Ock Valley Walk, Town End, 17th February 2018

A dozen or so Green Gymmers assembled at an unfamiliar spot along the Ock Valley Walk on Saturday.  Described by session leader Eleanor as the flat bridge over the humpy bridge, the revised meeting point was necessary due to the ongoing closure of the normal crossing at St Helen's Court due to safety concerns. This necessitated a longer than usual walk to the woodchip path where we set up shop, ready for a morning of tree planting and litter picking.

Eleanor had visited in advance and set out a number of colour-co-ordinated canes, marking the locations of whips of different tree species that were to be planted. Oak, beech, silver birch and alder were all represented and we therefore split into sub-groups to hunt these cryptically arranged sticks and get digging.

Among our number were four new members - Tom, Christina, Zoe and Rob.  It was remarked to them that it was best not to get too used to planting trees, for we more usually chop them back!

All the saplings had been planted by the break time and attached to stakes, with tree guards and weed-suppression mats fitted.  Therefore we were re-briefed at this time for our subsequent details.  These were litter picking for some, and for others, the tidying up of stray tree branches and weeds.

As usual, and even despite the closure of the bridge making the path a dead end, there was litter aplenty.  Rich pickings.  Amongst our haul this time was a luggage set. The bags were eventually hand-carried to the agreed rubbish collection point.

In conclusion, it was a busy and productive session for the members of the Abingdon Green Gym, old and new.

A wheelbarrow and a sign.

Early morning light.

Members old and new.

Eleanor makes her point.

The new recruits were offered the rare opportunity to plant some trees rather than chopping them down.

Tea break is taken seriously at the Green Gym.

Various degrees of camouflage attire.

Looking for inspiration in the most unlikely of places.

Bin bags.

Trees as far as the eye can see.

Packing up time.


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