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Sowing The Seeds

Thursday, April 4th 2019

Managing a small patch of heathland is not without problems. In order to encourage new growth the Heather needs to be knocked back somehow. On a large moor this is achieved by burning. This method is effective as a fire sweeps across the area and the flames are not too intense. In a confined space however, this is not possible and the fire would be too hot. Several methods have been attempted over previous years to manage the Heather at Foxglove and despite all our best efforts there remain many grassy gaps! It was decided to try rotovating these bare patches and then to plant Heather seed on them in order to grow new Heather shoots.

James Coxon and Brothers found the ideal machinery to turn over just the surface of the soil to prepare the ground for planting. This was an interesting task in itself given the uneven terrain and drainage ditches.

Next, the area was raked over to make the surface as even as possible to prevent the seed from getting washed away by any rainfall.

Heather seed is extremely fine and is harvested by specialist machinery making it very expensive. With this in mind Team Thursday wanted to minimise wastage.

As usual, Ian came up trumps with his farming experience and nipped off to borrow a 'fiddle drill'!

Any visitors were forgiven for thinking that they had travelled back in time as Ian stepped out of the field centre with this seemingly ancient piece of farming equipment! It may look old fashioned but once filled it proved to be an efficient way of spreading the tiny seeds.

It was quite good fun and after a little training everyone took a turn.

There was a fine art in making sure that the breeze carried the seed away from the “fiddler's” face! 

 

In no time at all, two of the main paddocks were seeded.

 

 

With only one fiddle drill, another technique was to sow the seed by hand. So with raking, fiddling and sowing everyone was kept busy!

Volunteers also helped with the final tidying of the coppice block (honest!) and moving off cuts of timber and brash from the lake area where Trevor and Darrel continued with vital bridge repairs. 

Another productive day and a fun one too, thank you to all involved.


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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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