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Middle Moor

Saturday, June 22nd 2019

Our Middle Moor has come a long way since it 'joined' the reserve.  It was rough pasture but our four Highlanders started the work to improve it.  To say that they were characters is putting it mildly.  It was very rare that you could manage to get all four in one photo and if they were all looking at you that was certainly a step in the right direction, 

as usually there was at least one bottom in the photograph!

Their presence on the moor removed much of the rough vegetation.  In time they actually did themselves out of a job and they started to do more damage than good so a new home was found for them.

By that time we had replanted the ancient hedgelines across the moor, fenced so the Highlanders could not damage the young saplings.  These are now growing well and enhance the moor and provide yet more habitats at Foxglove.  In the photo above you can see the new fence.

The next step was to plant Yellow Rattle plug plants.  Each year we walk the moor from February, as by then we really want to see some new growth, looking for the tiny seedlings, but we have to wait until March for them to appear.

We breathe a sigh of relief in April, as the leaves can be found across the moor.

May sees the first flower.

Yellow Rattle is semi-parasitic on certain grasses and this reduces the amount of grass so that other flowers can flourish.  Lousewort and Cowslips bloomed in spring.  Now Wood Geranium can be seen.

Buttercups, Eyebright, Fairy Flax, Dog Daisies, Common Bird's-foot Trefoil are flourishing, along with Rye Grass, Yorkshire Fog and some other grasses.  In the sunshine it is alive with buzzing bees.  Red Clover is essential for some bees.  This one has a long proboscis that was reaching inside the tube of the flower.

Our middle moor is now a beautiful flower rich meadow. 

It is a fantastic habitat for many invertebrates.  Moths and butterflies frequent the nectar rich flowers.  Painted Ladies were flitting quickly across the moor, not settling on a conveniently close flower long enough for a photograph, but this newly emerged Meadow Brown was much more co-operative.


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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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