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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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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

Autumn Worky Day

Saturday 2nd October 2021 | 10.00am - 3.00pm

Join our staff and volunteers for a fun day of practical habitat management tasks.  Specific tasks will be chosen nearer the time.  Come ready for all weather conditions and bring your oldest outdoor clothes as tasks will be mucky and may involve bonfires. Booking is essential for this FREE event as a hot cooked lunch will be provided. 

Richmond Coffee Morning

Thursday 21st October 2021 | 9:00am - 12 noon

Come and enjoy a relaxing cup of tea or coffee and a 'sticky' at Richmond Town Hall.  There will be a raffle, tombola and a stall selling delicious homemade cakes!  All proceeds from this fundraising event go towards the running costs of the reserve. 

If you would like to donate any cakes or items for the raffle or tombola please take them to the field centre beforehand or to Richmond Town Hall on the day. 

No need to book, just turn up!


Undergrowth Newsletter

Undergrowth Newsletter Winter 2020/21 Issue 54

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

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