Lincolnshire Wolds

Spotted orchids, Claxby, Helen SmithSpotted orchids, Claxby, Helen Smith

The rolling landscape of the Lincolnshire Wolds, underlain by chalk, is crossed by ancient routes and broad drove roads which could offer vital corridors for wildflowers and the wildlife that depends on them.

a habitat of high conservation value

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

With the right management, grassland growing on chalk soils can be one of the most diverse habitats in the country and a riot of wild flower colour in spring and summer. Both the variety of wild plants and animals it supports and its relative scarcity in Britain and Europe make this a habitat of high conservation value. Richer ‘drift’ soils, also found in the Wolds, support an additional suite of grassland plants and associated wildlife.

Road verges represent a vital opportunity to link the few remaining patches of species-rich grassland across the landscape. A well cared for network of verges can act as green corridors that help plants and animals move as they need to cope with disturbance and adapt to climate change.

This scheme is also working with local community groups to restore chalk stream habitats - 8km of habitat has been enhanced so far.

What’s happening?

Life on the Verge in the Lincolnshire Wolds is the continuation of Britain's largest hunt for roadside wildflowers.

It aimed to identify vital corridors for grassland wildlife throughout the Lincolnshire Wolds during 2011-12.   The scheme runs free Wildflower Identification Field Classes and launched a new survey season on 1st June 2012 - this survey will depend upon local volunteers of all skill levels. Please help if you can!

Start date: 2005

Scheme area: 84,000 hectares

Trust reserves within the scheme

Red Hill, Snipe Dales, Silverines Meadow, Sotby Meadows, Welton-le-Wold Quarry, Candlesby Hill Quarry, Sow Dale, Keal Carr

This scheme is helping species including...

Chalk grassland species: nationally scarce plants include the fine-leaved sandwort and locally scarce plants such as the southern and early marsh orchids. Also rare in the Wolds is the purple milk vetch which is more commonly found on the limestone grasslands further west of the county.

Chalk stream species: otter, water vole and fish such as grayling, dace, chub, roach, stoneloach and bullhead.  The hairy whirlygig beetle is another locally important species which can be seen gyrating on the surface of still waters in late evenings.

Current threats to the landscape

Habitat fragmentation, agricultural intensification, over-abstraction of water from the chalk aquifer and directly from chalk streams, pollution, non-native species

This scheme is also...

Helping wildlife adapt to climate change, improving water quality, reducing flood risk, storing carbon, regulating erosion, providing habitat for pollinating insects, providing skills training, volunteering opportunities and environmental education.


Natural England, Environment Agency, Local Authorities, Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service, Anglian Water, Wild Trout Trust

To find out more

Email: | Tel: 01507 526667 |  Life on the Verge

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