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Wild Orchids

Wednesday, June 24th 2020

Spring is nearly over and the reserve is looking good with many of the flowers out. The wild orchids are now at their peak with the Early Purple having finished and the Northern Marsh and Common Spotted abundant. Best seen near the heath but scattered anywhere the grass is kept short. They have the smallest of seeds and only germinate where the right type of mycorrhizal fungus grows - and that can include a garden lawn and road side verge as well as our reserve. There are always some hybrids so identification can pose problems.

Close up the individual flowers are quite intricate. This photograph is of a Common Spotted Orchid.

Below is a Northern Marsh one.

This year the Early Marsh orchid is only just coming into flower on the fen near Spigot Mere. 

After the brilliance of the orchids a less obvious flower, often overlooked, is on the Alder Buckthorn. Attention was drawn to it by the buzzing of bumble bees. A native tree, it has been planted mainly to provide food for Brimstone Butterfly caterpillars but it also earns its keep as a source of nectar.

This blog post was kindly written by Dr Peter Langham who also provided the photographs.


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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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Meadow Mayhem CANCELLED

Saturday 4th July 2020 | 10.00am - 12 noon

The events programme has been temporarily withdrawn.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.

Celebrate National Meadows Day!

Join us for a morning exploring the many wildflower meadows found at Foxglove. We will be learning how to ID wildflowers and grasses, as well as sweep netting for butterflies and insects and identifying them. This event is part of the Flowers of the Dales Festival

A minimum donation of £5 per person in advance to guarantee a place. Card payments can be taken by phone.

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



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.



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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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