Friday, November 30, 2012

Barton Fields, 24th November 2012

Prior to this Saturday, our records suggest that all the green gym sessions of the year had been dry aside from a single trip to Frilford Heath earlier in the year.  Not bad going at all considering the appalling weather that has largely blighted 2012! However, the rains came this time and rather made up for their previous absence.

Upon arriving at Barton Fields, the bridge into the site from the Abbey Fields was found to be flooded along with the entire section of the Thames path along the length of the field.  The flood waters had in fact made their way to the edge of the wildflower meadow area and while fairly extreme at this time, the flood area continued expanding and caused some further issues in Abingdon later in the week.

The rain was persistent during the session, but a good turn-out of almost 20 volunteers braved the conditions.  As well as the green gym group, there were several members of the Abingdon Naturalists' Society's Green Team present who look after the site, led by David Guyoncourt. 

There were four main tasks this time - uprooting the invasive snowberry bushes in the shrub border, cutting back brambles, removing unwanted sycamore saplings and litter picking.

With such a large group of volunteers, good progress was made on all tasks, or at least within the areas that were accessible outside of the flood zone.  It was hard work, especially in the inclement conditions and from personal experience I can certainly conclude that snowberry is a very persistent weed with an exceedingly tough root system!

A partially flooded Barton Fields

Flood waters encroaching on the wildflower meadow

uprooting snowberry in the shrub border

the area of the field where the invasive sycamore saplings had taken root

sheltering from the rain under the trees during the tea break

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