(18) Blog Posts Made in October 2010

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Red Trees and Red Paint!

Saturday, October 30th 2010

Autumn is in full swing now and the reserve is at its most colourful. Lots of ladybirds have been seen today enjoying the mild weather. Work continues on upgrading the footpaths around the site. If you visit please pay attention to the contractor's notices and if in doubt ask.

Red trees

The Discovery Trail path is being slightly widened and there will be several passing places and benches along the way. These improvements are part of the HLS scheme funded by Natural England. Here is Lewis painting posts to mark out the new passing places.

Lewis painting posts

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Team Tony!

Friday, October 29th 2010

Mike, Tony , Elizabeth and Lewis helped out by clearing up brash and continuing to work on the Willow coppice.

Tony & Mike working on the Willow Coppice

As you can see Tony and Mike are extremely conscientious and always leave the site tidier than they find it! The first coppice block is about a quarter complete and the work will carry on throughout the winter months.

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Autumn colours

Thursday, October 28th 2010

A group from Richmondshire Leisure Trust visited the reserve today and whilst out walking looked for Autumn colours. This was the first group to enjoy the view from the new lake hide. The moor trail was also walked for the first time since re-opening by another party. The members were impressed by the new path.

Autumn leaves

There are still limited places available on the trip to Titchwell Marsh in Norfolk on Tuesday 9th November. The coach will depart from the parade square at 6.15am and will return at 8.00pm. This day out is open to everyone so please get in touch with us by Monday 1st November if you would like to join us.

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Tools maintenance

Wednesday, October 27th 2010

Our volunteers are not ones to let a little thing like the pouring rain to put them off their weekly visit to Foxglove!

Whilst it was raining this morning the workshop got a proper tidying up and here you can see John, Thomas and Martin who cleaned and oiled all the tools.

John, Thomas and Martin cleaning the tools

Anthony sharpened the hand saws which he assures us is a dying art!

Anthony sharpening the saw

Later, when the rain stopped Jack and Jill soon had a bonfire going and we did some more work on the Willow coppice.

All in all, a very good day's work. Thanks a lot everyone!

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Autumn sunshine

Tuesday, October 26th 2010

The hide was shining and the lake was sparkling in the late sunshine this afternoon. With clear skies all day there has been frost in all the hollows and the air has been crisp, cold and dry. Autumn is definitely here!

The hide in the sunshine

We have had quite a few visitors around, even some who had a picnic on the front lawns at lunchtime.

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Sheep and berries

Monday, October 25th 2010

The sheep on the Wetland were making the most of todays sun. Especially after the cold,damp day of yesterday.

Sheep on the wetland

Our ringing team were kept busy with a wide variety of birds which included a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Reed Bunting, a Song Thrush, many Tits and Finches. Also a few Blackbirds were ringed, which have not been seen around for a while. There were sixty-six new birds ringed today.

Rowan

Whilst a lot of the fruits around the Reserve are coming to an end there are still some Rasberries, Blackberries and Rowan berries about. There is a vast array of red berries everywhere you look - with Holly, Rosehip and the very prolific Hawthorn.

Hawthorne

Holly

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Trees galore!

Saturday, October 23rd 2010

Today Tim and Elizabeth came to help with some tree felling. This morning we felled trees which were in the way of the proposed outdoor classroom.

Here is the first to go down.

Tree felling

There she goes!

Tree felling

Were Marion and Tim discussing the site of the new coffee bar? Or just deciding which was next for the chop?

Marion and Tim tree felling

Tim is showing the proper way to use a felling lever.

Tim using a felling lever

Next we went to the heathland where a lot of mature Silver Birch cause a problem. They drop a prodigious amount of seed which every winter has to be weeded out.

Here's Tim who has just felled a massive birch and managed to drop it in the perfect position without flattening a small Juniper!

Tim felling a birch

The logs were piled up to make habitats and the brash will be burnt off. Elizabeth helped all day to clear up and took our photos.

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Pastures new

Friday, October 22nd 2010

Today marked the end of an era as McDuff and Hector left us for pastures new. As we no longer need the moorland to be grazed all year round they have gone to be re-united with Fraser and McGregor on a new farm.

Cattle

Keith came this afternoon to take them away and, unlike the commotion that Mcgregor made when he went, they both walked into the corral with no problems. They all did a stirling job whilst they were with us and will be missed by us all.

Cattle

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Fungal Foray and Volunteers

Thursday, October 21st 2010

It's been a very busy few days here. On Sunday local mycologist Keith Thomas led a Fungal Foray around some of Foxglove. As you might imagine, at this time of year, there were lots of different types of fungus to identify! The children were eager for Keith to identify each and every mushroom they found, from the largest to the very smallest.

Fungal Foray group

We found about thirty different mushrooms on our walk from the field centre to the wetland and along Risedale Beck. There were Wooly Milkcap, The Deceiver, Tripe Fungus and Parasol Mushroom to name but a few. We had a session back at the classroom where Keith told us lots more about these fascinating organisms and then we prepared some of the caps to make spore prints. Most of these have been successful and we will put them on display.

Fungus

Thanks a lot Keith for giving us your time and expertise.

Now that the new hide is 'open for business' Trevor and Darryl are working on the hide roof and the linking boardwalk. This will link the new bridge with the boardwalk coming from the scrapes area.

The boardwalk

On Tuesday the Foxglove volunteers cleared an overgrown hedge back from the discovery trail. This path will be being widened within the next few weeks and the volunteers have done all the preparation by ensuring the verge is clear. Andrew was clearly having a good time!

Foxglove volunteers

Wednesday volunteers, Mike and Tony, have done a variety of tasks today, from repairing a path, clearing and burning brash left from the summer to stock taking our books and cards and tidying up on the wetland. Meanwhile Elizabeth helped out in the office.

