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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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Minibeast Safari 1

Wednesday 5th August 2020 | 45 minute sessions on the hour

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. 



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. 



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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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