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Ash Dieback

Monday, March 1st 2021

Sadly, many of the Ash trees at Foxglove have succumbed to Ash Dieback. According to the Woodland Trust this will kill around 80% of the Ash trees across the UK. At a cost of billions (an estimated £15 billion), the effects will be staggering. It will change the landscape forever and threaten many species which rely on Ash. Ash dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) is a fungus which originated in Asia. The fungus can spread for miles as spores. It enters the tree through the leaves and then grows inside it, eventually blocking its water transport systems and causing it to die. Many of affected Ash trees at the reserve are growing by the pathways making them a hazard to staff and visitors. An assessment was carried out and the most dangerous ones that would fall onto footpaths are being felled or having large limbs removed over the next few weeks whilst the reserve is closed. 

The work is being carried out by Yorkshire Tree Specialists famous for their appearance at the Covert on Tony Robinson's Coast to Coast when they felled a tree into the lake to create a perch for the waterfowl. 

It is just as well that the reserve is closed to the public as the footpaths are slightly obstructed with brash! The team will start the clearing up process shortly; most of the branches will be made into woodchips or stacked into habitat piles.

Although it is sad to see these beautiful trees come to an end, where possible as much standing deadwood will be left (as large trunks or 'monoliths'). These can provide a valuable habitat for mammals, small birds, reptiles and invertebrates. The felling is also being carried out outside of the bird nesting season, to minimise the impact on the environment and wildlife. It is hoped that by opening new glades, more light will reach the forest floor, so we may see more butterflies, wildflowers and other species benefitting in the longer term. Our sincere thanks go to the Defence Infrastructure Organisation who are very kindly funding this vital work.

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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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Pumpkin Trail

Saturday 23rd October 2021 | 10.00am - 3.00pm

Come to the reserve half term 23rd - 31st October and enjoy the autumn colours on the red route (Easy Access Trail) and search for the pumpkin clues along the way. Test your knowledge of the creatures associated with Halloween by answering the fun quiz which is available from the visitor centre for only 50p.

No need to book, come and enjoy some fresh air with your family bubble. Don't forget your wellies and a pencil!

Wildlife Activity Day

Wednesday 27th October 2021 | 10:00am - 3:00pm

Come and celebrate British Wildlife on this family activity day as part of our Wonderful Wildlife Week. There will be lots of hands - on craft activities for all ages. Make bird feeders, mini bug hotels, seed bombs. Craft a hedgehog or spider or bee from different materials to take away too. This is a drop in session so booking is not required. Donations towards costs of materials would be appreciated on the day.


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Undergrowth Newsletter Winter 2020/21 Issue 54

Find out what has been going on at the reserve during the lockdown!

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