Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ock Valley Walk, Tesco End, 20th July 2013

A smaller group than last week assembled for our first Himalayan Balsam clearing at the Tesco end of the Ock path. In contrast to last week at Marcham, the sky was cloudy and the temperature was several degrees cooler., which, after the last couple of weeks, was a welcome relief when working out of doors.

As well as balsam pulling, there were brambles and nettles to be cut back from the footpath and the usual large amount of litter to be cleared up. We were pleased to be joined by Mayor Samantha (not in mayoral regalia!), Councillor Neil and children Emma and Charlie for the first part of the morning, who set to work clearing nettles and brambles from the edge of the footpath.

There was a lot of Himalayan Balsam to be cleared on the other side of the ditch and in the wooded area by the river. Some had grown very tall and was in flower, though fortunately ripe, exploding seed pods had not yet formed. If you look at the photo of Victor, you can see how tall Himalayan Balsam can grow. It also seems that the more you pull up, the more you spot!

After the coffee break, during which we discussed ideas for the new programme, we did some task swapping and carried on, collecting large piles of balsam and a few bags of rubbish and recycling. We will need to revisit the site early in the next programme as by then the smaller balsam plants will have shot up.
- Eleanor

Dieuwke and Ursula pulling up Himalayan Balsam

Councillor Neil Fawcett cutting back nettles

Mayor Samantha Bowring lends a hand

 Victor with 9 ft tall Himalayan Balsam
Sally litter picking

baby Charlie relaxes in her buggy
James and Emma clearing wood

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