As Surrey County Council take back responsibility for highway verges across the borough from April 2023, it’s a good time to think about how we can all use our green spaces to grow wildflowers and help boost Woking’s biodiversity.
Register to be part of the Blue Campaign
The Blue Campaign encourages councils and the public to re-wild their green spaces. You can get involved by helping to identify land such as verges and roundabouts which are suitable to be left uncut. These areas can feature a blue heart, indicating why the grass and flowers are growing longer there.
Surrey County Council’s agreement is required to let your verges grow wild. Find out more on their website.
If you would like to plant a tree on a highway verge, find out more about the criteria and apply here.
Get involved with community wildflower growing and conservation volunteering
There are a number of community managed wildflower sites in the borough, as well as conservation volunteer groups helping to control invasive plant species and take other positive action for nature. If you’d like to find out more or lend a hand as a volunteer, get in touch with Woking Environment Action at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the council’s Green Infrastructure team at email@example.com.
If you’re interested in starting a new wildflower growing project, always contact the relevant landowner for their permission before you begin.
The Woking B-Line
Surrey Wildlife Trust has worked with Buglife, an organisation devoted to the conservation of all invertebrates, as a part of its B-Lines initiative.
B-Lines are insect pathways running through our countryside and towns, along which habitat ‘stepping stones’ can be restored and created to help stop species decline and link existing wildlife areas together. This creates a network that will encourage areas of new habitat, to benefit bees and butterflies but also other wildlife.
Care for wildflowers in your garden
The B-Line mapped across Woking borough connects to the wider county and national B-Line networks. Everyone who lives, works, owns land, or goes to school in a B-Line can help support the network by looking after pollinators. To find out more about this work, visit the B-Lines webpage.
12% of Surrey is made up of gardens which contribute greatly to habitat connectivity, so your efforts to support biodiversity are every bit as important as the council’s.
There are many ways you can help care for native flora and fauna in your own garden. Here are a few suggestions:
- If you’re just starting out, ‘No Mow May’ is a great place to start. Set aside your lawn mower for four weeks in May and you’ll be amazed by what plants appear. Don’t worry if you miss the month of May – have a go at ‘Let it Bloom June’ or ‘Knee High July’ instead.
- Wildlife thrives best where there is variety so try caring for different areas of grass in different ways according to how you use them:
- Regularly mow routes for paths, where children play, or where you may want to have a picnic.
- Mow some areas only every three to four weeks to create a ‘flowering lawn’, where low growing flowers can flourish such as self-heal, white clover, buttercups, dandelions and daisies.
- Leave a few more permanent areas where the grass can grow long, perhaps with just a single end of summer ‘meadow’ cut (after checking first for wildlife).