This page will show how wildlife in Bury and sometimes in a wider contexthas changed often not for the better
These are two examples where escapee and deliberate introduction of a more vigerous species has had a detrimental impact on a native species. The native red squirrel once common in Bury is now extinct in the Borough displaced by its more agressive Grey cousin . The nationwide population has reduced by 50% in the last 50 years although it can hold its own in pine planatations. Simlarly the Water Vole is the UK fastest declining mamal with a 95% reduction nationally and now extinct in Bury. The American Mink is blamed as the biggest reason for that decline. Garden esapees also infest great swathes of Bury to the detriment of native plants
Humans have also introduced other species that arguablky has not affected British Wildlife adversly. Mountain Hare were introduced by Victorians as game. These are still present and expandig acro.ss upland Greater Manchester. Rabbits are everywhere and were introduced for food. The Brown Rat did out comptetre another introduced species the Black Rat now restricted to just a few locations. Rose Neckd Parrakeet are escapees and appear perfectly at home in the UK. They are here for good and a colony exists in Manchester moving North.
Some species are moving north due to increased temperatures. Little Egret now breed in southern UK and are frequent visitors to the area. Glossy Ibis are increasingly found and come from Spain these are in Bolton. Harlequin Ladybird from central Asia landed in the UK in 2004 and now inhabits most of it. including Bury. The Harvestman Dicranopalpus ramosus is from Morroco and arriveed in the UK in 1957 and found in Bury. Thde plant bug Deraeocoris flavilinea arrived in the South Coast UK in 1997 and was found in Bury 2011. Th humming bird hawk moth is reported to be a migrant from South Europe. These have been reported from Orkney and Bury as this one on an old railway viaduct. These are resident and moving north. Even native species are being afffected by this warming. The Red Eyed Damsel Fly a native of southern England is now found in Greater Manchester. Things are on the move
Increased Building leads to the removal of agricultural land and the fragmentation of it. Increased human activity in liesure or just activity often makes remaining areas not viabld for species that were onve present. Hence Brown Hare, the Wall Brown Butterfly, Lapwings, and Skylarks are increasingly decreasing and pushed to the edges of Bury. However other species take advantage of the new opportunitiers. The Speckled Wood Butterfly is an increasing site in central Bury. Rose Deer and Fox seem to be able to coexist in urban areas. The Sand Martin proves very adept at using man made structures rather than sand banks for nesting with several colonies in Bury. It should also bbe acknowledged that gardens with ponds plants and bird feeders provide a rich if different landscape for wildlife.
Modern agriculture takes some stick in the alleged degradation of the counyryside with intensive farming leading to monoculture wildlife deserts: chemical sparying and fertiizers changing soil composition; over grazing; and the ripping up hedge rows all blamed for this wildlife catastrophe. Much of which is true to some dgree. Justification for this is that agriculture produces food that we demand at a price we are prepared to pay and that many farmers do as much as they can to protecrt wildlife. The result sadly is that all to often green fields are low value in ecological terms fior wildlife. In Bury however a few are 'unimproved' or areas where modern agriculture has had little or no effect exist. One field in the Elton area has all the above plants in it Spotted Orchid, Ragged Robin,Pond Water Crowfoot, Meadowsweet, Harebell, Common Bistort, Eyebright, Marsh Thistle, Flag Iris and Purple Loostrife as well as Yellow Rattle, Water Cress and Cotton Grass. This gives some idea about what has been lost and how fields used to look.
When menageries end many people simply release collections into the wild or they simply escape. Hence we have feral parrots in the Lakes. Kashmir Feral Goats in wales. Water Deer on the Broads. Umpteen exotoic bird species. Terapins in Bury Parks. Aquariam species in Bury canal. Others include feral skunk, snakes on a London canal, Lizards on the south coast and allegaedly big cats.Most survive but doi not breed but many become established and then debate rages on should the feral species be eliminayed. Ruddy Duck was one such species that was a american escapee interbreeding with a European Duck. Previouysly seen in Bury thios species is now erradicated.
Bury is landlocked and built on acid soil and clay but unusual coloniies of plants exist. Due to road salting a European seaside plant is well established in Bury in the form of Danish Scurvy Grass. A dump of seaside alkaline shell ballast brought with it further seaside colonists in the form of Sea Mayweed, Sea Raddish and Sea Rocket. This last has since been lost. Previous victorian industrial ackaline spoil now provides an enviroment for plants normally seen in the limestone areas of the peak district in the form of Wilde Thyme, Marsh Heleborine, Blue eyed Grass and Small Scabious. These are unique sites in Bury.