Blog Archive (7) Posts Made in December 2022


Moorhen Colour Ringing Project

Friday, December 23rd 2022

Moorhens are omnivorous waterbirds with blackish-brown plumage, green legs and a red face shield. It is thought that the brightness of the red and yellow bill are indicators of the health of an individual with brighter colours relating to lower levels of bacterial infection. Moorhens are also one of only two cooperatively breeding bird species in the UK with older chicks helping their parents to rear younger ones. 

Despite being common birds, relatively little is known about the survival and movement of Moorhens. To better understand this species, and to inform conservation, the Waterbird Colour-Marking Group has set up a colour ringing project across Britain and Ireland. Each bird is fitted with a plastic colour ring in addition to a British Trust for Ornithology metal ring to allow for easier sightings in the field. 

Two birds have been colour ringed at Foxglove so far including this juvenile male who has not yet got his red face shield. The long length of his wing allowed ringers to determine that he is a male. 

This adult male was also ringed.  

Please report any sightings of these individuals on the Waterbird Colour-Marking Group website as this will provide vital information about their movements and survival. Thank you to everyone involved in this important conservation project!

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Wintery Scenes

Sunday, December 18th 2022

A light layer of snow coated the reserve yesterday morning.

Up on the moorland Spigot Mere was frozen.

Overnight the temperatures remained well below freezing and this is a view of part of the wetland today.

The main lake was also covered in ice.

The reserve will be open during the Christmas period from 9am - dusk mid-week and from 10am - dusk on weekends and Bank Holidays. It will be closed only on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. Please note there is currently restricted access on the Red Route due to bridge repairs and the tower hides are temporarily closed. Alternative trails are shown on a map outside the Field Centre. We apologise for any inconvenience.

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Volunteer Christmas Party

Friday, December 16th 2022

This week, the hard work of Foxglove's dedicated team of volunteers was celebrated with a Christmas party. In the morning, some volunteers continued to work outside in the willow coppice block.

Others were busy making Christmas table decorations from materials collected around the reserve.

A Christmas tree was decorated outside the Field Centre (the parts that could be reached)!

Christmas jumpers were a must!

It was a lovely occassion which brought together volunteers who don't normally meet each other as they carry out different types of activities from species monitoring and habitat management to education and providing specialist advice. 

Thanks to all the staff at the Richmond Centre for providing a delicious Christmas lunch of turkey baguettes, roast potatoes, pigs in blankets and a gallon of gravy followed by chocolate cake with Chantilly cream!

After a special rendition of the 12 days of Christmas (12 days at Foxglove), the Quizmaster tested everyone's general knowledge.

Thank you to everyone who came along to enjoy the day and best wishes to those who couldn't make it. 

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Christmas Coffee Morning

Friday, December 16th 2022

Yesterday a team of staff and volunteers ran a coffee morning in Richmond Town Hall to raise both awareness and vital funds for the reserve. 

The chocolate tombola was very popular.

Thanks to everyone's generosity there were some great raffle prizes.

Over £250 was raised for the reserve. Thank you to everyone who helped out from baking cakes, donating prizes and serving teas and coffees on the day.

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December Winter Worky Day 2022

Saturday, December 3rd 2022

For once the sun shone brightly on a Saturday Winter Worky Day! Work continued to remove Ash brash and logs from the future 'Queen's Canopy' woodland.

Over 100 diseased Ash trees were felled earlier in November as they were growing close to a popular area of the reserve by the Outdoor Classroom and were a potential hazard. This forestry created a huge mess that had to be cleared away before tree planting can begin.

It is hard work carrying giant logs over uneven and muddy ground and involves a lot of teamwork and co-operation!

Foxglove Covert LNR is fortunate to have an ever increasing and incredible team of dedicated volunteers. Without their help tasks like this would be impossible.

If you would like to take part in the next weekend work day it will be on Saturday 7th January starting at 10.00am. Booking is essential for this FREE event as a hot cooked lunch will be provided. Please advise of any special dietary requirements when you book your place.

Everyone is welcome including families so come along and get some fresh air, screen free family fun and burn off some of those excess festive calories. A great excuse to have a few more mince pies!

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Atkins Contaminated Land & Hydrogeology Team

Friday, December 2nd 2022

On Wednesday, a team of staff from Atkins lent a hand to prepare an area for the planting of the Queen's Canopy trees. The group worked hard all morning to remove the brash and debris from previous forestry work. A hot lunch was provided and afterwards the volunteers enjoyed a guided walk around the reserve.

The cold, wet and mud didn't stop the volunteers who made a significant difference in a few hours. The team members plan to visit again in the Spring to see the newly planted woodland.

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More Wreaths

Friday, December 2nd 2022

There was more creativity at Foxglove earlier in the week when students from Northdale had a go at weaving wreathes from willow. Beforehand, they helped with the harvesting of over 400 willow whips for festive events.

Well done everyone, a great effort!

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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.

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Upcoming Events


Winter Worky Day

Sunday 3rd March 2024 | 10am - 3pm

The final winter worky day of the season, join Foxglove staff and volunteers for a fun day of practical habitat management. Bring old clothes and sturdy footwear you don't mind getting mucky and a packed lunch. 

Booking essential for this free event. 



Spring Crafts Day

Wednesday 27th March 2024 | 10am-3pm

Spring themed crafts for kids during the Easter holiday. Come along to enjoy the reserve as spring breaks through and have a go at some kid-friendly crafts in the Field Centre classroom.

No booking required. Donations welcome.



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