Ock Valley Walk, Tesco End, 30th April 2016

We assembled at the Tesco end of the Ock Valley Walk for the final session of April.  The weather was, thankfully, dry and mild, and perhaps as a consequence, our turn-out was larger than usual! Twenty one of us made the effort, and we were pleased to welcome along Jessica for the first time, and also Kristina's son Giles who was down to visit.

Margaret was leading on this occasion. As soon as we had transported our tools and other paraphernalia across the road to our usual encampment spot, she outlined our tasks for the morning.

This location is arguably not the most exciting on our programme, but we feel that we make a real difference in enhancing the environment here.  Thus, as usual, a litter-pick was the main priority, along with trimming back some tree branches encroaching upon the path and also some early Himalayan Balsam pulling!

Since our last visit, the path itself from Tesco to the footbridge and beyond to the Tithe Farm estate had been tarmacked. This is a big improvement on the previously rutted track, and it's use appears to have increased as a consequence.

Much litter was gathered and large amounts of Balsam were identified - we made a small dent into dealing with this troublesome non-native plant, but there is certainly plenty remaining for future occasions!  At least it ensured that we had plenty to keep us busy throughout the session, especially given our larger-than-usual number.

Gathering in the car park
Margaret instructs the group before beginning
A young Himalayan Balsam plant
The ladybirds appear to enjoy the nettles here

Colin, his trolley and the mid-session litter-picking haul
A proliferation of Himalayan Balsam is appearing already!
Carolyn, Kate and Kevin busy Balsam-pulling
There was much garlic mustard/Jack-by-the-Hedge growing here
Janet and Lesley with the results of their nettle forage - for making soup!
Sally and Kevin folding-up the tarpaulin at the end of the session


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