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Net Ride Maintenance

Saturday, February 15th 2020

After storm Ciara came snow! This didn't deter the dedicated group of volunteers from coming in on Thursday to help with some much needed net ride maintenance. Over 60, 000 new birds have been ringed at Foxglove over the past 27 years and in order to carry out this important research for the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) the mist net rides need to be managed. If the trees on either side of the ride are taller than the net then the birds tend to skip over the top of the net rather than landing in the nets and therfore reducing the amount of birds caught.

The vegetation is cut back regularly to head height and soon grows up again. Just like when you prune the bushes in your back garden. All of this pruning creates a huge amount of brash and as the net rides are inaccessible with a tracked shredder so a bonfire is the best way to cope with the prunings. Trying to light one in the snow with fresh green willow was a challenge but perserverance paid off and only cotton wool and flint and steel were used to start it! Thinner stems were cut with hand tools such as pruning saws and loppers.

As this job hadn't been done for a long time, some of the branches were too thick for hand tools and a small chainsaw was required.

There was a surprising amount of wood!

Slowly the snow turned to mud as the height of the surrounding trees was lowered significantly. Thank you to everyone who helped out including young people from Northdale Horticulture. The work isn't finished and will continue over the next few worky days.

It would be nice to think that it will be a bit drier next time however, with storm Dennis currently in full swing, this is highly unlikely!


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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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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The events programme has been temporarily withdrawn.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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