Ainsworth is located between Bury and Bolton. Part of Bury MBC it has its own distinctive history. The town was given to the monks of Cockersand Abbey in medieval times. Later it was a part of the estates of the Earls of Wilton sat Heaton Park and part of Middleton Parish. Religion has played a large part in its history. The Church of England had a chapel of ease built in Tuder times and none conformity soon followed with its own house of worship built in the 17th/18th century. This last is still standing and in use.
The area was initially dispersed farms with a medieval hall at Dearden farm and extensive ridge and furrow crop marks delineating a medieval field system north of Barrack Fold. Much of the surrounding area was common land used but gradually enclosured. Coal mining was extensive on cockey moor from the earliest times with evidence of early bell pits visible from Cockey moor road. The whole township was finally enclosed in the early nineteenth century.
The town continued to develop with a free school located on Bradley Fold Road founded in the eighteenth century, and cottages built for quarry workers and handloom weaver. The industrial revolution did influence the town, The old corn mill developed into Star Mount printworks and three Lodges were constructed for the nearby Lower Croft Works. However Ainsworth due to its isolated position did not develop like Radcliffe with industrialisation and continued a largely agricultural existence,
Despite it’s agricultural existence Ainsworth does not have the diversity of nearby Elton Reservoir. Yet despite this several areas can produce significant wildlife.
Lowercroft Lodges and associated area is a site of biological importance (SBI) and probably the most obvious area for wildlife. The sightings at this site include Common Tern, Wheatear , Oyster Catcher Eyebright, Hairbell, and Chimney Sweeper Moth as the photos show.
Starmount Lodges historically part of Ainsworth and other nearby lodges are also rich in wildlife. These boast Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Skullcap, Southern Marsh Orchid, and Marsh Woundwort.
Ainsworth Church in spring has swathes of Pink Purslane along the north wall .
Starling Road has wood and pasture located nearby. These are the home for Monkey Flower, Moorhen, Nuthatch and Reed Bunting.
Bentley Lane stretches north of the lodges and along its route and nearby are found Lesser Stitchwort, Wood Aven, Bluebell, visiting Curlew and lapwings.
Old Hall Lane stretches from the village to the Bury Bolton Road. Sightings along here include the dragon fly common hawker, Comma Butterfly and Kestral.