Managed mowing of roadside verges, Isère, France

Delaying mowing gives plants the opportunity to bloom and form fruits and seeds. In this way, they can provide food and cover for insects and other small animals. The habitat quality of green strips and roadside verges depends on various factors, and mowing is one of the factors which are easiest to influence. By delaying mowing of verges until late summer, or by using mosaic-type mowing techniques, which involves mowing only a small area at a time, habitat conditions can be improved, e.g. for butterflies and various other species.

© Rainer Sturm /
© Rainer Sturm /
Example: Département Isère, France

In the Département Isère, the highways department and the administration of the Département (Conseil Général), in partnership with the nature conservation organisation GENTIANA, have been running a project entitled “Managed mowing of roadside verges: protecting nature”, which focusses on the roadside verges and green strips in the road network. By abandoning the use of pesticides and adopting a properly thought-out and planned approach to mowing, the aim is to protect biodiversity. The range of species of flora and fauna occurring in the roadside verges in the Département was previously recorded in a comprehensive survey undertaken by GENTIANA. Mowing is now undertaken in line with the principle: “As much mowing as necessary and as little as possible”. Particular consideration is given to the safety of road users in this context, but no mowing takes place until the majority of flowering plants have bloomed and seeds have formed.


Signs at strategically and ecologically important sections of the highway network draw attention to the scheme and inform the public. The project’s positive impacts on flora and fauna have already been demonstrated. In addition, better planning of working time and use of resources, as well as a reduced workload, has helped to cut costs.

Further information


Information on the project, together with checklists and examples, are available on the GENTIANA website. (fr)


Roadverge management to encourage species diversity


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