Verge Nature Reserves (VNR) are particular roadside verges containing important grassland, ditch and hedgerow habitats, and providing refuges for wildflowers, animals and wildlife such as butterflies.
They have a role as wildlife or green corridors that are particularly important in terms of adaptation to climate change, allowing wildlife to move and adapt as conditions change. Some of the best VNR are also designated as Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) in recognition of their importance for biodiversity. In addition to their value for biodiversity, VNR are of historic, landscape and cultural importance.
Roadside verges are subject to a variety of threats including damage from vehicles, fly-tipping, overgrazing by tethered horses and the planting and spread of non-native, invasive species. The biggest threat, however, is a lack of management which leads to grassland being replaced by brambles and scrub such as hawthorn.