A new Swiss guideline on highway verge design and management has been published beginning 2016. Its main goal is to better adapt landscaping to maintenance prerogatives, while integrating biodiversity issues. Six main objectives were set for verges: enhance integration of the infrastructure in the landscape, enhance buffer zone function, reeinforce positive corridor effects and linkages, maintain and enhance biodiversity in defined areas, avoid and contain invasive plants and finaly adapt design so as to ensure cost effective maintenance. Maintenance should clearly distingusih between intensive cut areas adjacent the traffic zone (2m wide) and extensive areas. The wildlife fencing should be placed, when possible, between thses two areas. The overall management objective is to set aside 20 % of verges as biodiversity areas. The presentation will focus on how these goals should be met and the many practical obstacles to an ecological verge management that need to be overcome.
verge management, biodiversity,vegetation, corridor effect