All4Biodiversity: improving our natural reserves

The Netherlands has a rich variety of natural habitats. However, extreme droughts and escalating temperatures are putting these habitats under increasing pressure - including the vegetation that grows on the roadside verges of our country’s motorway network.

The different partners working together in the All4Biodiversity programme are exploring solutions that will enhance the quality of nature reserves in the Netherlands.

Since 1999, the Roadside Flora Monitoring Network has been tracking changes in plant growth and identified a decline in the number of species and flowers. While these road verges are often covered with grass for road safety and stability, they also provide opportunities for nature, sheltering a diverse range of plants, insects and small mammals.

Mowing management

As part of the All4Biodiversity programme, Rijkswaterstaat has teamed up with Wageningen University & Research (WUR) to explore different mowing management practices. The aim is to find out which measures can both accommodate the effects of climate change and increase the biodiversity of plants and insects on our roadside verges.

Future management decisions will be guided by key research questions, including the impact of longer growing seasons and droughts on biodiversity, and the performance of ecosystem services, including potential fire risk. 

The findings of this study will be published in 2024 and used to optimise the mowing policy. This will not only contribute to biodiversity recovery but will also make our infrastructure more climate-resilient, improving water infiltration, enhancing soil erosion resistance and reducing the risk of roadside fires.

A sustainable living environment

Our collaboration in the All4Biodiversity programme and the assistance from WUR allow us to more effectively fulfil our responsibilities in managing a sustainable living environment, particularly in the areas of climate change and biodiversity.

The findings from the research will inform the management of roadside verges and encourage more knowledge sharing and collaboration in this field. Ultimately, this will allow us to contribute more effectively towards building a sustainable living environment.

Project period

2020 - 2026

European programme

Life IP

Project website



Province of South Holland (Dutch), Samen voor Biodiversiteit (Dutch), Province of Friesland (Dutch), Province of Gelderland, Province of North Brabant, Province of Limburg (Dutch), Ministry of Nature, Agriculture and Food Quality, BoerenNatuur, Natuurmonumenten (Dutch), Staatsbosbeheer (Dutch), Vogelbescherming (Dutch), Naturalis.