summers of 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Survey results for 1km sections of road have been colour-coded to reflect the biodiversity value of their verges. A shortlist of wildflower species were used to create the scores. Survey data has been combined with a map of Roadside Nature Reserves and pre-existing Local Wildlife Sites (shown in purple) to show how newly discovered wildflower-rich stretches link known stretches of high diversity.
The majority of roads shown in red and orange have been or are being designated at least in part as new roadside Local Wildlife Sites. Yellow stretches offer some potential for conservation, especially if they link higher scoring stretches. Roads shown in grey have verges with only a low diversity of wildflowers.
If you helped with these surveys, you can see whether your verges appear among the best!
How you have helped
The close of 2013 marks the end of the 5th year of Life on the Verge. Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust is very happy to report that since surveys began in the Wolds in 2011, 100% of the public roads throughout the Lincolnshire Wolds National Character Area (1115km / 690 miles) have now been surveyed and assessed against Local Wildlife Site criteria. A total of 71 new candidate Local Wildlife Sites and 9 LWS extensions along 82km of road in the Lincolnshire Wolds have now been selected for designation. This represents 87ha of verge containing an estimated 30ha of wildflower-rich grassland - an area greater than the size of Lincolnshire’s Coronation Meadow at Red Hill.
Over 100 volunteers gave more than 1000 hours of their time to survey road verges throughout the Lincolnshire Wolds during 2011-13 and surveyed 407km / 252 miles of road (814km / 504 miles of verge). Seventy two additional 1km sections (c.6%) were surveyed 'virtually' using Google Maps Street View and discounted on the basis that their verges were either too narrow or urban/suburban.
Taking account of additional survey work undertaken throughout the Lincolnshire and Rutland Limestone Natural Area since the summer of 2009, this gives a grand total of 2,741km / 1,700 miles of road surveyed (5,482km / 3,400 miles of verge). More than 1250km / 775 miles of road have been surveyed by over 250 volunteers who have braved wet summers and persevered each season to cover considerable distances often investing several days of their own personal time and travel expense each year. We estimate that volunteers have given an overall total of at least 3,000 hours of their time in five years averaging over 85 man-days per year since 2009. Five years of support from volunteers has made possible a grand total of 146 new Local Wildlife Site designations and 12 Local Wildlife Site extensions along 233km / 144 miles of road representing over 300 hectares (740 acres). This area is nearly ¾ the size of Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve, twice the size of Whisby Nature Park and more than twice the total area of the 64 RNRs throughout the county. This overall area is estimated to contain at least 100 hectares (245 acres) of species-rich grassland, which found strewn as lost strands of fragmented habitat can now be woven into a Living Landscape that celebrates the cultural and ecological fabric of Lincolnshire and will help to safeguard the vital ecosystem services of the county which are so often undervalued.
How this information is being used
The Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust is currently working in close partnership with Lincolnshire County Council, North Lincolnshire Council and the Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service. Survey data is being made available to the relevant Highways Divisions of LCC to enable tree and scrub clearance to be targeted precisely where it delivers most benefit to grassland wildflowers. Maps are being prepared for use by the local authorities when organising cutting schedules on road verges and for the attention of utilities companies. In this way, the project is helping public bodies and other organisations carrying out functions of a public nature under a statutory power to keep to their ‘Biodiversity Duties’ under the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006. In addition, the project is also contacting landowners and farmers adjacent to the newly designated LWSs to highlight the opportunities for roadside conservation near their land.