Unlike last year, however, the weather was not on our side. Rather than basking in the sunshine, inclement conditions were experienced at the registration point with light, yet persistent rain. This did not deter potential participants, fortunately. In fact, we had a higher turn-out than a year ago, with fifteen assembling for the Green Gym walk. The town crier announced the departure of the walks and we set off down East St Helen's Street towards the start of the Ock path at a little after 10:30am.
The Ock Valley is one of our regular worksites, both at the town end, and further out towards the Tescos supermarket, so a walk such as this presents an ideal opportunity to show off our hard work to non-members. Eleanor gave an introductory talk by the footbridge once we arrived and briefly explained our tasks there. We then proceeded onwards and our recent tree-planting exploits were pointed out along with the Green Gym maintained woodchip path.
The rain eased off a little as we made our way out past the Drayton Road, past the fork in the path close to the supermarket and along to the New Cut Mill at the end of the route.
The return leg was via the Tithe Farm estate and back along Caldecott Road where I gave a brief talk about the history of the area, focusing upon the site of the former Caldecott House (where my home is!). Also, the historical route of the abandoned Wilts and Berks canal which ran parallel with the road, with its outline still highly visible. At this point, Eleanor distributed some information sheets about the walk itself and also some Green Gym promotional leaflets.
The walk then continued back to the Market Place via St Helen's Wharf where the walk reached its conclusion. Many thanks to those who joined us on such a wet and miserable day!
An additional account of the walks programme can be found on the Abingdon Blog.
|Walkers assemble in the Market Place|
|The Green Gym walk group|
|Eleanor giving an introductory talk about the Ock Valley path|
|The walkers out along the Ock Valley|