Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ock Valley Walk, Tesco end, 23rd June 2012

Saturday brought blustery, yet much drier weather than of late for the green gym's second visit of the year to the Tesco end of the Ock Valley Walk.  Back at our last session here in March, it was uncommonly warm and sunny, but with much less vegetation growth around the edges of the path and the river. 

Upon arrival, the group split into three main work parties.  One cutting back overgrown tree branches and vegetation, another removing Himalayan Balsam while a third tackled the litter picking, including salvaging two Tesco's trolleys from the river itself.

Good progress was made on all fronts and as usual we left the area looking somewhat nicer than when we arrived.  Another job well done.
-Andrew

Andrew litter picks amongst the nettles

Tea break announcements!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Mill Road, Marcham, 16th June 2012

We returned to Mill Road, Marcham for the first time this year to tackle the Himalayan Balsam. We found that the ditch we cleared of balsam last summer had only one relatively small patch. The small copse beyond that had been cut down and there was a lot growing there. Large areas of water, where there had been none last year, had appeared as a result of all the rain.

 After the break, we pulled up balsam growing by the stream on the other side of the road and in a field occupied by two friendly ponies, where it grows in abundance. New members who hadn't done Himalayan Balsam pulling before found out how obsessive it can be and had to be dragged away at 12.30. We will visit the area again in early August.
-Eleanor

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ock Valley Walk, Town end, 9th June 2012

The plan was to clear nettles from around the young trees we had planted in 2011 and cut vegetation back from the woodchip path but thanks to the gale force winds of the previous couple of days we found ourselves with the additional task of lopping and sawing a couple of large willow trees that had been blown down and were blocking the main path.

There were also a lot of fallen twigs and small branches to be cleared from the path as well. Fortunately there was a good attendance, twelve in all. The wind had died down and the weather was dry. After the break, we had time to put fresh woodchip down on the western end of the path where it had worn away.
-Eleanor

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Frilford Heath SSSI, 26th May 2012

We returned to Woodhaven, Frilford today to tackle the Himalayan balsam on the Natural England site.

Mr Amey, the landowner, warned us that a roe deer, which probably had young, had been spotted in the woodland area. In fact we did spot a deer on arriving at the site so we avoided that area.

We were pleased to see that a large part of the wood that we had worked on in the previous few Summers was relatively free of Himalayan balsam plants. The plants were still fairly small, so pulling them up required a lot of bending. On such a hot day, it was pleasant to work in a cool shady wood.

We have two more scheduled visits to Woodhaven this Summer so we hope we can make a real impact on the balsam.
-Eleanor
Himalayan Balsam