Late Summer Jobs
Monday, August 17th 2020
During August, a start is made on managing some of the glades around the reserve. Glades are an important feature within a woodland setting as they offer a contrasting habitat to the higher canopy. Many insects find refuge and food in these small patches of ground that is not found elsewhere. These areas require sensitive management practises and if they were left undisturbed they would become taken over by bramble and bracken which would overcrowd the flowers and grasses. The glades at Foxglove are managed as 'mini hay meadows' to encourage the growth of wildflowers. Once the flowers have gone over, they are cut and then the cuttings are raked up and removed to keep the soil fertility down.
The 'mini meadows' are not the only places where strimming is necessary; with the good 'growing weather', footpath edges have had to be constantly cut back and this will continue for a few weeks yet!
Volunteers have also been busy weeding out invasive trees from the heathland paddocks. This is an ongoing task and a tough one as for it to be a success, the roots need to be dug out.
The Foxglove team have been having some additional help with heathland management from the Hebridean sheep (Thor and his gang) who are eating the rushes and grasses that compete with the heather.
Other 'browsers' include the many Roe deer that live on the reserve. Gerry captured these ones using a wildlife camera trap last week. These beautiful animals feed on tree shoots and leaves, herbs, brambles, ivy and other woody plants.
This one looks like one of this years young. Known as kids or fawns, they are born with a spotted coat to provide camouflage from predators. For the first few months of their lives, the kids are left hidden in long grass and only visited by their mother for short periods to suckle. They then begin to accompany their mother before eventually setting out to find a territory of their own.
If you walk quietly through the woodland then you will have a chance of encountering a roe deer at Foxglove. If you spot them from a distance they may stand and observe you for a short while before moving off. If you take one by surprise it will bound away with its white rump flashing and may even make a barking alarm sound a bit like a dog!
There are no comments for this blog post yet. Why not start the discussion? - use the form below: