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Reflections from the Worky Day

Sunday, November 6th 2016

Today for want of a better word, the weather has been horrible!  We were very lucky with the weather yesterday.  The sun shone and the rain showers did not appear and even the wind was kind blowing over the top of the valley and only occasionally swirling along the path.

The beckside is so overgrown it was difficult to know where to start.  Some obvious trees were coppiced which also made room for the brash to be piled up, ready to go on the fire.

Getting started

An old fire site was found and the fire was lit.

Lighting the fire

Unfortunately even our fire lighting experts could not get the fire to burn.  All the while brash was building up around them. Eventually flames!

The fire burning

The bankside is a very sensitive area where our spring flowers flourish.  By the end of the year we will be able to see the new growth of Primrose leaves and not too long after Cuckoo Pint and Bluebell leaves appear.  To keep disturbance to a minimum only two people were carefully coppicing Alder and Hazel, selectively cutting out about two thirds of the growth.  This will allow more light and air onto the bank which will benefit the ground flora.

Coppicing on the bankside

Along the beckside coppicing soon had a lot of brash to move, but the area looked so much better as the autumn light filtered through.

Opening up the beckside

By now the fire was really going and those loading it were beginning to clear the wall of brash that had grown even taller around them!

Burning the brash

Towards late afternoon the setting sun showed through the trees and highlighted the smoke and volunteers.

Burning brash

As the cutting stopped and the brash was all cleared to the fire site, volunteers gathered and watched as the fire was made safe. 

Gathering around the fire

Although the cutting looks severe, come spring and early summer we will reap the rewards of this work.

A huge thank you to everyone who helped yesterday.


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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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Meadow Mayhem

Saturday 4th July 2020 | 10.00am - 12 noon

Celebrate National Meadows Day!

Join us for a morning exploring the many wildflower meadows found at Foxglove. We will be learning how to ID wildflowers and grasses, as well as sweep netting for butterflies and insects and identifying them. This event is part of the Flowers of the Dales Festival

A minimum donation of £5 per person in advance to guarantee a place. Card payments can be taken by phone.

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



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Sunday 19th July 2020 | 1.00pm start

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.



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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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