Thanks a lot everyone!

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Bird Ringing Trip to Stora Fjaderagg

Tuesday, October 19th 2010

Some of the Foxglove bird ringers have just returned from a trip to Stora Fjaderagg, a small island located in the north of the Baltic Sea. The island is a great place to study migrating birds as they pass eastwards from Finland to Sweden.

Stora Fjaderagg

Despite the extremely bitter cold weather (temperatures remained at around zero degrees centigrade) and strong winds, the trip was a great success with approximately 1400 new birds ringed. Species ringed included Pine Grosbeak (6 caught at once), Crossbill and Waxwing.

Bird

The most common bird was the Mealy Redpoll with 1054 being caught! Arctic and Lesser Redpoll were also ringed.

Bird ringers in Sweden

Bird

Other highlights included seeing the northern lights, White Tailed Sea Eagle and Raven. The team members were the only people on the island and as they left the rivers locally were already freezing over for the winter!

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Bridge finished

Friday, October 15th 2010

The new hide is open for business from tomorrow! Trevor and his team have finished the bridge which crosses the little valley at the end of the lake.

The new hide

From tomorrow you will be able to walk onto the bridge from the hide end and see the work so far. Work is still on-going on the boardwalk which will link up to the scrapes.

Whilst the work at the lake was continuing ATM were working on the moorland path. Here is Richard topping the new path with some stone ready for rolling.

the moorland path

This afternoon the students from Askham Bryan came to do some work on the Willow coppice.

students from Askham Bryan

The students worked hard on cutting the Willow right down to the ground.

students from Askham Bryan

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Caterpillar and work

Thursday, October 14th 2010

Mike and Tony came to volunteer for the day and cut back our little hay meadows. This is just the right time to cut them, and as they get raked off, the grass and flower seeds get distributed for next year.

Pale Tussock moth caterpillar

Whilst they were raking off Mike found this Pale Tussock moth caterpillar. On the second photo you can see the four sets of claspers holding on to the twig. In front of these are three pairs of legs. The red tuft is at the tail end. At this time of year the caterpillar will be looking for a place to spin a thin, silken cocoon and hibernate for the winter. The food plants include Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Crab Apple and Birch.

Pale Tussock moth caterpillar

Foxglove has been a hive of activity! As well as visits from the Dales School and the Richmond Community Support and Information group we had three sets of contractors on site. Here you can see Steve's team working on the new sluice. They also installed edgings to the car parking areas.

Steve's team working on the new sluice

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Happy volunteers!

Wednesday, October 13th 2010

Today being volunteers day, our regular helpers were out working on the Willow coppice. Everyone worked so hard that the amount of clearance done was phenomenal. They were captured here as they stopped for a well earned cup of tea. Thank you to everyone who turns up and gives their time for free. We really appreciate it!

Happy volunteers

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More fungus

Tuesday, October 12th 2010

The workmen were busy on the Sycamore avenue today. They are putting in the edges of the new path.

Workmen installing the new path

Elswhere, as you can see, we are still very taken with all the fungus which is about! Snowy Inkcap, Orange Peel fungus, Dyers Mazegill and Parrot Waxcap are but a few which have been seen.

Snowy Inkcap fungus

Orange Peel fungus

Fungus

Surprisingly this Barren Strawberry was in flower on the wetland. Very late indeed.

Barren Strawberry

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Wonderful fungi

Saturday, October 9th 2010

No apologies for another fungus themed blog posting! There is so much around the reserve at the moment that we have been inspired to try and identify more ourselves.

This first one is Purplepore Bracket fungus, which is new to our species list. This was found on the woodland walk.

Purplepore Bracket fungus

This next one is Ivory Coral which was growing in the leafy litter on the woodland floor. Again, it is new to our species list.

Ivory Coral fungus

The next is Purple Jelly Disc, which was growing on a felled Silver Birch stump on one of the net rides. In real life it really looked amazingly purple!

Purple Jelly Disc

As well as these we saw Fly Agaric, Leafy Parachute fungus, Yellow Brain Fungus,Candle Snuff and Common Puffball.
We have just managed to arrange a Fungal Foray on Sunday 17th. October at 1.00pm. This will be led by our local expert, Keith Thomas. If you would like to come along to see more of these wonderful organisms please ring the office to book a place and bring along a flat basket to collect your specimens.

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New hide finished

Friday, October 8th 2010

Both sets of contractors, who are working on site at the moment, are pleased that the good weather is holding. The warm temperature has allowed the soggy ground to dry up a bit making work easier.

New hide

ATM were continuing their work on the moorland path and along the Sycamore avenue, whilst at the lake Trevor's team have finished the new hide. Whilst there is still work ongoing with the new bridge and walkway, from Monday the new hide will be open to go into. As you can see from these photos it is a beautiful new asset for the reserve. We hope you will enjoy using it.

Inside the new hide

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Wild Arum

Thursday, October 7th 2010

This Wild Arum also known as Lords and Ladies is up in the woodland. The beautiful red berries of this plant are poisonous.

Lords and Ladies

There is plenty more fungi all around the reserve in all shapes, sizes and colours.

Fungi

Fungi

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New whiteboard

Saturday, October 2nd 2010

No outdoor picture today I'm afraid! There has been too much rain to take any photos.

Foxglove Whiteboard

Instead there's news on our new Interactive Whiteboard which was installed in the classroom yesterday. This new piece of equipment will be made full use of when we have school visits, and when we have talks and presentations to do.

This equipment, as well as the new cameras and the work being done outside on our footpaths is all part of the Higher level Stewardship funding from Natural England.

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