On the Verge Project

'On the Verge' is a partnership project led by the DVLP working across the three local authority areas (Doncaster, Rotherham & Barnsley) working with a wide range of partners, volunteers & community groups.

The Project aims to enhance biodiversity across the Dearne Valley by increasing local understanding of the value of verges for biodiversity through practical conservation work and monitoring surveys of key indicator species.

Firstly, a condition assessment of the road verges initially identified as having potential for biodiversity gains will be conducted by ecologists from Baker Consultants. The condition assessment will primarily look at the safety of the road verges for volunteers to work on. Then the soil quality, plant species present and potential management activities will also be assessed.

We are actively looking for volunteers who would like to get involved with the project, full training will be provided


  • Bulb Planting
  • Wildflower Sowing
  • Hedgerow laying/management
  • Scrub Clearing


  • Plants
  • Birds
  • Butterflies
  • Small Mammals

Through consultation with stakeholders a 5-year Management Plan will be developed. The plan will outline the verges selected for volunteers to manage, containing detailed maps of the roads and where management work shall take place, as well as management activity timescales. The practical  conservation work outlined in the plan will focus on bulb planting, wildflower sowing, hedgerow laying/management and scrub clearing. Tools and equipment will be provided to volunteers to carry out the work.

Alongside the practical conservation work will also be a monitoring programme. The monitoring surveys aim to increase biological records of road verges as they are severely under recorded. The surveys will target key indicator species including plants, birds and butterflies. Training workshops will be provided to volunteers to demonstrate the monitoring survey methodology. These will be arranged in due course in the local areas.

(Brimstone Butterfly, Alwyn Timms)

Safety is paramount in this project, verges that are unsafe for volunteers will be managed through working with the Highways Agency. Full risk assessments of every verge will identify any hazards to volunteers whilst implemented safety measures, such as providing PPE, to eliminate or reduce any risks.

If you would like more information or like to get involved please contact us at DVLP@Barnsley.gov.uk or call 01226 772414.

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