Non statutory wildlife site botanical monitoring

Biodiversity & habitat management planning | Habitat and fauna surveys

Applied Ecology was employed by Cambridgeshire County Council to undertake detailed botanical survey and assessment of over 18 km of road verge across Cambridgeshire in order to review their existing County Wildlife Site (CWS) and Protected Road Verge (PRV) designation status.

The survey included 27 separate road verges with existing CWS/PRV status and two candidate PRVs. The entire length of each road verge was surveyed with a list of all higher plant species present and their relative abundances recorded.  The National Vegetation Classification (NVC) plant community types present along each verge was also assessed.

Following completion of the fieldwork, each road verge was reassessed against the County’s own protected road verge assessment criteria, and recommendations for continued designation and management were reported.

  1. Sickle medick Medicago sativa ssp. Falcata a nationally scarce plant with a stronghold in East Anglia.
  2. Crested cow-wheat Melampyrum cristatum a scarce Red list specialist plant species of ancient woodland clearing and ride margins and protected road verges on chalky boulder-clay soils that was recorded by Applied Ecology as part of the road verge survey
  3. Bee orchids Ophrys apifera, a small widespread orchid species that favour chalky soil conditions, were also regularly encountered as part of the survey