Lessons We Learned
As the project developed it became apparent that not all sites selected could be retained within the project for a variety of reasons including: a verge too dangerous to survey due to traffic, a Council park used for 12th July bonfire that the long grass hide remains that damaged machinery, verges that so many residents cut outside their properties that the remaining area of grass was to small to effectively manage, a verge that was on a busy road and impossible to manage in any meaning full way, operatives that continually cut the sites, to name but a few.
At the start of the delivery phase, DMLIG selected 24 road verges and 22 sites within 16 Council parks, by year three of the project the number of road verges had been reduced to 19, but the Council sites had increased to 25 sites within 17 parks. With Council staff now regularly suggesting new sites, as they see their job isn’t being threatened, it frees up their time in the summer months to carry out other works and there is a theme to the sites suggested new sites; usually, the really wet areas that are difficult to cut on a regular basis but fit well into a DMLIG style management.
So no matter your section criteria you have to try it and see how it can work, also how it is received by the local community, and be flexible. Engagement, education and promotion is a crucial part of any DMLIG style project.
Due to the success of the sites and the positive reaction by the local community both DfI Roads and CCGBC have agreed to retain the existing DMLIG sites and look for new opportunities.