We Saved the Moondaisies!

Posted on 27/05/2020 By

We Saved the Moondaisies.

We saved the Moondaisies - Bertie sat in a verge surrounded by Moondaisies.

“We” being all those people who contacted Surrey County Council Highways to express their dismay at the destruction of the wildflower verges on main roads last year. Individuals, local council officers and not forgetting Plantlife UK, whose roadside verge campaign has created a national impetus to stop needless mowing in May. A few weeks ago, we were further encouraged by national headlines that the sound of council mowers would be replaced by birdsong. Local authorities would be so distracted by Covid-19 that mowing was off the agenda.

Living a hermit like existence during the pandemic we were, nevertheless, desperate to see the Moondaisies in flower. But then, dismayed to find the A24 coned off. Numerous vehicles, including low-loaders with giant mowing tractors poised, seemingly, to wreak havoc again. Bobby went nuts. Phoning everybody of “influence”. Ranting on Facebook. He was assured that it would be different this year. A modest cut of sight-lines and one metre off the verges.

Verge along the A24 showing the Moondaisies, but the strange 1m mowed edge.

One metre verge cut. Any idea why?

Showing the central reservation of the A24, with the Moondaisies and a 1m mown band either side.

One meter x2, centre reserve cut. Once again, why?

A vase of cut Moondaisies on the windowsill of Laurel Cottage.

Nice cut flowers.

And that is how it turned out. We are alternately immensely grateful to Surrey County Council, but then mystified. In equal measure. In the first instance, you will see from the pictures that the reduced cutting has had a dramatic affect on the verges of the A24 Capel Bypass. Sight-lines and one metre verge cut are the latest policy. However, drive three miles south and you go over the border into Sussex. The first bypass on the same A24 is Horsham. There, West Sussex County Council have just cut the sight lines on roundabouts and their close approaches. They have not touched the verges for miles.

So West Sussex are far more in tune with the policy recommended by Plantlife UK. And saving money, by not having to cut and cone off miles of dual carriageway. But the verges do have to be managed. And, ideally, one day the machinery used will collect the cuttings both for aesthetic and environmental reasons.

Bertie on the Beare Green Roundabout, showing just the 1m mown area with the rest awash with yellow wild flowers.

Much improved Beare Green Roundabout.

Bertie sat amongst the Buttercups on Beare Green Roundabout.

Not just Moondaisies, but Buttercups and lots of other flowers as well.

Bertie in the devasted mown area last year compared to this year where he is sat in an expanse of remaining Moondaisies along the A24 in Surrey.

2019 2020 (same place).

So, we feel we’ve helped and saved the Moondaisies.

You can read the full policy of PlantLife Uk; sign their petition and join us in campaigning to encourage Surrey to follow West Sussex policy, save taxpayers’ money and leave the verges alone in May 2021.

www.plantlife.org.uk/uk.

Here are some extracts:

We are Plantlife - "Every Flower Counts 23-31 May.

Plantlife campaign: Save wild flowers on road verges.

Screenprint of "About the Plantlife Campaign" - full text of which can be found via the Plantlife link above.

Front cover of the Plantlife "Best practice to managing grassland road verges".

Screenprint of the guidelines, which specifically exclude any cutting during Apri to Mid July. Full details can be found via the Plantlife link above.——————

Bobby, Bertie, Eamonn and Trevor at Diddley's Bench with the vase of Moondaisies.

We celebrated by going to Diddley’s Bench at Abinger Roughs.

Bertie: “Bobby. It’s bleeding ot. Why are we all sitting here wearing scarves?”

Bobby: “I forgot to take them off after Eamonn’s New Scarf blog!”

Lighting a Candle For Diddley

The vase of Moondaisies set on Diddley's Bench, set behind a lit candle.

——————

Trees and Nature    


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