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An Update

Tuesday, April 20th 2021

Ahead of the CES (Constant Effort Site) bird ringing, the bird ringers got together for the first time in several months to make sure that everything was ready for the busy season ahead. Chiffchaffs have been heard singing for a while at Foxglove, they have now been joined by Willow Warblers and Blackcaps as they have returned safely from their wintering grounds.

Volunteering is picking up again due to the easing of restrictions and today some got well and truly 'stuck in' repairing a section of footpath that was poorly drained.

Blocked drainage pipes were re-discovered and rodded; a muddy task! New pipes were added too and drainage channels were installed to prevent the pipes from blocking in the future.

With the bird breeding season beginning, focus has turned from habitat management to site maintenance. Volunteers carried out step repairs, edged and surfaced woodland paths and rebuilt dams. The water levels are very low and a lot of effort is being made to encourage as much water as possible into the many ponds; debris was cleared from this beck that feeds into the Scrapes.

In addition, preparations are being made for when the Field Centre re-opens on the 17th May and a new addition is this clever handmade display for bird feeders on sale.

Whether you have made a display, helped with bird ringing, cleared out a ditch, identified a species, rodded a pipe or edged a path, your contribution is appreciated!

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Stake and Chips!

Friday, April 16th 2021

Visitors who haven't been for a while will notice a big difference at the Outdoor Classroom where the removal of diseased Ash trees has opened up the area. There are usually lots of Bluebells here in the summer so hopefully these will spread now that more light is reaching the ground.

The tidy up operation was a mammoth task with most of the brash being made into woodchips.

In this area the woodchips were scattered thinly around the bracken where they will soon decompose.

The team of newly qualified 'woodchippers' have also been busy in the woodland where they have shredded brash from conifers that were thinned out during the winter months.

These woodchips were perfect for path surfacing so were loaded up and moved by wheelbarrow to the wettest parts of the woodland trail.

Some of the brash was used to line the footpath first to prevent the woodchips from sinking!

The finished section of path looked very inviting!

Conifer trunks had also been saved to edge the paths further along the green route. The long lengths ensured that the volunteers stuck to social distancing rules!

The poles were installed and pegged into place with wooden stakes. This is a great way to define the path and reuse materials from the reserve.

The work is ongoing but already has made a good difference to the woodland walks. Thank you to everyone who has helped out over the last few weeks.

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A Warm Welcome!

Wednesday, April 14th 2021

This week, due to the easing of restrictions, we were able to welcome back a regular group from the Northallerton Personalised Learning College. The students were pleased to be back at the reserve and out in the fresh air and sunshine.

It was the perfect opportunity to look for some early signs of spring and where better to start than in the Scrapes where there is plenty of Toadspawn. The group collected some fresh pondwater and a small amount of Toadspawn to put in the classroom aquarium. 

Once it had been collected in a clear container, everyone could have a closer look at the long ribbons of jelly with black dots. It will be interesting to watch these develop over the next few weeks before the young Toads are released back into the ponds.

Parts of the reserve are now open to members of the public again however, only the outdoor trails, carparks and toilets are open for now.  It is hoped to reopen the Field Centre and hides at the next phase of the government's roadmap on May 17th. You can hear more about this in an interview with Dales Radio on a podcast. Thanks to Jennifer Scott, the member pioneer at Leyburn Co-op, who invited us to attend her slot to explain how the Co-op Local Community Fund  has helped Foxglove during the pandemic. The money has made a huge difference! We are still part of this scheme and it's easy to do ... simply log on to your Co-op account and follow the links supporting your local causes.  You'll find us in the SPACES category. If you don't live locally, you can still choose Foxglove as your cause by quoting the reference number: 35823

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Red, White and Blue

Monday, April 12th 2021

Scarlet Elf Cup was found growing on an old log pile down near to Risedale Beck. In European folklore, it was said that wood elves drank morning dew from the cups!

Once again, Barn Owls are breeding on the reserve. Last year, the female was buried by Jackdaws several times who covered her with twigs and sheep wool (their nesting material). This year, a close eye will be kept on the box to make sure there are no intruders! This owl was ringed by the bird ringers last week and had an especially bright white chest. Associated with the night the Barn Owl has also been called the Ghost Owl, the Church Owl even the Death Owl. This one was more sleepy than scary!

Although not in flower yet, the Bluebells on the bank in the woodland are looking promising with plenty of green leaves. In a few weeks time this area will be a beautiful sight. In folklore, Bluebells were said to ring when fairies were summoning their kin to a gathering; but if a human heard the sound, it would be their death knell. Not surprisingly, it was considered unlucky to trample on a bed of Bluebells, because you would anger the fairies resting there!

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Relaxation of Restrictions April 2021

Sunday, April 11th 2021

Following the Government Roadmap guidance, the car parks, outdoor trails and toilets will reopen from MONDAY 12 APRIL (The main part of the Field Centre and viewing hides will remain closed for now).

Government guidelines mean that anyone entering the Field Centre must wear a mask and check in to Foxglove Covert LNR on the NHS Track and Trace App or fill in their contact details on the sheet provided.

Hand gel will be provided in the entrance way to the toilets.

The two metre rule will still apply everywhere on the reserve.

Opening times will remain as follows:

Mid-week 9:00am - 5:00pm

Weekends and Bank Holidays 10:00am - 4:00pm

All organised groups must book in advance by contacting a Reserve Manager on 01748 830045 or 07754 270980 or by emailing: foxglovelnr@btinternet.com.

The safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors remains paramount and the Management Group will keep the situation under continuous review. Should the situation change it may be necessary to consider further appropriate measures. 

The Management Group and staff thank you all, for your continued support.

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