Highways to become ‘WildWays’ as Kingston Council rolls out new scheme to boost local biodiversity
Eight pilot WildWays sites have been introduced on roadside grass verges across the borough to create rich, wildflower meadows.
Kingston Council is committed to creating a cleaner, greener borough - a beautiful place for people to live and work alongside thriving wildlife populations.
To help boost local biodiversity, the council is now trialling a different method of verge management at eight WildWays sites across Kingston.
During the first year the grass will be allowed to grow longer, it will then be cut and removed. This will help lower the nutrient level of the soil, resulting in a reduction of grass growth and allowing more space for wildflowers to emerge. As a result, meadow like areas will form and perennial wildflowers will begin to flourish.
Wildflowers provide a great source of forage for pollinators, including a wealth of butterflies such as holly blues, large whites and orange tips, as well as supporting local bumblebee populations. This new management method will also improve the soil's health and introduce much needed colour to our highways.
The eight pilot WildWays sites:
Tudor Drive Junction with Latchmere Lane (large site)
Cambridge Road Gardens (small site)
Langley Avenue Roundabout (large site)
Kings Drive (small site)
South of the Borough
Guilders Road Roundabout (large site)
Hunters Road Triangle (small site)
Maldens and Coombe
Malden Green (large site)
Dickerage Lane (small site)
Sarah Ireland, Executive Director of Corporate & Communities, Kingston Council:
We want to create environments in which both people and wildlife can thrive alongside one another.
In 2019, almost 400 residents had their say on how they would like to see our green spaces managed in the future, with overwhelming support for ‘natural not cultivated’ wildlife-friendly adjustments.
WildWays is one of many new practices we have begun to roll out across the borough in support of this new vision. Other initiatives include: introducing biobeds (raised beds planted with robust species to support urban pollinators), supporting the establishment of new community orchards and piloting traditional grassland grazing.
Our new WildWays meadows will take some time to establish so residents are encouraged to visit Let’s Talk to find out what the process involves and what the final results will look like.
Whilst you’re there we would love to hear your thoughts on the scheme and if this is something you would like to see implemented borough-wide.
Residents can find out more about WildWays and share their views on the trials by visiting: kingstonletstalk.co.uk/wildways.