Monday, 14 May 2018

Kerbside Congestion


The vegetated margins of the UK's roads constitute the largest area of uncultivated or unbuilt land in the country. Until relatively recently, these locations precariously maintained a great diversity of flowers and their associated insects (cars have always been a hazard, especially for the latter). The organisation Plantlife have, however, noted a recent 20% decline in plant diversity that they relate to cutting practises (the areas tend to be treated like lawns) and nitrogen oxide fumes from vehicles that encourage rampant species like Nettles (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-44087629). The locations could certainly be more sensitively managed and the government claim that the emissions will decline anyhow due to differently-powered cars (although the rate of this reduction can be viewed as too slow even in terms of human health considerations). The practise of planting verges with garden plants is also surely likely to cause problems for some wild plant species. Care of these locations also needs a more 'joined-up' approach as different authorities treat them very differently.

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