Roadside verges survey project

Did you know that some roadside verges are home to some of the rarest plant species in the UK? In the 2012 and 2013 wildflower surveys were completed across all the road verges in Nidderdale AONB, with some fascinating results.

Following the survey, all roads in the AONB have been colour coded green, yellow, amber and red depending on wildflower interest and 30 ‘special interest verges’ were identified. Detailed species surveys were undertaken at each Special Interest Verge and star species included twayblade, Solomon’s seal, common spotted orchid, rock-rose, marjoram, bilberry, cowberry, sweet woodruff and the first ever recorded sighting of Melancholy thistle in Nidderdale.

The survey was carried out by experienced volunteers from PLACE (People, Landscape and Cultural Environment of Yorkshire). Surveys have also been completed in The Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks so we now have a comparable wildflower verge survey across three neighbouring protected landscapes.

Want to know more? You can download the final report from the surveys here - wildflower verges report

PLACE have also recently published a book on road verges, 'Wildflowers on the Edge', which is available at