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Working on the Wetland with Willie

Monday, January 29th 2018

Today marked Willie's first day working on the Wetland for us, navigating a 'maze' of safe passages between the ponds.

Over the next couple of days he will be working to ensure that our interconnected ponds remain interconnected, and will also be helping to remove reed mace from pond 21 to the west of the Wetland Hide.

The job is further complicated by the presence of pillwort in and around pond 16 and the northern edge of 18, which will be avoided at all cost. Despite looking distinctly grass-like, Pillwort is an aquatic fern that is a declining specialist of bare pond edge habitat.  

During the late afternoon the channel of pond 8 between 9 and 10 has been cleared and a number of sluices are now working as originally intended, with the water passing over them rather than under.

Whilst Willie cracked on with all of that we continued to make ready nest boxes for the fast approaching nesting season. The pictures below show the inside of one nest box that had been taken over by wasps, with the left showing the wasp nest in situ, and the right showing the rasp marks made by the wasps when constructing the nest. 

Wasps usually target weathered, untreated wood, which they will chew and mix with saliva, thus softening the wood fibres and allowing it to be gathered. This wood pulp can then be moulded and arranged into a honeycombed pattern before being surrounded by a protective case.

There were a number of individuals in the nest, with the jury still out on what species of larvae were contained within

Another group of Hymenoptera were particularly busy today; the Foxglove honeybees decided that it was mild enough to venture outside en masse for a couple of hours either side of lunch before retreating to the warmth of the observation hide when the temperature dropped again in the afternoon. 


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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The events programme has been temporarily withdrawn.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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