Monday, August 3, 2020

Himalayan Balsam spotted!

We spotted HB while on a walk at Hardwick park camp site. Jim (the dog!) sniffed them out! A sight for sore green gym eyes!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Litter Pick, Southern Town Park

Yesterday, in lovely sunshine, Eleanor, Lesley, Janet and I whiled away a couple of hours doing a litter pick in Southern Town Park.

We took the opportunity to take a look at our wild flower patch, which is burgeoning to such a degree we could only just make out Ursula's beautifully painted sign! From a quick glimpse we spotted red campion, common knapweed, common field poppy, oxeye daisy, musk mallow, nettle-leaved bellflower, scabious (either field or devil's bit), possibly perforate St John's wort, and the white umbellifers are either wild carrot or upright hedge parsley or both - a closer look is needed but we didn't want to trample through the patch! It's amazing to see the transformation of this area from nettles and cleavers to a patch awash with colour and buzzing with insect life.  We're hoping to be able to revisit in late August/early September for a cut to encourage the flowers to return next spring.  We also have more wild flower seeds to sow.  Oh, and as to the litter pick, we each came away with a bag of rubbish (all of which were taken to the refuse centre) and a bag of recycling to be taken home for a rinse and disposing in our green bins for recycling.  All in all, a lovely morning's 'work'!

Here's to Green Gym getting back again soon!

Sunday, July 19, 2020

A Wildflower Patch update from Eleanor

Here are some photos of the wild flower patch in Southern Town Park.

It isn't as spectacular as last month but there's plenty of knapweed and scabious and the bees and butterflies love it. I took a photo of a bee on a knapweed flower.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Andrew's wanderings

Over the past week I have been out walking as much as possible before I return to work in the coming days. I took in a couple of Green Gym work sites along the way - Farmoor Reservoir, where I checked on the status of the hedge that we cut back earlier in the year, and Barton Fields, where the wild flower meadow that we have helped sow and maintain over the years is in full bloom.

At the end of the week on Saturday, we then had our fortnightly Green Gym Zoom chat!

A few photo follow.

The hedge at Farmoor Reservoir that we cut back earlier in the year.

The view looking the other way.

A great crested grebe out on the reservoir.

At Barton Fields... a Pyramidal Orchid.
A Meadow Brown butterfly.

Another butterfly (large skipper?) on a red clover.

One of many froglets crossing the site!

A path through the wildflower meadow.

A Cornflower.

Corn Marigold.



Fireweed/Rosebay Willowherb.

A mystery eggshell.

A bee on Viper's Bugloss.
The Zoom chat!

Saturday, June 13, 2020

A visit to Cothill

Earlier in the week I went for a walk around Cothill, which of course is where one of our work sites is. During our most recent Zoom chat, Adrian had mentioned that the orchid were out on the fen itself, therefore I was keen to go and take a look.

The fen is looking great at the moment and our efforts (along with those of the other volunteers and wardens!) in widening out the wetland area have proved successful. Even after the recent dry spell, it is looking as intended. The photos below illustrate the current state of play.

One of the many orchids (Common Spotted?).
...and another!

Yellow Rattle.
A view across the fen from the footpath.

A bird's nest from Kevin

This was found in the garden on the ground. I think its a finch's nest as I saw one very similar on Spring Watch. It had one empty egg and a broken one with a dead embryo, could have blown down or got at by a predator.

It's so delicately made and yet seems to hold together strongly. How do they do it with just their beak?!

Monday, June 8, 2020

Online tea break, 6th June 2020

We held our third online Zoom tea break on Saturday, our favoured way of connecting while the COVID-19 situation keeps us out of action. Sixteen members assembled to discuss what we had been up to and to when we might get underway again!