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Scrub bashing on the Scrapes

Monday, June 11th 2018

Over the weekend we were visited by the Northallerton Beavers who had a very successful day catching and releasing fauna from the ponds on the Scrapes.

The most impressive find of the day being a Great Diving Beetle larvae. 

One of our largest beetle species, the larvae of the Great Diving Beetle has impressively large jaws and is a fierce predator; catching and eating anything from other waterborne insects to tadpoles and even small fish (hence why he/she was given her own pot!).

On a similar note we recently received a number of excellent pictures drawn by pupils of Year 4 Grouse at Wavell Junior School, who visited the Reserve on the 16th and 23rd of May.

On Sunday our very own Swaledale Ringing Group were up and out ringing birds on the Reserve from 4:00am where they recorded the 3rd highest number of birds for the the fourth day of CES ever!

And now onto the work of today…

At Foxglove we have large areas of wetland scrub habitat that are home to an array of different species; from the plethora of invertebrates, to birds such as the Reed Bunting and Marsh and Willow Tit.

Although a valuable habitat in its own right, wetland scrub will encroach into and dry out ponds and other open habitats such as sedge and reed fen if left unmanaged.

Generally speaking the older the wetland scrub habitat is the greater its value to biodiversity, which is why we target the younger expanding scrub vegetation for removal.

If left unmanaged wetland scrub will continue through its natural successional stages and develop into woodland; rotational management of this valuable habitat asset has been very successful on the Reserve in the past.

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