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A Useful Springlike Day

Thursday, May 5th 2016

Today was another beautiful sunny day at Foxglove. Our Thursday volunteers came in to help out around the reserve and successfully completed a range of tasks. The day started with the lawns around the Field Centre getting their first mowing of the season. Some time was then spent replacing the wire mesh on the bridges out on the moorland- this is in place to make sure people do not slip on the wood when it is wet, but in some places the mesh had started to come lose. They were soon back in good working order.

Johns triumph today was managing to get the webcam fixed that overlooks the lake, and feeds live video back to the Field Centre. He has been working on this for a while so this was a great achievement. Now visitors can watch the young moorhen chicks paddling around the lake at the far end of the reserve from the comfort of the visitor centre.

Meanwhile, other volunteers spent the day paddling up to the top of their wellies in the scrapes area of the reserve. This is a series of interlinked pools with pond dipping platforms for educational visits.

The water levels at the middle platform have been too low for some time to be used for dipping so it was decided to raise the water levels. This involved reinforcing some of the banks, and raising the height of the dams with mud and wooden planks. It was a satisfying and muddy job, and we now eagerly await the rising of the water levels to see if it has been successful.

Whilst hammering one of the planks to act as a dam this Stonefly wandered up the board and was lucky not to have been hit. There are 34 recorded species in Britain, of which 2 are thought to be extinct. They are in the adult state from 3 days to 3 weeks depending on species, having spent the previous 11 months as larvae having gone through about 20 instars, or growth sheds. The male and female locate each other by drumming on substrate with the end of their abdomen. Once mated the female lays her eggs on the surface of the water and the cycle begins again. Maybe it was my hammering that attracted this one to me, but not an ideal mate!

This week the weather seems to have finally started warming up a bit. Flowers are starting to appear around the reserve such as this Ground Ivy.

Taking advantage also of the warmer weather, the butterflies have also started appearing in greater numbers. An Orange Tip (below) was seen for the first time today and a small blue butterfly flew past yesterday but didn’t settle long enough to determine the species. Brimstones and Speckled Wood are also starting to appear and Peacock butterflies are now being seen regularly.

Thanks very much to the volunteers who came and helped out today.


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Friends of Foxglove

The Friends of Foxglove Covert is for those individuals, families and organisations who would like to support the reserve through an annual membership subscription. Friends receive a regular newsletter and invitations to attend our various activities and social events.

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Upcoming Events


Meadow Mayhem CANCELLED

Saturday 4th July 2020 | 10.00am - 12 noon

The events programme has been temporarily withdrawn. For up to date information this website, FaceBook and other forms of social media should be consulted. If you have donated in advance to secure a place on an event you will be contacted over the next few days and offered a refund. We apologise for this inconvenience.

Celebrate National Meadows Day!

Join us for a morning exploring the many wildflower meadows found at Foxglove. We will be learning how to ID wildflowers and grasses, as well as sweep netting for butterflies and insects and identifying them. This event is part of the Flowers of the Dales Festival

A minimum donation of £5 per person in advance to guarantee a place. Card payments can be taken by phone.

This event is free for Volunteers and Friends of the reserve.



Damsels and Dragons CANCELLED

Sunday 19th July 2020 | 1.00pm start

The events programme has been temporarily withdrawn. For up to date information this website, FaceBook and other forms of social media should be consulted. If you have donated in advance to secure a place on an event you will be contacted over the next few days and offered a refund. We apologise for this inconvenience.

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a Dragonfly and a Damselfly? Can you tell the difference between the different species of blue damselfly? Would you like to learn more about theses fascinating animals that have been around since prehistoric times? Join Keith Gittens for a walk around the beautiful Foxglove ponds (some of which are usually out of bounds to visitors) and observe as many different species as you can. Last year, a new species for the reserve was discovered on this event!

Booking is essential as places are limited. There is a donation of £5 per person to be paid in advance in order to secure a place. Payments now can be made on the phone.

This event is free for Volunteers and Friends of the reserve.



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The Dragonflies of Strensall and Foxglove Covert
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This book has been published with the aim of enabling people visiting these, immensely important Flagship Pond Sites in North Yorkshire, to identify the dragonflies and damselflies they encounter - by reference to a simple text and photographs. Credits - Yorkshire Dragonfly Group & Freshwater Habitats Trust

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