Abingdon Green Gym members were invited to a social evening organised by Natural England and BBOWT for the volunteers who work on the Cothll Fen and Parsonage Moor sites.
The event was held at Cothill House School and attended by eight Green Gym members. Fortunately, the weather had turned fine after heavy thunder storms as we set out for a tour of the sites.
We crossed the impressive playing fields and golf course of the school, then on to Parsonage Moor. Our guide, Martin, told us about the management plans for this important alkaline fen. Some distance away we could see the three ponies which live there to graze the fen. A number of orchids and typical fenland plants grow here, such as butterwort, Parnassus grass, marsh valerian and hemp agrimony. It is also a habitat for soldier flies as we were told by the surprising number of fly experts present.
We continued on to Cothill Fen, also known as Ruskin Reserve, where Green Gym works several times a year, clearing reeds which suppress the natural flora and keeping back tree growth. We then returned to Cothill School, where a delicious buffet supper awaited us. Conservation volunteering does have its rewards!