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Norfolk's Roadside Nature Reserves

In the 1990s, Norfolk established Roadside Nature Reserves (RNRs) to protect and enhance nature next to our roads. Some of these RNRs, representing remnants of Norfolk's natural grasslands, give sanctuary to rare species like spiny restharrow, pyramidal orchid, sandy stilt puffball, and fragrant agrimony. 

Many RNRs being unchanged grasslands, feature common meadow flowers and grasses important for the well-being of bees, butterflies, and other insects. Our RNR network also functions as essential corridors for wildlife, connecting Norfolk's diverse habitats. 

Norfolk County Council (NCC) and Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) are actively working on The Roadside Nature Reserve Scheme, which protects non-statutory wildlife sites, like RNRs, and aligns with the County Wildlife Site system.  

Unlike conventional verge management, RNRs follow a specific plan, using precise methods to cut verges for the best protection. We aim to change how we manage all of Norfolk's verges and green spaces.  

Using RNRs, we seek to enhance biodiversity, improve nature connectivity, and provide valuable ecosystem services. We also empower communities with verge management, engaging them in RNR conservation. 

As part of our commitment, we have increased the number of RNRs from 111 to 224. In collaboration with Suffolk County Council, we are actively working to implement Nature Recovery Demonstrator Pilots countywide. These initiatives assist the council's goals in managing verges for wildlife and habitat connectivity.

To locate all the RNR locations, please refer to the interactive map below.

Norfolk County Council has not conducted a risk assessment on these sites and advises against public visits due to busy roads. If you have queries regarding roadside nature reserves, please contact us at

The Environment service is not responsible for managing the wider roadside verge network. General verge cutting queries should be submitted to the Highways team at Norfolk County Council via our online contact form

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