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Food for thought

Monday, November 27th 2017

Both this blog page and a number of newspapers have featured the two Exmoor ponies at Foxglove Covert, provided by the Yorkshire Exmoor Pony Trust.  They have caught the imagination of some journalists who have an eye for a good picture and general quote rather than looking at the detail of why this breed, which is classified as 'Endangered' by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, is often the breed of choice for conservation grazing.

Exmoors are very hardy and can tolerate rain, snow and cold winds, all of which they have experienced in their short time at the Reserve.  They also have a clear preference in eating habits and will look to eat finer, more succulent grasses first before moving on to coarser grasses, rushes and sedges.

 

 

 

When these have been taken, they will readily eat Gorse (which can make up to a third of their overall diet) and will strip broadleaved trees and shrubs when more nutritious food has gone.  Taurus and Lark are doing an excellent job on the heathland and are now stripping out the grasses in the larger of the enclosures.  No doubt they will then move on to the Gorse and the young Silver Birch in the next couple of weeks.

 

 

Meanwhile, away from the equine media stars, let's not forget that there is a flock of 41 Swaledales steadily working their way through the moorland area, having also made excellent work of removing much of the growth on the Middle Moor area.  They are also doing a good job

While not eating such a wide range of plants, they are steadily tackling the coarse grasses on the moorland. They tend to see Gorse as shelter rather than food. In the coming months, work will include removing some areas of Gorse from this area but some clumps will be left to continue as shelter for the flock.


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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The events programme has been temporarily withdrawn.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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