Foxglove Covert celebrates 30th anniversary

moth recording by volunteers. Photo: Philip Sedgwick.

Foxglove Covert Nature Reserve has celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Staff and volunteers of all ages took part in walks and activities throughout a Bioblitz celebration on Saturday.

The 100-acre reserve of moorland edge is situated in the middle of MoD property at Catterick Garrison.

It is home to a remarkable mix of habitats and species.

In their anniversary year, the reserve’s aim is to discover 30 new species of wildlife to add to the existing 2,700 on the list of natural residents.

First on the program was the moth recording which began at dawn. Cool temperatures on Friday night meant that the numbers of moths caught was lower than expected however; over 70 different species were seen, two of which were new for the site.

Bird ringers also had an early start and were well-rewarded; a Sedge Warbler was the first bird to land in one of the mist nets.

Another surprise was a juvenile Reed Warbler which hadn’t been observed at Foxglove since 2018.

Many natural historians and specialists came along to deliver guided walks and talks.

Hands-on activities such as making butterfly feeders and leaf bunting were enjoyed by the adults as much, if not more, than the children.

There was plenty of opportunity to learn about wildlife photography and with many of the meadows and glades still in bloom there was plenty to capture.

Out on the heathland, Entomologists searched for new invertebrates and back at the Field Centre, members from Richmondshire District Beekeepers’ Association were on hand to promote the importance of their subject. A Mycologist demonstrated the process of fermenting fungi to create Kombucha.

Walks also took place to find wildflowers, dragonflies, damselflies, lichens and mosses.

Senior reserve manager Sophie Crease said: “Foxglove would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of the volunteers.

“So much work goes on behind the scenes including preparing the site ahead of the big day. Everywhere received a bit of TLC to show the reserve off at its best.

“We have our fingers crossed for some additional new species to get to our target. With 13 still to go, why not come along and help get us there. ”

Foxglove Covert postcode DL9 3PZ is open to the public Monday, Friday 9am – 5pm; weekends and bank holidays, 10am – 4pm.

Access  is via Cambrai Lines front gate.

You will be asked to show photographic ID on entry to the barracks.