Earlier this week, Mike D'Apice who is the monitor responsible for the Protected Verge in Stratford Road near Mill Lane, made one of his regular seasonal inspections.
Following his visit, notices have been erected on the verge advising that Salisbury City Council will be reducing the frequency of grass cutting in the area.
Protected verges are subject to special management by Wiltshire Council or the Highways Authority. Each verge is monitored by a volunteer whose duties are to check the condition of the verge regularly and the performance of those species, communities or features for which the verge was designated. Volunteer monitors are appointed by Wiltshire Council and the Wiltshire and Swindon Biological Records Centre (WSBRC), a part of the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust Ltd (WWT) and as such they fall within the category of WWT volunteers and are covered by the same regulations.
Each monitor is supplied with a map, species list, details of the management plan for the verge, details of the health and safety criteria agreed for monitoring, and copies of blank monitoring forms which are completed and returned to the Trust on an annual basis.
Wild Clary, Salvia verbenacea, several examples of which have appeared in the area in previous years, was not observed during the June 2022 inspection.
However, several examples of Rubus armeniacus, the Himalayan blackberry or Armenian blackberry, were identified. This is an invasive species. In its first year a new stem grows vigorously to its full length of 4–10 metres, trailing along the ground or arching up to 4 metres high.