Ock Valley Walk, Town End, 18th February 2017

This week we were at the town end of the Ock Valley Walk.  Sixteen-strong and led by Sally, our tasks were many and varied!

Having convened by the St Helen's footbridge over the weir, we took a stroll with tools and tea-kit to our usual encampment spot - halfway along the woodchip path.  Sally then issued instructions to the faithful, which this week included both Lauren's mother, Sue, and Jessica's mother, Jill.  Bring your mum to Green Gym day?!

The most significant job was to litter-pick along the stretch of the walk from the footbridge, all the way along to the Drayton Road end.  Otherwise, there was the usual bramble-bashing, the cutting back of stray willow branches and the clearance of vegetation away from the bases of trees that we have planted here in previous years.  A check was conducted on the health of these trees, and any that had not survived since our last visit (very few thankfully!), were removed, along with corresponding tree guards and stakes.

Eleanor had also brought along some wild flowers to sow close to (former Green Gym leader) Chris Thomas's memorial tree - a black poplar which we had planted here some five years ago and which has since grown to an impressive height.

The litter-pick was as bountiful as usual with a bicycle, a road cone and a witches' broom among the more unusual items recovered amidst the standard cans, bottles and food wrappers.  A startled muntjac deer was encountered at one point while a dead fox was spotted lying peacefully beside the main path.

Another of Eleanor's amazing cake's appeared at tea-break which required us to work extra-hard in the second half of the morning in order to burn off the calories consumed.  This presented no problem of course and there was still plenty to be done.  

Tackling the seemingly never-ending supply of litter close to the Drayton Road bridge was a priority, and we made a big impact here, although some areas will need further attention on our next visit.  Many bags of recyclable and non-recyclable waste were however taken to the assigned collection point by the pedestrian crossing on the Drayton Road - for the council contractors to pick up on Monday.

A good morning's work by both our regular members and our visitors!

Preparing to get started.

Graham and Adrian tackle some stray willow branches.

Barry clears vegetation from around one of the young tree bases.

Some raked vegetation.

Jill and Jessica mid bramble-clearance!

Back to base for refreshments.

Sally and her witches' broom!

Signs of spring are apparent!

The results of the litter-pick at the collection point.

A bicycle found in the undergrowth.


James and Sue.


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