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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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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

Damsels and Dragons CANCELLED

Sunday 19th July 2020 | 1.00pm start

The events programme has been temporarily withdrawn. For up to date information this website, FaceBook and other forms of social media should be consulted. If you have donated in advance to secure a place on an event you will be contacted over the next few days and offered a refund. We apologise for this inconvenience.

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a Dragonfly and a Damselfly? Can you tell the difference between the different species of blue damselfly? Would you like to learn more about theses fascinating animals that have been around since prehistoric times? Join Keith Gittens for a walk around the beautiful Foxglove ponds (some of which are usually out of bounds to visitors) and observe as many different species as you can. Last year, a new species for the reserve was discovered on this event!

Booking is essential as places are limited. There is a donation of £5 per person to be paid in advance in order to secure a place. Payments now can be made on the phone.

This event is free for Volunteers and Friends of the reserve.

Family Pond Dipping 1 - FULLY BOOKED!

Wednesday 22nd July 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. 


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The Dragonflies of Strensall and Foxglove Covert

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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