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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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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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Meadow Mayhem

Saturday 4th July 2020 | 10.00am - 12 noon

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

Sunday 19th July 2020 | 1.00pm start

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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