This was the occasion of our maiden visit to Abbey Meadows for a session at the Wild Flower Maze - located just beyond the children's playground and adjacent to the crazy golf course, close to the Thames.
We met in the car park at the end of Abbey Close, where we were met by Lucille from the Abingdon Carbon Cutters group, who have recently set up and look after the area. Having been guided to the site, Lucille then outlined the task of the day, which was to uproot and remove thistle and other prickly plants from the maze, in order to make the area more child-friendly. The intention is that other wild flowers will be sown in their place.
Spades and forks were deployed to tackle the thistle growth, which was already fairly extensive in a number of the beds. Fortunately, our turnout was sufficiently large that there were enough of us to tackle it without the job appearing immediately daunting! We were joined by another new member, Victor, who we were pleased to welcome along.
Although only sown for the first time last year, an impressive wild flower display was already evident, thus we took care not to trample the plants down as we worked. It was fairly tough going at first with the heavy soil, but as we worked our way around the perimeter of the field, the increasingly softer ground made the task of thistle-pulling progressively easier. Which is not to say that it wasn't hard work!
By the time that tea-time came around, we were rather grateful for the break, especially as the warm, sunny conditions had taken hold during the morning, making it reasonably tiring.
Refreshed, we pushed on through to our 12:30pm deadline and accomplished what we had set out to do. The plant debris was removed to Lucille's car for transporting off for composting - quite a heavy load in the end!
We look forward to returning here in the future to help out again should our labours be required. In any case, the site is well worth a visit during the summer months for the beautiful wild flower displays that are a great asset to the area.
|Meeting in Abbey Close|
|The Wild Flower Maze|
|Off to work!|
|Some of the thistles and other prickly plants that were removed|
|Some of the up-rooted plants|
|The wild flowers in all their glory|
|A wonderful display|
|A Ragged Robin|
|Lucille loads up her car with the up-rooted plants at the end of the session|