Orton Roadside Special Verges

Roadside verges are a unique habitat, providing a link between different types of habitats. They can be made up of a very diverse range of species and, as such, some verges are designated as SSSIs for their importance. 

Road verges are a source of nectar for pollinators and provide cover and forage for a number of bird, mammal and amphibian species, while allowing their movement through the wider landscape.

The Orton Road Verges Project celebrates the special road verges of Orton, in the Cumbrian area of the National Park. 

The unique verges in Orton parish have been chronicled over 14 years and through tens of thousands of photographs by the late Judy Dunford. Taking our lead from Judy in attempting to better understand these diverse habitats, we are looking to run a survey programme to help better manage them for the future. The project will involve the local community and look to raise awareness of their importance and beauty.

Some of Judy's photos can viewed in our Gallery pages under Projects.

Be a verge ambassador!

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority is working with a range of partners, including Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Cumbria County Council and Orton Parish Council. 

We are looking for local residents to take part in surveys, or perhaps adopt a stretch of road verge to help monitor the species found there. This will help us to record where key species are present, and look to improve their management, as well as reducing any negative impacts, such as parking or overtaking hotspots.

Verge ambassadors will receive full training in survey methodology. If you would like to get involved, and learn more about your local verges and their management, please contact Wildlife Conservation Officer Sue Thurley at wildlifeconservation@yorkshiredales.org.uk

Still summer’s song beats in my blood Alan Hartley

Facts at your fingertips