Don’t forget the roadsides!

In this spring seasons, flowers are sprouting everywhere, artistically colouring the whole world, as they happily do every year.

Greater celandine

Celandine in Wilrijk

It is every year a surprise to see the variety and diversity of flowers that lighten up our days. And it is not only the nature reserves and natural areas that contain this variety, a lot of it can easily be seen from the road.

Narrowleaf plantain flowers

Narrowleaf plantain in Grobbendonk

I know that roadsides get a fairly negative image through my research, as I study them in the less disturbed world of the mountains, where they show a strongly degraded ecosystem. In Belgium, however, they are amongst the most important areas of nature we have left.

Broom flowering in a village

Broom in Grobbendonk

Indeed, roadsides are only a degraded ecosystems. Yes, they only show a fraction of the possible flower diversity in our nature. But still, we should not forget about them, as they are the strongholds of nature within our cities and the much-needed connections between the remaining patches of ‘true’ nature.

Chickweed flowers

Chickweed in Kontich, Antwerp

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