Our roads are set to have more colour and wildlife havens thanks to more wildflower verges.

An increase to wildflower verges in East Sussex

Wildflower verges provide valuable wildlife corridors and support diverse ecosystems. They allow rare wildflowers to flourish and offer a vital refuge for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, and other wildlife. This year we’ve introduced 36 new wildflower verges. There are now 176 in East Sussex.


The vibrant verges total more than 125 miles. This is the approximate distance from Lewes to Cambridge!

Rare wildflowers

Road verges are home to almost half of the UK’s wildflower species, and our verges have been very successful. A rare Lizard orchid is growing in Lewes, and one verge contains 68% of the UK population of Spiked Rampion. Both species are protected under Schedule 8 of the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act.
A rare Lizard Orchid.

A rare Lizard Orchid growing in Lewes.

Cutting our verges

To protect the natural habitat and to allow the wildflowers to bloom and seed, wildlife verges will usually only get cut once a year, and not at all between March and September. You can spot a wildflower verge by a small yellow, flower shaped sign.
Plus, with more people interested in the ecological value of roadside verges and requests for fewer cuttings, East Sussex Highways is currently carrying out a grass cutting trial in rural areas.
Verges in 12 parishes across the county will have a cut just once this year to help protect our natural environment. We will be keenly monitoring the verges during the trial to record what grows.

This trial is particularly valuable to wildlife; rural road verges can often be the last areas of declining habitats, such as woodland edges, meadows and downland.

Grass cutting decisions are always made from the point of view of road safety. East Sussex Highways cut some verges twice a year for safety, and additional cuts can be requested. You can find out more about grass cutting on the East Sussex Highways website.

Spiked Rampion growing in East Sussex.

Spiked Rampion growing in East Sussex.

Request a wildflower verge

Want to see more colourful wild verges? If you believe a verge to be of special ecological interest, please submit an application for it to be considered a wildlife verge online.

Create a wildlife haven in your garden

There are loads of ways that you can make your own garden or outside space a haven to wildlife. From compost piles, letting the grass grow, building hedgehog homes and more. Find out how to create a wildlife haven in your garden.

Let us know what you think about wildflower verges in the comments below. Do you want to see more wildflowers? Have you spotted any wildlife or rarer flowers thriving?