Derbyshire Data

A Derbyshire Winner; Otter, Elliot NeepA Derbyshire Winner; Otter, Elliot Neep

Derbyshire's wildlife is under the same pressures as the rest of the country.

One in four of our plant species is on the County Red List. This includes plants like frog orchid, pepper saxifrage, field gentian, fly orchid, long-stalked and flat-stalked pondweeds, alternate water milfoil and Daphne mezereon. More recently many common species such as field scabious, harebell, devil’s-bit scabious, flea sedge, oak fern and common valerian have been added to the Near Threatened list for England due to 20 – 305 declines.

The iconic water vole continues to decline across the county due to pressures from non-native invasive species like mink, habitat loss and fragmentation. The white-clawed crayfish is declining in Derbyshire largely due to the threat posed by non-native American signal crayfish.

The wall brown butterfly has disappeared in lowland Derbyshire, and the small heath butterfly is declining in the same areas. The dingy skipper butterfly is confined to brownfield sites in lowland Derbyshire; 60% of these sites are threatened with development. At least one-third of our macro-moths are in decline. The once common garden tiger moth has disappeared from most of Derbyshire over the last 20 years. 50 – 60 species of hoverfly are rare with some possibly extinct; recent data is poor.
Certain species are increasing. Grasshoppers and crickets including long and short-winged cone-head, speckled bush cricket, Roesel’s bush cricket, dark bush cricket, lesser marsh grasshopper, slender groundhopper, common groundhopper are doing well. The knapweed bug Oncotylus viridiflavus, green shield bug, the stilt bug Metatropus rufescens, the squash bugs Coriomerus denticulatus , dock bugs and the fire bug Corizus hyoscyami are all increasing in numbers too. The formerly extinct Stictopleurus punctatonervosus has made a reappearance.

It should be noted that the increase in brownfield sites over the past 30 years has created perfect undisturbed early successional havens for a lot of these species and the decline of brownfield sites as they come under pressure from development will threaten many of these.

Some of our bird species are doing well; little egrets and bitterns are benefiting from improved wetland habitats. Raven, buzzard and peregrine numbers are all increasing. Otters and polecat numbers are seeing a welcome resurgence. We’ve even seen otters on the Derwent!

There are lots of ways you can help us to improve the prospects for Derbyshire’s wildlife: