Hinksey Heights, 10th July 2021

Hinksey Heights Nature Trail was the venue for Saturday's Green Gym. Ten of us met site owners and wardens John and Jenny upon arrival, with the morning's tasks outlined. These were to weed the wildflower patch by the entrance to the trail, to cut back any overhanging foliage from the sides of the main path and to remove ash saplings from around the lake a little further along the track.

We divided up into teams and got busy. Sally, Ursula and Lesley took on the weeding detail while Adrian set off on path lopping and sawing duties. The remainder of us headed for the lake with John to be shown where the ash saplings were sprouting and where to pile up the cuttings. Unfortunately, ash dieback has struck here as it has throughout the region and so most of the young trees have to be removed. Ash grows rather prolifically here, but the signs of the Chalara fungal disease were much in evidence. 

Our 11am break seemed to come around quickly and everyone gathered around the picnic tables by the lake for the occasion. For the second half, Roger and James were reassigned to the wildflower patch from the ash removal team, while Barbara, Philip, Graham and myself continued with what was left of the tree work.

This is a large site with a number of different volunteer groups working at various times. A path maintenance team were also in attendance during the morning, and it was good to see the reserve being so well looked after.

We completed our respective assignments right on cue at 12:30pm. John and Jenny had left sometime earlier, but later emailed to pass on their thanks for our great team effort!

-Andrew



The lake with many ash saplings popping up (at the start of the session).



Distant view of the lake.

Philip, Graham and Barbara remove ash saplings.

Ash everywhere!

Barbara takes some of the cuttings to the pile.

Overgrown vegetation around the path to be dealt with.

Ash lore.

A diseased sapling.

Mugwort at the wildflower patch.


Ursula surveys the scene at the end of a busy morning.


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