Roundabouts and more

I collect roundabouts – by which I mean photographically rather than having a collection in my back garden. I got interested in roundabouts about 14 years ago, firstly as a teaching aid for island biogeography (see Teaching Matters) and then as part of my research. The French have some great roundabouts, see below for a fine example of a landlocked island.

Roundabout boat

Here are a few more fine roundabouts.

Gourdon 2013compressed


Le Pont Chretien

Le Pont Chretien

Souillac a compressed


Hook of Holland

Hook of Holland

Cactus roundabout


7 responses to “Roundabouts and more

  1. Lucy Corrander

    Something has gone wrong with roundabouts. In my area they are out of fashion and traffic-lights have been reinstated at most relevant junctions. This may have nothing to do with how well roundabouts help with traffic flow and everything to do with giving Olympic officials precedence during the sailing events (? ? ? ); but regardless – those left tend to be planted re-planted with bedding flowers funded by companies which have their names advertised on them. This may make sense in many ways – including drivers being able to see easily from one side to the other – but it also means they must be even less bio-diverse than an ordinary over-tended garden. I haven’t checked with the council but I imagine they use loads of weed killers and insect killers to keep them neat. They are VERY neat.

    Inspired by your idea I’d been thinking round ’roundabouts I know’ trying to find one I could safely potter about on very early on a summer’s morning before there’s much traffic. Then I realised there’d be nothing to see except begonias or whatever the council sticks there.

    In a brief internet search for popular roundabout plants I came across this article

    I expect many gardeners and local authorities will find it inspiring but as I like dandelion better than primulas, a nettles more than yuccas – I find it rather discouraging.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mo Norrington

      Would love to hear your opinion of road verges. I’ve been trying to persuade County Council to cut only sight-line and leave the rest of their expansive swards to nature. It’s like driving past green concrete.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think road verges are very important and find it amazing that so many local councils are still cutting them back so drastically. They have huge potential as nature reservoirs.


    • Lucy Corrander

      All very bizarre. I can understand why residents might mind about the impression given to visitors as they arrive in the town but what’s already there is pretty ordinary. The gnomes aren’t exactly spoiling an otherwise beautiful view. One of the letters mentions planting on the roundabout. Planting? What planting? Seed some grass liberally infested with dandelion seeds and sit the gnomes there to strike a garish and smile-making splash – that’s what I say! I wonder what happened. The gnomes look unhappy in their sparse environment. Maybe there are giraffes there now too.

      Incidentally, re. the pictures in the post above – what is it with old boats? We have them lying around here too. Why not abandoned cars instead? (Actually, that might not be a bad idea – quite sculptural.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Briony Norton

    I recently re-visited a blog post on our research project website and thought it might be of interest to readers of this page. It’s about a rare-ish millipede found on a roundabout in Milton Keynes, which is full of roundabouts. Here is the link: The roundabout in question had a mix of vegetation retained from former farmland as well as new plantings.

    On the subject of road verges, there is a project going on at the moment in Sheffield looking at the benefits to biodiversity and ecosystem service provision of changing road verge management
    It’s still in fairly early days but should be interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

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