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Seeds and Beans

Thursday, May 12th 2016

The Thursday Volunteer group were in at Foxglove today and had a lovely day for it. The warm weather over the past week means the grass has been growing well. Today, for the first time this season, we dusted off the strimmers and set to work, strimming all the way from the main gate, up the driveway to the Field Centre. The mowers were out too, helping make the place look tidy. The Information Shelter also got a good scrubbing and weeding. It is now looking much better and is ready for a coat of preservative, which we hope to do in the coming weeks.

The last couple of weeks we have spent some time trying to raise the water levels below the middle pond dipping platform. The water has risen well but there is still a bit to do as the dams leak due to being made of simple wooden planks, packed with stones and natural mud and sediments from around the reserve.

After a few minutes work, it becomes very difficult to see through the murky water and make much progress, so this has proved to be an ongoing, but quite fun project.

One of my favourite flowers at Foxglove is just starting to emerge. It can be found in one of the ponds about half way down the Scrapes.

This is Bog Bean, with its delicate little star-shaped flowers that appear fluffy or fringed. Although pretty to look at, the flowers have an unpleasant smell which attracts flies and beetles. Bog Bean has had medicinal uses in the past (to treat Tuberculosis and arthritis) and is still used today in some herbal remedies. It is also edible, but is apparently very bitter, and only eaten in emergencies! I think it is best left in the pond looking pretty! 

Jacky was very busy today with a much needed indoor task. All of our seed comes in large sacks, which are usually far more than most visitors want to buy. So someone has to weigh out the seed into smaller portions for sale. By the end of the day we had a large pile of neatly bagged seed. All profit from the seed we sell goes to help cover the enormous cost of keeping our hungry birds at Foxglove fed, so remember to come to us when your supplies are running low.

Thanks to everyone who came to help out today.


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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


Meadow Mayhem CANCELLED

Saturday 4th July 2020 | 10.00am - 12 noon

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.

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.



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.



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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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