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Honey Bees Return

Thursday, June 25th 2020

Over recent weeks, whilst the centre has been quieter than usual, work has been carried out on cleaning and improving the observation beehive. Colonel Alistair and Alison Shepherd from the Richmondshire District Beekeeping Association care for and manage the Foxglove hive. RDBKA is an association for people who keep bees and for others interested in the craft within an area around Richmond town from Masham to Barnard Castle.

The hive was first emptied and cleaned before repairs and improvements were made.

The new bees were then transferred carefully from a nucleus box (known by beekeepers as a 'nuc'). Nucleus colonies, are small honey bee colonies created from larger ones after a swarm or a split. They can also serve as a bait box to try to capture swarms.

Frames from the 'nuc' were installed in the clean hive along with the queen bee (marked with blue paint) who encouraged the others to follow.

They seemed to settle fairly quickly and were making the most of the sunny weather to explore their new foraging grounds. Alison photographed them at the entrance tunnel 'fanning' their pheromones to lead the others to the hive.

Our thanks to Colonel Alistair and Alison for supplying the bees and looking after them and to Bob for all of his hard work cleaning and repairing the hive. Bob also deserves a mention here for the days and days that he has spent reclaiming old wood from past projects so that it can be re-used on the reserve.

Not only will this make life easier when the timber is needed but it will save the reserve hundreds of pounds too. Thank you!


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Help Support Foxglove

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


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The events programme has been temporarily withdrawn.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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