Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ock Valley Walk, Town End, 23rd August 2013

This was an extra session in addition to the published programme, held somewhat unusually on a Friday. Earlier in the week, Eleanor had spotted some Himalayan Balsam growth along the Ock Valley Walk, close to the area of woodchip path that we regularly maintain.

Eleanor, Kate and myself met at 10am by the footbridge over the weir, ready to tackle what we thought was just a small patch of balsam.  Instead, there turned out to be rather more than anticipated, alongside both branches of the river.  

As usual, the balsam was found to be growing amongst stinging nettles, making the task a little trickier than it otherwise might have been - with us trying and largely failing to avoid being stung to pieces.  Care also had to be taken not to fall in the river as we balanced sometimes quite precariously on the banks of the Ock.

Despite finding such unexpectedly mature balsam, a couple of hours and much effort later, our eradication efforts were complete.  As a reward, Eleanor provided tea, coffee and cake, which the three of us enjoyed while taking a seat on a fallen tree and enjoying the sunshine as we reflected upon a job well done!  

Having been away for the whole summer up until now, it was good to be taking part in a Green Gym session once again.  
-Andrew

Kate amid the balsam

Balsam on the river bank

Lords and ladies

all gone!

Guelder-Rose with a fine display of berries

Balsam with stems of considerable girth

Balsam pile

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