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Ash Dieback

Monday, March 1st 2021

Sadly, many of the Ash trees at Foxglove have succumbed to Ash Dieback. According to the Woodland Trust this will kill around 80% of the Ash trees across the UK. At a cost of billions (an estimated £15 billion), the effects will be staggering. It will change the landscape forever and threaten many species which rely on Ash. Ash dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) is a fungus which originated in Asia. The fungus can spread for miles as spores. It enters the tree through the leaves and then grows inside it, eventually blocking its water transport systems and causing it to die. Many of affected Ash trees at the reserve are growing by the pathways making them a hazard to staff and visitors. An assessment was carried out and the most dangerous ones that would fall onto footpaths are being felled or having large limbs removed over the next few weeks whilst the reserve is closed. 

The work is being carried out by Yorkshire Tree Specialists famous for their appearance at the Covert on Tony Robinson's Coast to Coast when they felled a tree into the lake to create a perch for the waterfowl. 

It is just as well that the reserve is closed to the public as the footpaths are slightly obstructed with brash! The team will start the clearing up process shortly; most of the branches will be made into woodchips or stacked into habitat piles.

Although it is sad to see these beautiful trees come to an end, where possible as much standing deadwood will be left (as large trunks or 'monoliths'). These can provide a valuable habitat for mammals, small birds, reptiles and invertebrates. The felling is also being carried out outside of the bird nesting season, to minimise the impact on the environment and wildlife. It is hoped that by opening new glades, more light will reach the forest floor, so we may see more butterflies, wildflowers and other species benefitting in the longer term. Our sincere thanks go to the Defence Infrastructure Organisation who are very kindly funding this vital work.


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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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Family Pond Dipping 1

Wednesday 28th July 2021 | 45 minute sessions on the hour

Come along and find out which animals are living in some of the Foxglove ponds. Book a pond dipping session for your family bubble. There will be a socially distanced brief to set you off and then you can use the equipment for the remainder of the session. You will be requested to use hand gel on arrival and the net handles will be cleaned between sessions. Please call the Reserve Managers on 07754 270980 to book your allocated slot. You are advised to arrive 15 minutes before your allocated time. 

Booking is essential. A donation in advance (card payment by phone) of £5 per family bubble is required in order to secure your booking. 



Family Pond Dipping 2

Wednesday 4th August 2021 | 45 minute sessions on the hour

Come along and find out which animals are living in some of the Foxglove ponds. Book a pond dipping session for your family bubble. There will be a socially distanced brief to set you off and then you can use the equipment for the remainder of the session. You will be requested to use hand gel on arrival and the net handles will be cleaned between sessions. Please call the Reserve Managers on 07754 270980 to book your allocated slot. You are advised to arrive 15 minutes before your allocated time. 

Booking is essential. A donation in advance (card payment by phone) of £5 per family bubble is required in order to secure your booking. 



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Undergrowth Newsletter Winter 2020/21 Issue 54
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