Making A Start
Thursday, November 23rd 2023
Yesterday team members from National Highways joined us here at Foxglove Covert to pollard and coppice some of our willow carr. This was the first day of coppicing this winter, so there was alot to do!
The day begun with pollarding trees along the edge of the woodland, where it meets a net ride. Pollarding trees on both sides of the net ride will encourage birds to fly at the right height to be caught in a mist net so they can be ringed.
As the edge of the woodland starting opening up, the team could get further in to the woodland and make a start on coppicing.
The team worked hard, and with this many branches being cut down, there was lot of material to process! Material like this can be cut and collected into similar sizes and left in piles, proving shelter for insects as it decays slowly.
Thank you to the members of the highways team for your hard work.
Visitor Information (Update)
Monday, November 20th 2023
Due to drainage issues the toilet facilities at the visitor center are unavailable. The reserve is still open but toilets cannot be used. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.
Update: the toilet facilities are now available.
Autumn Crafts and Autumn Colours
Thursday, November 2nd 2023
Yesterday we had a successful autumnal crafts day, filled with fantastic creations, including pine-cone owls and deer made out of fallen leaves. Those who visited also explored the reserve, watching the trees dropping multicoloured leaves and visting the outdoor classroom to get a look at our collection of animal skulls.
Thank you to everyone who visited and took part in the activities, we hope you had a wonderful time. Thank you also to all the volunteers who worked hard to prepare and deliver this event.
Monday, October 30th 2023
The North and East Yorkshire Ecological Data Centre ran a Waxcap identification course at Foxglove Covert on Sunday 29th October. Members of our our species team were able to join the group, which was led by Steve Hindle of the National Trust.
In addition to species that we already knew we had on site, such as Scarlet Waxcap (pictured), new species were also spotted. We'll add Earthy Waxcap and Oily Waxcap (don't you just love the names of fungi?!) to our ever growing species list.
We're now managing a couple of grassland areas on site specifically to encourage a greater abundance and diversity of these fantastic, colourful fungi.
Meadows and Ponds
Friday, October 27th 2023
Last week we had two military groups join us as part of their Global Charge Day, an Army sustainability event taking place across the world. The 1st Regiment Military Police and the 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland volunteered on Tuesday and Thursday respectively, completing some big jobs which would have taken much longer without their help.
The Military Police spent much of the day raking and tedding the recently cut meadow. Moving the cut grass off the meadow ensures wildflowers, which do well in nutritionally poorer soil, can grow again next year. By raking the grass into windrows we could easily collect the cut grass for baling. The group managed to rake the whole meadow, and we were even able to fit in the making of five bales at the end of the day!
Members of the group also continued path work started by volunteers from Natural England earlier this month. They removed the layer of vegetation starting to take over the path, making it much easier to traverse.
Later in the week the 4 SCOTS got very wet and muddy, and not just because it rained most of the day! This group spent their day in Spigot Mere, a pond created as a habitat for passage and breeding waders. The rushes and reeds were beginning to take over, so the 4 SCOTS helpfully pulled up as much vegetation and roots as they could. This will help stop the vegetation encroaching through the year. If it hadn’t been pulled up there would be little open water by this time next year.
The hard work of both groups is much appreciated!