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Letting the pavements grow

  • by JW

‘Green Pavements’ and cherishing our urban flora


There’s a push to leave our grass verges to the bees:

Letting grass verges grow – Vision Group for Sidmouth


And on Radio 4 earlier today, we heard about leaving the cracks in the pavement as well:


Green Pavements

Why do the weeds in our pavements deserve our attention?

Helen Mark presents a pavement safari in search of our urban flora.

French botanist, Sophie Leguil decided to start chalking the names of plants next to them to draw people’s attention to the downtrodden.

Others, like Jane Perrone began to do the same thing, and gradually the urban flora is gaining a new respect.

But this isn’t the first time these plants have attracted interest, botanist Phil Gates tells the story of weeds, walking and worship as he reveals how some 90 years ago a young Edward Salisbury, (who was later to become Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew) discovered how seeds could be picked up and transferred vast distances on the soles of our shoes.

So has the time come to show the downtrodden a little more respect?

Trevor Dines of Plantlife certainly thinks so, and argues that we should be protecting our grass verges, reducing the frequency with which they are mowed and allowing the wildflowers that line our roads to grow which would enrich our environment and our well-being.

BBC Radio 4 – Open Country, Green Pavements


Here are a few links to these initiatives:


Sophie Leguil (@SLeguil) / Twitter

‘Rebel Botanists’ Use Sidewalk Chalk to Help People Connect With Nature

‘Not just weeds’: how rebel botanists are using graffiti to name forgotten flora | Environment | The Guardian


Jane Perrone

Coronavirus: Woman chalks plant names on paths on lockdown walks – BBC News


A life-time of reasons to be cheerful about botany: Phil Gates | Dr M Goes Wild

Country diary: the spread of the Welsh poppy | Environment | The Guardian


Plantlife :: Plantlife research shows the value – and vulnerability – of Britain’s last remaining meadows

Coronavirus: Lockdown ‘could boost wild flowers’ – BBC News


photo: Crack in the pavement.jpg | Wildflower season means flowers … | Flickr