Unanimous Support for Derbyshire Dales District Council’s Biodiversity Project

Derbyshire Dales district councillors have voted unanimously to increase biodiversity in the road verges and open spaces the authority manages - 12 pilot areas have been identified.

DDDC were approached by 5 community groups and organisations to take part in the Council’s wildflower verge project:

  • Rewilding Hathersage
  • Wilder Wirksworth
  • Bradwell Wildflower Project
  • Doveridge Parish Council
  • Hartington Parish Council

​​​​​The groups have informally adopted the verges in their area and are working in partnership with the council to manage them for wildflowers and pollinators. Each of the pilots sites are being surveyed this summer as part of the monitoring, to see how the verges develop over the next three years.

Wilder Wirksworth have adopted a verge at the entrance to a housing estate close to the centre of town. They collected native plants growing in their garden such as: primroses, red campion and ox eye daisy and planted these into the verge. The group plan to sow locally sourced yellow rattle seed in late summer which is a semi parasitic on grass, to reduce the vigour of the grasses allow the wildflowers to more successfully compete with the grass.

Rewilding Hathersage have taken on two verges and are waiting to see what wildflowers appear this year before they look at adding local wildflower seeds or plants.

Doveridge Parish Council are keen to increase the number of wildflowers on an area of open space at a junction between two roads. This year a strip of vegetation around a pond was allowed to grow long and in the autumn they plan to create a wildflower area. The eagle eyed parish councillor’s also spotted a number of bee orchids growing in a road verge at the edge of the village and the council was able to quickly respond by just cutting the roadside edge of the verge avoiding the orchids.

Bradwell Wildflower Project

A group of local residents have adopted five verges, three managed by DDDC and two by the parish council. The community planted 500 planted grown from locally sourced seed within the verges. They also involved the village school and the children who compared the number of flowers in short mown grass to the areas allowed to grow long, as part of No Mow May campaign.

Hartington Wildflower Project

The group are trying different techniques on the five areas they are managing to see what works best. From leaving the vegetation to grow long in council’s owned car park, to scarifying and sowing in the churchyard and rotating and introducing plants on another site.