Return to Foxglove

Tuesday, May 3rd 2016

After a Winter spent in the Antarctic today was my first day back at Foxglove. The day dawned bright and sunny and relatively mild compared to previous days. I arrived at Foxglove to a warm welcome from Roger and the Tuesday volunteers and we quickly set to work on a variety of tasks.

Much work has been done around the reserve since I left in October and with many of the trees not yet in leaf some areas were looking quite bare. However, some of the smaller trees and shrubs had burst into bloom so the first job of the day was to clear the bird ringing net rides of stray bits of vegetation to prevent them from getting in the way when the nets are up. Ringing nets are expensive and easily damaged by getting caught in overhanging branches and prickly bushes as they move in the breeze. The first CES ringing at the weekend showed us which areas needed special attention and these were soon cleared.

Two of the volunteers continued working on our little woodstore, which is a vast improvement on the untidy heap of timber that was there before and will allow the wood to remain dry.

The two Johns spent some time trying to fix the wetland webcam, which frequently gives us problems. This will be an ongoing project. They also gave the benches behind the Field Centre some care to make them more stable. Colin spent some time tidying up the more enthusiastic weeds that were starting to show around the Field Centre.

Also on the reserve today the dry stone wall seating area was repaired where a stone seat had fallen out of the wall. The contractors continued working on the footpaths, taking advantage of the decent weather.

The Richmond Beekeepers also visited to have another look at our bees as numbers were dwindling and we had misplaced our queen.  She is now much easier to spot, being marked with a yellow dot.

We achieved a lot today. It is great how much work can be done with such a dedicated team of volunteers. Thank you all very much for your help today and for welcoming me back to the reserve.


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