Sunday, September 14, 2014

Barton Fields, 13th September 2014

A large group of Green Gymmers along with members of the Abingdon Naturalist's Green Team met opposite the Sophos building, Barton Lane, for this Saturday's Session at Barton Fields.  We were working under the direction of site wardens, David Guyoncourt and Jo Cartmell as usual, with a variety of tasks on the agenda.  These included completing the raking of the recently-cut wildflower meadow, nettle-slashing along the Thames path, litter-picking and the removal of Himalayan Balsam in the willow carr area.

We thus divided up into sub-groups and set about our various jobs in earnest.  Having joined the nettle removal team along the river, and having heard that there were water voles in the area, I was somewhat surprised to see one scuttle off towards the water almost straight-away!  Too quick for a photo, sadly!  The nettles by the path have rather taken-over this year due to the weather conditions and have crowded-out many other plants and wild flowers.  We therefore chopped them back in sections and raked-up the nettles and stacked them in piles away from the path to discourage re-growth.

Elsewhere, the hay rakers were busy clearing the last remaining cuttings, although much of the work had already been completed during two previous sessions during the week by the Green Team and a group from the Environment Agency.  There were reports of much remaining Balsam growth that kept some of the others busy and it appeared that the litter-pickers plenty to work with!

Our refreshment break was taken with cake provided by Eleanor and some croissants also appearing!

Fuelled-up and back to work, the hay raking was completed and progress made on the other tasks.  As a bonus the weather improved steadily throughout the morning with warm conditions and blue skies by the end of the session!

David outlines the morning's tasks

Break time

James and David along the Thames Path

A pile of raked hay from the meadow

The raked meadow/the end of the session

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