Ock Valley Walk, Tesco End, 4th March 2017

After a thoroughly changeable week of weather, it was quite a relief to be greeted with blue skies as we gathered on Saturday morning, eighteen-strong.  We were at the Tesco end of the Ock Valley Walk for our regular litter-pick and tidying tasks.

As well as the standard and often depressingly large volume of litter to be found bordering the main path from Tesco back towards town, there was also some fly-tipping to deal with.  Leader Eleanor had become aware of some waste that had been dumped off Mill Lane at the far extent of the path, beyond the housing estate.  A group of six of us initially broke away from the main group to investigate, and found two large piles of rubbish left besides the hedgerows beside the old Wilts and Berks canal, bordering a field.  Eleanor had brought her wheelbarrow to make it easier to shift much of it, while the larger items could be carried away with some effort.

The fly-tipped waste was transported to the grass verge at the end of Mill Road, with council contractors having been contacted to come and collect it from here on Monday.  Among the debris were a number of window frames, vehicle parts and rubble.  More of the group later joined in with this task, given the scale of the job.

Meanwhile, the litter-pickers had much to keep them busy and several bags of recyclable and non-recyclable rubbish were filled, ready for collection beside the crossing opposite the Tesco store itself.  

While these main tasks were underway, part of a willow tree that had fallen across the path was removed and the cuttings stacked.  Also, rather earlier than anticipated, some Himalayan Balsam that had begun to sprout was found in the vicinity!  This was removed as far as possible, with the aim of limiting the extent of this invasive non-native plant so that we have less to clear when we return over the summer!

Gathering in the sunshine.

The Ock path from Mill Lane towards Tesco.

Some of the fly-tipped waste.

Graham and Barry wonder where to begin!

Janet, Graham and Petra join forces!

Barry with part of a bench!

Eleanor and Rosie find a way to move a window frame!

Lesser Celandine - among the spring flowers spotted this morning.

Conversation at the break!

The willow tree obstructs the path.

After the Green Gym work their magic!

The dreaded Himalyan Balsam returns!  (photo by Margaret)

The pile of fly-tipped waste ready for collection beside Mill Road.

Andrew, Janet and Lesley with the litter-pick waste mountain!


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