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Cutting, Pulling and Copper-coloured butterflies

Thursday, July 26th 2018

Continuing on from yesterday's reed cutting we worked further up the boardwalk on the Scrapes and finished cutting and dragging from Net Ride 36.

After finishing off the last Net Ride in need of cutting this week before CES 9 on Sunday we cleared the path round the back of the reed bed in the baking hot sun, taking regular breaks in the shadows of the nearby trees.

Today was all about tidying up and finishing jobs off before the end of the week, so next we headed over to the Hay Meadow to remove the last of the thistles in preparation for the hay cut next week (weather permitting). It doesn't take long to realise just how spikey Marsh Thistles are, with a fair proportion of their fine needles making their way through thick leather gloves with ease!

It was great to see an abundance of Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) butterflies up on the Hay Meadow, although this wasn't altogether surprising given that this elegant little butterfly's prefered habitats are unimproved grasslands, heathland, woodland clearings and moorland (things that we have in abundance here at Foxglove). 

The Small Copper caterpillar's main foodplants are Common Sorrel (Rumex acetosa), Sheep's Sorrel (R. acetosella), and Broad-leaved Dock (R. obtusifolius); with males of the species being very territorial, often basking on bare ground (like the one above) in wait for passing females. Indeed, the males can be very aggressive towards any passing insect, and will chase them away before returning to the same spot.


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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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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The events programme has been temporarily withdrawn.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.



Family Pond Dipping 1 - FULLY BOOKED!

Wednesday 22nd July 2020 | 45 minute sessions on the hour

Come along and find out which animals are living in some of the Foxglove ponds. Book a pond dipping session for your family bubble of up to six people. There will be a socially distanced brief to set you off and then you can use the equipment for the remainder of the session. You will be requested to use hand gel on arrival and the net handles will be cleaned between sessions. Please call the Reserve Managers on 07754 270980 to book your allocated slot. You are advised to arrive 15 minutes before your allocated time. A donation in advance (card payment by phone) of £5 per family bubble is required in order to secure your booking. 



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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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