Reserve Update

Sunday, July 7th 2024

Sadly Foxglove Covert LNR remains closed to visitors due to problems with the access gate making it unsafe for use without supervision. We are doing everything we can to ensure the running of the reserve can get back to normal as soon as possible.

In the meantime, organized groups have been able to access the reserve by arrangement with reserve staff, and we have been able to host some events on the reserve as well.

In the last few weeks the reserve has hosted a number of groups and events despite some difficulties getting them in and out!

One such group was the 1 Regiment Royal Military Police, who volunteered at Foxglove Covert for their Global Charge Day. They spent a morning cutting back encroaching vegetation and tidying up the access track. They then enjoyed a guided walk around the reserve.

Volunteers from Jacobs, Mway Comms, Tilbury Douglas and HW Martin traffic management joined Foxglove Covert Volunteers the week after to help out. A lot of grass has been cut in the last couple months on one of the fields we are now managing for the benefit of waxcap fungi. Volunteers helped make much of this now-dried grass into hay bales using the hand-baler, and moved them to the outdoor classroom to be used as comfy seats for visiting school groups.

Foxglove Covert welcomed two school groups to Foxglove in one week; Brompton-on-Swale and Carnagill. Both enjoyed pond-dipping sessions and guided walks around the reserve. More recently, 1st Richmond Beavers also visited the reserve for a pond-dipping session.

Foxglove Covert hosted another Scything course at the beginning of July, teaching six more people how to set-up, use and maintain a scythe.

And finally, we were visited by South Durham U3A who enjoyed a talk and guided walk around the reserve, bravely battling through some pretty strong winds!

Thank you for the hard work of the groups who volunteered their time and to all attendees over the past few weeks for your patience and organisation regarding the requirements to access the reserve.

 

More information about how the reserve has been running in the last few months is available in the latest issue of Undergrowth, Issue 63.

Book on upcoming events through the News & Events page - you will then be contacted with details on accessing the reserve for the event.

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Would You Like to be a Trustee?

Wednesday, June 5th 2024

This is an exciting opportunity to help enhance the Reserve further as a special place to encourage nature and natural habitats and as a place for people to enjoy for specialist pursuits or leisure time.   In turn this is a rewarding role.

Foxglove Covert is a designated Local Nature Reserve of around 100 acres of moorland edge, adjacent to Cambrai Lines at Catterick Garrison and has a remarkable mix of habitats and species.  Foxglove has been developed into the gem it is today over the past 30 years.  

 

 

Catterick Garrison is one of the largest military communities in the country.  The land is owned by the Ministry of Defence.  The Foxglove Covert Foundation manage this land on a lease specifically as a Nature Reserve.  Recently a new Board has been formed to manage the Foundation following transition to a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation).  There are four current Trustees, and we are looking to increase numbers by two or three to help with this role.

We are not looking for any specific background. More an intertest in the work of the Reserve and the aptitude and attitude to help with future plans to broaden appeal to the military and wider community as well as specialist audiences.

We have two excellent employees and many brilliant volunteers who all spend time and effort in maintaining the Reserve and developing initiatives. 

 

 

Ministry of Defence security requirements will have to be met.

We need some details about you, a CV if you have one (or details about your background and experience - paid or otherwise) and why you are interested in a Trustee role.  Selection will be based on those we think best fit the criteria set out but also who can bring different perspectives and skills to the work.

You are also welcome to get in touch with John Walker, Secretary on 07791 128183 or by Email j.walker@thefoxglovecovertfoundation.org.uk to discuss the role in more detail.  If you would like to look around the Reserve that can be arranged.

We look forward to hearing from you. 

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Damselfly Emergence - Exuviae Everywhere!

Monday, May 13th 2024

The last couple of weeks at Foxglove Covert have seen the emergences of many Large Red Damselflies. One particularly warm, sunny day last week seemed to be enough to encourage lots of them to emerge. Walking along the boardwalk and platforms of the pond-dipping area, the cast skins (or exuviae) of the damselflies covered verticle wooden supports. Although well camoflauged and difficult to spot initially, once you knew what to look for it was hard to stop noticing them!

But how and why is this cast left behind? The transition of dragonflies and damselflies from their larval stage to adult stage is known as 'emergence'. Larvae move from the water body they were living in and on to a stable place out of the water. This is usually vegetation, such as rushes or reeds in or near the pond. Here at Foxglove Covert, the boardwalk and pond-dipping platform supports seem to be very popular places to emerge!

Once out of the water, the adult form of the damselflies can take an hour to fully emerge from their larval skin. Parts of the damselfly's adult body gradually emerge from the larvel skin, expanding and hardening. It also takes time for the full-adult colours to come through, with recently emerged adults looking much paler than the colours you might expect to see. What is left behind of the larval stage is known as an 'exuvia'.

During emergence and their first flights, adults are particularly vulnerable, particularly to rain and predators. The damselfly in the image below didn't get very far before getting caught in a spider's web.

When around waterbodies this spring and summer, why not try to spot emerging dragonflies, damselflies and their exuviae? Make sure to check man-made supports near the water as well as emergent vegetation!

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Creating a New Path

Sunday, April 28th 2024

This week, volunteers at Foxglove Covert were busy removing old boardwalking and creating a new path along a section of the 'green route' on the reserve.

The old boardwalk, which stretched across a very soggy patch of mud, was beginning to rot away. Rather than replacing the boardwalk, volunteers diverted the path to higher, and dryer, ground.

The process of removing the old boardwalk support posts was an incredibly muddy one!

The new path creation was a much cleaner affair - a couple of new steps were added, and a small 'corduroy road' was made along a dip in the path.

The new path is open and ready for use, so why not try it out during your next visit to Foxglove Covert? Just head along the green route to find it!

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Bumblebee ID

Friday, April 26th 2024

This Sunday at Foxglove Covert the Yorkshire Dales Millenium Trust held a bumblebee identification and survey training session, in support of the Bilberry Bumblebee Project.

Image: catching bees

 

Attendees learned all about how to ID different bumblebee species, and how sometimes it can be quite tricky - the bee in the image below was either a Buff-tailed (Bombus terrestris) or White-tailed (Bombus lucorum) Bumblebee - the species couldn't be determined in the field.

Attendees also gained some survey experience, and spent some time catching bees to ID them.

This training session will help volunteers with their ID as they carry out 'bee walks', a citizen science survey established by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. In 2023 volunteers across Richmondshire carried out 35 bee walks, recording 388 bees total, and 13 different species of bumblebee.

If you would like to contribute to this project, email wildwashton@gmail.com for more information about how to volunteer.

Image: Red-tailed Bumblebee

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Help Support Foxglove

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.

More Details

Upcoming Events


Access to the Reserve: CLOSED

Monday 20th May 2024 |

Due to security and access problems the reserve is temporarily closed to the public except for organised events.



Dragonfly Walk

Sunday 21st July 2024 | 1pm-3pm

Guided walk around Foxglove Covert LNR to spot and learn about IDing dragonflies and damselflies. Led by county recorder Keith Gittens.

Booking essential. Donations welcome.



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