This Saturday as per the programme, the Abingdon Green Gym spent the morning at the Kennington Memorial Field which was establish after the Second World War to commemorate local men who died in the conflict.
Rachel of the Oxford Preservation Trust, who manage the site, was there to instruct us on what we were going to do. This was to clear scrub, brambles and small saplings that have encroached onto the open heath restricting access for the cattle that graze there.
The first task on the agenda was to establish a bonfire to dispose of the cleared scrub. Graham our firestarter-in-residence set to work with some fire lighters and dried kindling supplied by Rachel. Once the fire was well established, the cut scrub soon piled up ready for Graham to feed it.
We were working on what was a new part of the field for us, but the clearing activity was the same as on our previous visits, so we all knew what to do. The majority of us tackled the difficult business of cutting/slashing the spiky brambles and thorn bushes. Once cut, they still required considerable effort to pull them away onto a pile ready to be pitchfork over to the fire.
The warmth of the fire was appreciated at first but as it grew and we generated plenty of our own heat via our labours, there was no need to loiter near the flames.
By the end of the morning we had cleared a substantial area which will be kept down by flailing the ground to stop the scrub coming back, which will encourage wild flowers and grasses to flourish there. We will be returning in the new year to continue the process.
Photos by Margaret and Kevin: