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Otter surveying techniques training

Sunday, May 10th 2009

Today 20 people came to Foxglove for a training day on Otter surveying techniques. This was run for us by Jon Traill of The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. After a morning in the classroom finding out about footprints, spraint, likely habitat and the differences between Otter, Mink and Water Vole habits we set off after lunch to survey a stretch of Risedale Beck. We walked up the stream through a stretch of non-intervention area and before long were pleased to find fresh footprints in the muddy banks.

Otter dropping

The best find was undoubtedly the Otter spraint, or dropping, pictured above. You can see the fish scales and bones within the dropping. It was found on a typical large rock to the side of the stream and smelt faintly of dried Jasmine tea! Jon told us that we had very good habitat for Otters to use as lying up sites all along the beck. We also saw Bullhead fish eggs on the underneath of a large stone and newly hatched Mayflies basking on the rocks. The rain held off until the end of our walk and everyone had a good day. Thanks must go to Jon and Claire for coming to hold their training day at Foxglove Covert.


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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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Minibeast Safari 2

Wednesday 12th August 2020 | Various time slots available

Come along and find out which minibeasts are living in some of the habitats at Foxglove. Book a minibeast session for your family bubble of up to six people. 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 equipment 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. A donation in advance (card payment by phone) of £5 per family bubble is required in order to secure your booking. 



Family Pond Dipping 3

Wednesday 19th August 2020 | 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 of up to six people. 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. A donation in advance (card payment by phone) of £5 per family bubble is required in order to secure your booking.  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. 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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The Dragonflies of Strensall and Foxglove Covert
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This book has been published with the aim of enabling people visiting these, immensely important Flagship Pond Sites in North Yorkshire, to identify the dragonflies and damselflies they encounter - by reference to a simple text and photographs. Credits - Yorkshire Dragonfly Group & Freshwater Habitats Trust

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