Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Abrahams Wood, Boars Hill, 10th March 2018

After last Saturday’s session was cancelled due to the heavy snowfall, the Green Gym resumed their activities this week. We returned to Abrahams Wood, Boars Hill, to work with the Oxford Preservation Trust under the guidance of Rachel Sanderson.

After gathering tools from (Green Gym session leader) Kevin's car, we began the fairly lengthy stroll down the hill from the parking spot to the lower gate of the wood.  Eleanor hung back for a while to wait for Margaret to appear and help her carry the all-important tea kit to the work site.

Having assembled, Rachel ran through the morning's itinerary which was primarily to clear away fallen branches, and to continue removing laurel overgrowth.  Furthermore we were to rebuild some of the willow doughnuts that protect the hazel coppice stools in the wood from being attacked by deer. 

Many of the fallen branches were in area where bluebells and other spring flowers bloom, thus adding a dash of urgency to the operation.

We made considerable headway without delay, being fourteen-strong in number and experienced in this type of task.  Indeed, many of the rogue branches were dispatched with before the tea break and consolidated into piles. We were joined by a couple of local volunteers at this point too, which accelerated our progress.

Eleanor whipped out one of her delicious coffee and walnut cakes at the interval, which was a welcome addition to the usual biscuits and beverages.  It was devoured with haste, with only a single piece kept aside for her husband after the end of the session. 

During this time, we were visited by a couple of the local residents who thanked us for our continued hard work in the area, which was nice. Rachel also outlined the plans for the management of Abrahams Wood in future, which we are glad to be a part of.

The final hour of the session was more of the same, and saw us continue apace, clearing the paths and tackling the other jobs that had been assigned earlier on.

We will return here on our next programme and some of us may visit to admire the bluebells and wood anemones before then!
-Andrew 




The meeting point.

Ready and raring to go.

The Green Gymmers wend their way down to the wood.

Rachel issues instruction.

A willow doughnut in urgent need of repair.

There's a path there somewhere...

A frog in the hand.

The path begins to reappear.

A visit from some locals at the intermission.

Eleanor cuts the cake as Margaret takes care of the teas and coffees.

The last of the season's snowdrops.

Some pesky laurel regrowth.

Turkeytail fungus on a fallen tree branch.

Kevin consolidates some cut branches into a pile.

The homeward ascent.

A sign of some stature.


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