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Thistles and Reeds

Wednesday, July 3rd 2019

In the hay meadow amongst the wildflowers were hundreds of thistles and although they are a valuable source of nectar for many insects, they are prolific on the reserve and if every one were left to go to seed then they would take over all of the habitats! In the sweep netting area they are a particular nuisance as they snag on the sweep nets too. The best way to remove them is by pulling them out by hand much to the delight of the Foxglove staff and volunteers!

Fire gauntlets provide great protection from the prickles.

Pupils from the Dales School came along to see what was going on and to lend a hand with the sacks and wheelbarrow.

Although a tedious task, it was lovely to spend a sunny morning in the hay meadow which really is teeming with life. A large Hawker dragonfly and a Common Blue butterfly were observed along with many bumblebees. A Kestrel family flew overhead too.

At lunchtime, an odd delivery arrived at the centre; three boxes full of Phragmites australis also known as Common Reed.

They were for planting along the banks of the newly created wetland, Spigot Mere. Once grown, the reeds will provide some shelter for wildlife from the prevailing wind.

They were planted in a zigzag line along the water's edge. The plugs were put in 50cm apart and had to be 2cm beneath the surface.


Gerry (being the only sensible person to wear wellies), had the important job of tamping down the soil around the reeds to remove any air pockets and make sure they were compacted in!

By the end of the day a third of the plants were in and it is just possible to imagine what they will be like in a few years time.



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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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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The events programme has been temporarily withdrawn.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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