Sunday, November 3, 2019

Southern Town Park, 2nd November 2019

Several green gymmers gathered at Cothill on Saturday morning, ready for our scheduled session at the fen. However, upon arrival we discovered that both Judy and Steph from Natural England had safety concerns due to high winds and rain that had been battering the site overnight and into the morning. There was a risk of trees coming down, particularly diseased ash, and therefore the decision was made to cancel.

While obviously disappointed, we prepared to head back home and begun to let our members know - including those that were still en route. The weather did look like it was set to improve though, and just before we retreated, leader Eleanor suggested that we might instead head to Southern Town Park to tend to our wildflower patch. There might be enough work to keep a smaller group busy for a while. 

Five hardy souls thus reconvened at the Lambrick Way car park back in Abingdon to ensure that the morning was not a total write-off. Additional tools had to be fetched on the way and the tea kit had to be collected from elsewhere, but shortly after 10am we were on site and ready to go.

A couple of years ago we created and continue to tend a wildflower patch in Southern Town Park, down beyond the sports pitches. It has proved to be a big success with a spectacular display again this summer. We haven't had a session here since July though, so the vegetation was in need of cutting back and raking. Armed with slashers and rakes, we got this done fairly quickly despite our limited numbers and took great care not to disturb the local wildlife as the raked the cuttings into habitat piles around the edge.

The tea break was then enjoyed, before sowing some more seeds for next year and then moving across to the wooded area of the park to focus on some jobs there.

We split into two tiny groups, with myself, Sally and Graham cutting back brambles around the edges of the paths and while Eleanor and Margaret went off litter picking. In the space of about an hour, we succeeded in tidying up the area with brambles lopped and a worryingly large amount of litter collected and bagged up!


Hopefully the weather will be kinder next week and we can enjoy a return to our advertised autumn schedule!
-Andrew



Reduced in number and setting up at Southern Town Park in blustery conditions.

The wildflower patch 'before' photo.

Graham, mid-slash.

Raking havoc.

And the 'after' photo!

Sally came armed with wildflower seeds.

The rakers deserve a break.

Graham reaches for an extra biscuit.

A vole!

Sally sows the seeds.

Sally and Graham clear brambles from the edges of the paths.

Someone has been enjoying the wet weather!

Looking better for our visit.

We downed tools at 12:30pm.

Packing up.




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