Ock Valley Walk, Town End, 29th May 2021

Yesterday we met at the town end of the Ock Valley Walk. This site tends to be one of our more popular work locations since it is in Abingdon itself and just a short walk from the town centre. So it proved to be once again - a total of twenty four volunteers turned out for Andrew's first official session as leader. 

Among our total were three new members - Philip, who has recently moved to Abingdon and was previously a member of Horsham Green Gym, along with two of Andrew's drystone walling work colleagues - Simon and Nathan.  

Tasks for the morning included re-laying the woodchip path, clearing nettles from around the bases of the young trees that we have planted here, plus the customary litter pick. Following the usual instruction (and a quick visit from a council official to supply us with a new parking permit for the nearby carpark!), we split into groups and got busy.

Four members had brought along wheelbarrows for transporting the woodchip and piles of chip had been left at either end of the path by the cemeteries department of the town council earlier in the week. While some shovelled, others transported and raked.

Slashers were wielded by the tree-liberators, while James and Ursula set about sawing and lopping some willow that had become overgrown and was crowding out one of the newer silver birch trees.

Eleanor D, Lesley and Janet were part of the litter-picking team that set off further along the path to collect recyclables and non-recyclables. Eleanor had made prior arrangements for the collection of litter at the normal spot by the bins on the Drayton Road.

Sally took the opportunity to clear some of the cleavers or goose grass from the path edges along with invasive sycamore seedlings that had taken root.

We reconvened at 11am for our usual refreshment break, although we moved a little further along the woodchip path than usual, in order not to disturb a Robin nest in an adjacent sycamore tree. It was Graham's birthday, so we sang 'Happy Birthday' to him and Carolyn had made some muffins as part of the celebration. We also had a visit from Joanna and Green Gym mascot, Elly the dog!

With the large group, we had finished all the tasks by the break, thus the session was declared complete at this time. We therefore transported our tools back to the meeting point and went about our merry way to enjoy the rest of the bank holiday weekend.


The Ock Valley Walk.

Adrian shovels the woodchip.

Margaret rakes.

Ursula removing overgrown willow.

Rosie liberates the Chris Thomas memorial tree.

A section of freshly re-chipped path.

Birthday boy Graham receives a card from Michele.

Carolyn's muffins.

The Robin nest.

Eleanor B and Elly the dog. (photo by Joanna).


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