Blog Archive (7) Posts Made in January 2023


Big Garden Birdwatch

Sunday, January 29th 2023

This weekend has seen the return of the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch for its 44th year. This important citizen science project is the world's largest garden wildlife survey and helps to monitor garden bird populations across the country.

An amazing 16 different species were recorded in the back garden at Foxglove today. Of these, Lesser Redpoll were the most numerous with an incredible 26 individuals counted in one go! The results from the survey are summarised in the table below. 

Species Number
Blackbird 5
Blue Tit 6
Brambling 2
Bullfinch 9
Chaffinch 16
Coal Tit 4
Great-Spotted Woodpecker 2
Great Tit 3
Greenfinch 1
Lesser Redpoll 26
Long-Tailed Tit 3
Marsh Tit 1
Moorhen 1
Nuthatch 1
Robin 1
Siskin 1

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The Final Leg!

Friday, January 27th 2023

Work in the willow coppice block is almost complete with only a few more piles of woodchips left to move. Spirits were high this week as more chips were scattered thinly over the area. 

Students from the Personalised Learning Centre have continued to help with this enormous task.

Many hands make light work!

The remaining brash in the coppice block has now been processed leaving the ground clear for wildflowers to emerge in the spring. 

Larger logs have been moved to create log piles which will form important habitat for wildlife. The damp environment and rotting wood provides shelter and a source of food for a range of invertebrates, small mammals and amphibians. 

A group from the Personnel Recovery Centre were a massive help in extracting the largest logs.

A huge thank you to everyone involved!

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Bridge Repairs

Friday, January 27th 2023

After many hours of hard work from staff and volunteers, the maintenance work on Hague Bridge has been completed. Additional vertical support beams have been added to the structure. These beams were made from a larch tree grown on the reserve which was kindly cut into planks by volunteers at the Hunton Steam Gathering

The bridge to the Lake Hide remains closed for essential repairs. We apologise for the inconvenience and are working hard to re-open it as soon as possible. 

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Winter Birds

Wednesday, January 25th 2023

Recently, the feeders at Foxglove have been lifting with birds. Large flocks of Lesser Redpoll have been sighted and individuals have been ringed by members of the Swaledale Ringing Group. These small finches are typically found in woodland and scrub, and mostly feed on seeds. They have streaky brown plumage and a distinctive red forehead. 

This beautiful Nuthatch was also ringed. These birds climb up and down tree trunks in search of insects, seeds and nuts. 

Long-Tailed Tits have also been observed around the reserve. These tiny birds have tails longer than their bodies and form gregarious flocks in winter with other tit species.

The Moorhen colour ringing project has also had more success on the reserve. Two more individuals have been ringed including this stunning adult male.

Please let us know if you spot any colour-ringed individuals or report your sightings to the Waterbird Colour-Marking Group who have set up this important conservation project.

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Helping Hands

Wednesday, January 18th 2023

The recent cold temperatures have not put off Foxglove's dedicated team of volunteers! Work has focused on completing this year's willow coppice. The usual boggy ground has been made firm by the frost which was a pleasant surprise.

Learners from the Personalised Learning Centre joined in and helped by scattering woodchips. These have been scattered thinly to allow wildflowers to grow through them. 

This task was made more difficult as the woodchips were frozen solid.

Once the pile was broken up it was good fun to throw the chippings around!

Visitors may have noticed that quite a few bridges are currently out of bounds. We apologise for any inconvenience and are working hard to re-open them as soon as possible. 

Thank you to everyone who has braved the cold weather to help out this week. 

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A Perfect Winter Day

Monday, January 16th 2023

After a very short snow shower and a hard frost, the reserve was bathed in winter sunshine.

Up on the moor there was only a light dusting of snow.

Long shadows were cast behind the stones up on the top.

Down in the centre of the reserve the lake surface was frozen.

The snowy footpaths through the Scrapes were in stark contrast to the stunning blue sky.

Several Roe deer were observed today; easier to spot in the winter months without the cover of leaves on the trees.

The back garden to the Field Centre was full of birds; Redpoll, Greenfinch, Bullfinch, Reed Bunting, Nuthatch, Robin, Great Tit, Marsh Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Jay and Great Spotted Woodpecker were all seen at the feeders.

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Foxglove Covert New Species Challenge

Tuesday, January 10th 2023

Last year, a New Species Challenge was set to celebrate Foxglove's 30th anniversary. The aim was to try and identify 30 new species on the reserve over the year. Due to the hard work of Foxglove's dedicated volunteers this goal was smashed and an amazing 92 new species were identified! The poster below shows the results in more detail. 

This achievement would not have been possible without the volunteers who clocked up an incredible 1500+ hours on species identification and recording over the course of the year.

A huge thank you to everyone involved in Foxglove's New Species Challenge and special thanks to Mary for producing these amazing posters. 

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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


Access to the Reserve: OPEN with limited access

Monday 18th March 2024 |

The reserve is now open, although again with limited access.

Visitors will be able to access the reserve with the use of key fobs provided at the pass office upon entrance to the camp, or will be provided entrance and exit through the access gate by an officer from the camp Guard Room. In this case visitors will need a mobile phone to call the Guard Room when they wish to exit the reserve.

Please be aware that due to these circumstances, entering and leaving the reserve might take a little longer than usual.



Dawn Chorus

Sunday 5th May 2024 | 5:30am-7:30am

A guided walk around the reserve to experience the dawn chorus and celebrate International Dawn Chorus Day.

Walk starts from the Field Centre at 5:30am.

Donation of £5 per person. Free for volunteers and Friends of Foxglove.

Booking essential. Fill in the booking form by clicking the link below. Pay via paypal or in person on the day.



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