Wood Lane Road-verge Meadow, Long Stratton (Diss)
The scale of destruction of flower-rich meadows and grasslands in Norfolk has been so severe that some of the best remaining fragments are now found on roadside verges. These tiny areas, vulnerable and valuable, can be alive with colourful flowers and insect life. They are so important that many are designated as Roadside Nature Reserves. Wood Lane is an excellent example of one of these.
A range of species typical of south Norfolk "boulder clay" grasslands can be found growing here, including dyer’s greenweed and the rare and beautiful sulphur clover - a wild flower now largely restricted to road verges in south Norfolk.
It is hoped that seed from these roadside verge meadows can be used to restore flower-rich meadows on nearby farmland once again.
Species to spot
Best time to see: All year
The inspiration for 'Ratty' in Wind in the Willows, this vole is sadly our fastest declining mammal. It can be distinguished by its rounded nose and ears. 'Lawns' of nibbled grass can be found near their burrows. Image © Tom Marshall
Norfolk County Council