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Reeds, Raking and Ragwort

Tuesday, August 10th 2021

Team Tuesday were hard at work again today: the first job was to put up the QAVS (Queen's Award for Voluntary Service) banners. One on the Field centre and a special wind-proof one on the perimeter fence. 

The next job was to cut back the reeds that the rain had pushed over the boardwalk (this job was only done last week but heavy showers meant it needed to be done for a second time). A full ton sack was filled with the cuttings!

This was all done before coffee time and then the group headed to the stone circle to cut back the vegetation on the Bluebell bank. Now that the Bluebells have gone over, cutting and raking is a great way to spread the seeds and to remove excess nutrients. It was noticable that the Bracken in this area has reduced significantly through this management which will benefit the wildflowers.

With many hands it still wasn't light work! There were 4 people with strimmers and 4 with hay rakes.

Although the clouds threatened, thankfully the rain held off and the cut grass soon dried.

Two new strimmers provided by the Co-op made a huge difference and meant the task could be completed much quicker than in previous years.

In some places Harebells, Tormentil and Ragwort were still in flower and these were left as a valuable source of nectar for invertebrates.

Although harmful to livestock (there isn't any on the reserve at the moment), Common Ragwort is one of the most frequently visited flowers by butterflies in the UK and more than 200 species of invertebrate have been recorded on it. It is the foodplant of the black and red Cinnabar moth: sometimes its black and yellow barred caterpillars cover the plant, totally stripping the leaves. This hoverfly was spotted as the team were packing up for the day.

Many families have enjoyed visiting the reserve this week and the 'Make a Bird Feeder' activity from Monday has been left out in the classroom so you can still have a go at making a treat for your garden birds.

If you do visit this week, part of the red route is currently out of bounds whilst repairs are carried out on one of the bridges, we apologise for any inconvenience and are hugely grateful to Bob for all of his hard work and time spent on making it safe.


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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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Upcoming Events


Pumpkin Trail

Saturday 23rd October 2021 | 10.00am - 3.00pm

Come to the reserve half term 23rd - 31st October and enjoy the autumn colours on the red route (Easy Access Trail) and search for the pumpkin clues along the way. Test your knowledge of the creatures associated with Halloween by answering the fun quiz which is available from the visitor centre for only 50p.

No need to book, come and enjoy some fresh air with your family bubble. Don't forget your wellies and a pencil!



Owl Pellet Discovery

Sunday 24th October 2021 | 11.00am start

Come and find out what the owls at Foxglove Covert have been eating by examining owl pellet contents.

Recommended for ages 7 years upwards. 

Booking is essential as places are limited.

Suggested minimum donation of £3.00 per person. Please donate in advance to secure a place.

This event is free for Volunteers and Friends of the reserve.



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Undergrowth Newsletter Winter 2020/21 Issue 54
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Find out what has been going on at the reserve during the lockdown!

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