Fall into nature with Plantlife: Communities in action - On the road to success

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Are you interested in wildlife-friendly road verges? Perhaps you’re a wildlife group, a councillor or highways officer, or a contractor but not sure where to start or need some inspiration? Join us to hear from individuals and organisations from around the country who are transforming road verges for wildflowers and the wildlife they support. You’ll hear from each panellist and will be finding out their top tips for road verge projects. Together we’ll be discussing solutions to frequently encountered barriers such as negative perceptions and collecting grass cuttings, and there’ll be time for you to submit your own questions to the panel.


Dr Kate Petty, Road Verge Campaign Manager at Plantlife
Chaired by Plantlife’s Road Verge Campaign Manager, Dr Kate Petty. Kate joined Plantlife in 2018 following a PhD studying the ecology and evolution of the coastal plant Sea Rocket. As part of the Road Verge Campaign, Kate works with councils, community volunteer groups, contractors, statutory and highways agencies to see road verges better managed for wildlife.
Ben Hewlett, National Highways (formerly known as Highways England)

Ben Hewlett is a Senior Environmental Advisor at National Highways based in Exeter, and has worked for the organisation since 2018. Ben’s role focuses on providing internal environmental advice for major road projects and day to day estate operations, as well as working on national scale environmental policy and implementation of environmental strategies for the company. Recently, Ben has implemented a new policy which aims to improve biodiversity of grasslands created by major road schemes through the removal of topsoil from their specification. It is hoped that this change in policy will result in the creation of significant areas of new wildflower rich habitat along England’s strategic road network.

Tim Bird, Cormac Solutions Ltd

Tim Bird is an ecologist working for Cormac Solutions Ltd.  He delivers ecological consultancy on many projects and general advice on ecological matters to Cormac and Cornwall Council.

Cormac Solutions Ltd is a company owned by Cornwall Council delivering front line services (both management and operational) on many assets owned by, or under the responsibility of the Council including:  highways, countryside sites & multi-use trails, formal parks & gardens, public rights of way, housing and grounds maintenance.

Janet Cobb, Restoring Shropshire's Verges Project

A small verge initiative began in two South Shropshire Villages, Edgton and Norbury and has grown into Restoring Shropshire’s Verges Project (RSVP) with 36 mini sites run by volunteers and another project on wide main roads in and around Bishop’s Castle managed by The National Trust, Caring for Gods Acre and volunteers with support from Shropshire Council and Highways department. The project has now been running for three years and Janet is a board member and volunteer for RSVP.

Joel Walley, Denbighshire County Council  

Joel Walley is the Ecology Officer for Denbighshire County Council and the Project Lead for the Denbighshire Wildflower Project, working with colleagues in Streetscene to create and restore species rich grasslands throughout the county.

Liam Blazey, Denbighshire County Council 
Liam Blazey is a Biodiversity Officer for Denbighshire County Council and is responsible for undertaking the monitoring and mapping of sites included within the Council’s Wildflower Project. Liam also works closely with community groups to collect, grow, and plant local provenance wildflowers throughout Denbighshire.    
Plantlife relies on its members and donors. This event is free but if you would like to donate to support our work you can add an optional donation. The more you give, the more plants we can save. Thank you.   

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Event finished
Via Zoom®
Thu 7th Oct 2021
6:30pm BST
75 mins