Ock Valley Walk, Town End, 14th March 2020

We didn’t know it at the time, but today’s session was our last until the Covid-19 crisis has passed and we’re able to get together again for future sessions. In which case, it’s great that so many of us turned up at the Town End of the Ock Path – 20 of us, including new members Olivia and Wendy and members from AbiBinIt! litter picking group. Eleanor led the session and we gathered our tools and made our way along the path to set up base camp where, after sessions without it, we proudly set up the picnic table which had been missing for a while.

Eleanor gave us our tasks which included tree planting, clearing fallen wood into habitat piles, cutting back brambles and litter picking. The morning started off bright enough. There was some talk of rain, and perhaps a few drops fell, but it never really came to anything.

While some of us set off to litter pick, and others to clear fallen wood, we set about planting sixteen trees, which we did spread out over the patch of land between the two paths, where we’ve already established a good mix of planting over the years.

At break time, Petra had brought a delicious cake which we gobbled up, along with biscuits and tea. Then it was back to work. As the trees had all been planted in the first half, it was mainly cutting back brambles and clearing more fallen wood in the second half. 

We trooped back to the car park, none of us knowing that this would be the last time we would meet for some time to come. But with everything escalating so quickly on a daily basis, it’s only appropriate to follow government guidelines of ‘social distancing’. We’ll miss our weekly Green Gym sessions which are about conservation but also physical and mental health, socialising and so much more.    

Eleanor's opening speech.

Further instruction once we'd arrived at the work site.

Joanna gets digging.

The Chris Thomas memorial tree that we planted back in 2012!

A nest found suspended from a small tree branch.

Graham and Dieuwke planting one of the sixteen trees.

The return of the refreshment table.

Ursula, Joan and Olivia lop brambles.

Adrian and scythe.

Blossom appearing on the trees.

A child's tent that Andrew recovered from the River Ock.

The path beside the wooded area.

Packing up for now, but we will return at some point!


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