Tuesday 19 May 2020

Lockdown Day 57 - Edgeland Nature-Part 2

In my first part of my Edgelands blog here I looked at where nature has been given a helping hand in some unlikely places and in this post I offer a few notes and photos where nature is thriving in our human environment.

These are Firebugs (Pyrrocoris apterus) and this photo was taken at a bus stop in a suburb of Berlin, Germany in 2017. There was many dozens of these all pottering around some waste stones from some kind of construction. Bugs, beetles, insects and so on are able to live in so many different environments here on Earth and these bugs were obviously able to find food on what was once construction material. 

This is a picture taken in 2017 looking towards Kellingley Colliery as was, the pit having closed in 2015, with a solar farm in the middle of the shot, but more importantly for this blog an area of wild flowers by the roadside on what would have been, two or three years earlier, a polluted and heavily industrialised landscape. As with the photo of the site of Ledston Luck pit on my previous blog, it doesn't take long for nature to re-colonise our former industrial landscape. 

Finally, this rather cheeky grey squirrel was photographed in Leicester in the park at the rear of De Montfort University. We watched in go in and out of the dustbin and then perching on the edge eating chips! (I once saw a grey squirrel at a former workplace run off with a whole croissant!) 
Grey squirrels are something of a love/hate for me, I love watching them and they can be very tame and it is really good for children to see them in urban parks, but since they were introduced into this country they have not only out-competed the native red squirrels for food but also spread squirrel pox which the red ones are not immune to. If you look at a distribution map for even as recently as 1950 for the red squirrel you will see that they were in most parts of Yorkshire whereas now they are confined to a very small corner of the Yorkshire Dales National Park . There is evidence that pine martens - which are increasing in the UK and Republic of Ireland again, are helpful to Red Squirrels in that as both co-exist natively, red squirrels know to get out of the way quickly whereas grey ones do not recognise the threat as easily. 

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