Blog Archive (6) Posts Made in January 2021
An Early Sighting
Thursday, January 28th 2021
Earliest and latest sightings of butterflies are always recorded at the reserve however, none have ever been recorded as early as this one; a beautiful Peacock butterfly was found fluttering amongst the frozen leaves on the ground close to the wetland only yesterday! The adults of this species hibernate over winter, usually in dark spaces like inside sheds and holes in trees. Folding their wings up to reveal the dull side allows them to blend in with their surroundings and rest undisturbed.
The earliest record of one at Foxglove prior to this was on the 6th February 2009. However, in 1998, on the 30th January one was recorded on the Catterick Training Area. Butterflies make a good “indicator species” because they are very sensitive to change so very quickly show when something has altered to do with their habitat or the weather, often before other more adaptable species react. To find out more about how to get involved with butterfly recording visit the Butterfly Conservation website.
A Virtual Tour
Tuesday, January 12th 2021
Whilst the reserve is closed, you can enjoy some snowy scenes from the comfort of your home with these photographs taken by Gerry as he carried out some routine maintenance checks at the weekend.
Firstly, along the red route…
...then through the scrapes. It seems that the rabbits make good use of the footpaths and boardwalks when nobody is around!
It is difficult to remember this wetland area full of colourful wildflowers such as Fleabane, Hemp Agrimony and Purple Loosestrife back in the summer months. It still looks pretty without them in the frost.
Pond dipping is definitely off the agenda this week!
Further along the trail to one of the large glades which is full of sedges in the summer. The Sedge Warblers that usually nest here will have crossed the Sahara in order to reach their wintering grounds in Africa.
Continuing on to the main lake which was still completely frozen over.
Then, up to the moor which can be bleak even during the autumn months. Although Hebridean and Shetland sheep are extremely hardy, they have been offered hay on the coldest days.
Back along the easy access trail past the outdoor classroom, the trees remained cloaked in white.
Finally, back to the centre where picnics are far from anyones mind at the moment but hopefully it won't be too long before the warmer weather returns and we can welcome visitors back again.
Major (Rtd) Tony Crease
Saturday, January 9th 2021
Major (Rtd) Tony Crease
It is with great sadness that the Management Group must share the news of the recent passing of Major (Rtd) Tony Crease.
In 1992, Major Crease had the vision to turn undeveloped land near the training area in Catterick Garrison, into a place where nature would thrive. Under his leadership, the hard work and dedication of soldiers of the Royal Scot’s Dragoon Guards, recently returned from the First Gulf War, formed the basis of what we have today.
He has always been an inspiration to many people, both inside and outside of his Army career.
He was a strong character, yet never seeking the limelight. Tony always looked for ways to expand and develop Foxglove Covert; always looking forward. His ornithological knowledge was extensive and, as a result of his dedication to training new bird-ringers, is an integral part of the Reserve today.
He never ceased to admire and appreciate our volunteers, and despite not being in good health, worked tirelessly to obtain for them the highest recognition he possibly could. Hence, FGC LNR is a contender for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The results will be announced later this year.
He has left a huge hole in many people’s lives.
Our deepest condolences go to the family he leaves behind.
Thursday, January 7th 2021
As of tomorrow, 8th January, the reserve will be closed until further notice. We hope that we can open the reserve for local, essential exercise only, once the rules are relaxed.
To all our Friends, volunteers and supporters, take care and stay safe in these difficult and challenging times.
The Management Group and staff thank you all, for your continued support.
Foxglove in the Snow
Tuesday, January 5th 2021
When Foxglove is covered in snow it takes on an almost magical air and places look different.
Down at the lake, the water was frozen and then covered in snow, the reeds contrasting with the stark whiteness.
The wildfowl feeding platform gives a different view and showed some clear water.
The Mallards were not to be seen until the bridge was crossed and looking down the lake there they all were on the ice. Trails through the semi frozen snow and water can be seen.
The moor can be cold in the middle of summer and in winter it is bleak but with a majesty all of its own. Spigot Mere was half covered with snow.
In the distance the Stone Circle stands proud.
Thanks to Roger Suddaby for the photographs.
Happy New Year!
Friday, January 1st 2021
It has been a cold start to the year at Foxglove with parts of the lake freezing over; the Mallards have been walking over the ice to get their daily rations!
The reserve is closed today (New Year's Day) but in line with government guidelines the carparks, outdoor trails and public toilets will remain open from tomorrow. Indoor areas of the attraction will be closed to the public.
Before you visit, please check our response to the covid-19 situation.
On behalf of the staff and members of the Management Group, a Happy New Year to all of our supporters, we look forward to seeing you in 2021. Finally, thank you to Roger Suddaby for the photographs of the icy lake!