The roadsides occupy about 2,5% of the total surface
of the Netherlands and Belgium, both very very densely
populated countries. The roadside is 6 meters
broad edge of a road.
The dutch road consist almost always of a main road
and one or two small roads for bicycles. The roadside on
the photo has just been mowed and the grass has
been directly removed, thus reducing the amount of
nitrates and phosfates in the ground. But some plants
near this plastic road object escaped the mowing,
and will survive the winter, this is the only place
on the roadside were
Mowing the grass and directly removing it is done in one
session by this machine. It avoids the trees and other
Shreddering or mowing or grazing
Shreddering the roadside vegetation is the easiest
way and cheapest way of cutting of the roadside vegetation.
But fluids drip of the grass and fertilze the roadside with
phosfates and nitrates. Mowing is the best way of mechanical cutting the
roadside vegetation and the hay can be used to feed the cattle. Grazing Is done by sheep. The best way, but by far
the most costly.
The roadside in may, on can see: Cow parsley, wild mustard , tall
buttercup and dandalion and grasses.
The use of sheep and goats is only possible if the roadside
is broad enough, and there is always the risc that the sheep
The verge of a road occupies a large amount of space,
and one third of all the Dutch nature is roadside.
A short history of the verge
Before 1950 there was no verge management at all,
the grasses in the verge of the road were collected by
farmers.They used fertilizer to increase the amount of hay
and used it for the cattle.
Around 1960 there was an increase in pollution:
The amount of lead polluting the roadside is making the
farmers detached using the hay for the cattle.
Cuttings being left in situ, which may increase soil nitrate
and encourage coarser species. The fertilizer and herbicide
treatment reduced the diversity of the grasslands.
In 1970 more awareness about the environment lead to
another roadside verge management.
The removal of the mowed hay created nutrient-poor environments
that increased the biodiversity.
In 1984 the " Bermbesluit in 1984" (belgium) dictated that:
- no herbicids are allowed.
- the grasslands can be be mowed only after 15 june ,
and it can only be mowed after 15 september for the second time.
- The mowed hay must be removed within 10 days.
- Its not allowed to damage trunks of trees.
Dutch roads are mostly accompagnied by small roads for bicycles
There is a small area around roadsigns that are not very well
mowed as the machines have to avoid a collision with those signs.
This gives some perrinial plants a chance to survive near road sign's.
Also toads, frogs etc can survive in these small area's.