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Working on the Moorland

Thursday, April 5th 2018

Although there has been a cold wind, today's sunshine has made a welcome change to the recent wet, snowy and windy weather.  The gorse out on the Moorland is now showing lots of yellow as more of the bushes are coming into flower.  The Moorland is also showing more green as the grass is starting to grow and there are signs of other plants emerging.

We had a report yesterday of damage to the mesh that is put on the boards of one of the bridges in the Moorland so that, instead of it stopping people from slipping, it was now a trip hazard in itself.  On closer inspection it became clear that three overlapping strips of mesh had been laid on this bridge and it was mainly the middle strip that was showing signs of wear.

Working with today's small group of volunteers, taking up this strip meant we could check the condition of the outside ones and remove some of the vegetation that had grown around the mesh as well as checking the boards of the bridge for any signs of decay.

While this was going on, it was good to see Lark and Taurus taking time out from grazing the Moorland vegetation to enjoy the sun on their backs.  They were sufficiently content with the warmth and the amount that they had eaten to spend around 30 minutes lying down.  Lark was later seen to be relaxed and totally stetched out, lying on one side - the sign of a very contented pony.

The warm weather brought out a lot of visitors, and even the parties walking past Lark didn't seem to disturb his enjoyment of the sunshine.  They were clearly taking advantage of the new growth as both ponies then moved on to other parts of the Moorland to continue grazing.  Bluebell leaves are now showing on the southern slope below the Stone Circle, so hopefully it won't take too long before this turns blue as the plants flower.

At the end of the volunteers' day, the new mesh has been installed.  We will return to this bridge in the next couple of days to see how the mesh has bedded in and whether we will need to add any more staples to secure it in place.  Thanks to the volunteers who helped get this job done today.

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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!

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The Dragonflies of Strensall and Foxglove Covert

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