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Huge expansion to London kerbside wildflower project announced

Transport for London’s (TfL) roadside planting programme increase to 130,000m², boosting biodiversity with a potential to increase soil carbon storage capacity.

selective focus photography of flower gardenThe nurturing of wildflower vergers is part of organisation’s continuing work to help encourage biodiversity, mitigate climate change and become more sustainable in its operations.

Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, said: ‘London can be greener healthier and home to more exciting creatures. To achieve this goal it’s vital that TfL continues its work to double the area in the city covered by wildflower verges.’

The verges, which take several years to fully develop, encourage biodiversity and help wildflowers thrive, which can lead to greater amounts of carbon being stored in the soil, as well as supporting pollinators including bees and butterflies. They still need to be maintained but mowing will be timed to allow wildflowers to grow, with edges regularly trimmed to ensure they remain safe for passing drivers.

The new sites were selected following trials across north London, where TfL reduced mowing frequency in order to encourage wildflower growth.

All sites will be kept under review and TfL will look at whether additional sites both on the Road Network, as well as on other green spaces managed by TfL, could be managed this way in the coming years. It will also be liaising with local boroughs to ensure litter picking at these locations is coordinated and monitored, as well as working with local stakeholders to explore opportunities for collaboration to further enhance and promote these sites.

Shirley Rodrigues again: ‘Working together we can all help build a better London for everyone –  the people and the pollinators that call it home and who benefit from a greener, fairer and more prosperous city.

‘The introduction of new wildflower verges forms a key part of TfL’s commitment to enhancing biodiversity across its estate. TfL’s plan will be set out in the forthcoming Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity Plan. The plan intends to provide clear information on TfL’s approach to protecting, connecting and enhancing biodiversity and how TfL will work with other organisations to tackle this vital issue both now as well as part of longer-term planning’.

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