Hinksey Heights Nature Trail, 31st July 2021

Today we returned to Hinksey Heights Nature Trail for our second July visit. We met in the golf club car park and unloaded the tools. Adrian had brought a surplus supply of courgettes, which we gladly shared out - one of which bore an uncanny resemblance to Andrew and Joanna's dog, Elly!

We met with proprietor John Brimble upon arrival, who outlined the tasks ahead. Usually John is accompanied with partner Jenny, though unfortunately on this occasion she was ill and unable to attend. We wish her a speedy recovery. John had to head off early therefore, leaving us to our own devices.

We wandered along the nature trail to the pond area, which was the focus of our activities. The first of the main jobs to tackle was to replace some old spiral tree guards around several young saplings with larger, more robust guards and heftier stakes. A number of guards and stakes were stacked in a corner of the field, while others had to be retrieved from the copse area, back along the path.

The second job was to scythe a grassy area of the field beyond the wildflower patch. Adrian and Sally had brought their scythes for this purpose. Once cut the grass was then to be raked up and added to a pile beside some willow trees.

We divided up into teams and got to work, while Andrew went off in search of extra tree guards. The path repair team were also on site this morning, repairing a patch of the path between our work area and the copse - laying down a membrane and distributing gravel on top from a large pile that had been delivered earlier in the week.

The weather was somewhat changeable throughout the morning, not particularly warm and generally cloudy, but with  few bright sunny spells and the occasional torrential downpour. One of these downpours coincided with our 11am break, which featured a cameo appearance from Joanna and Elly. Elly the dog received plenty of attention as always!

Most of the tree work had been completed before the break, with just a few guards and stakes left to attach. There were also a few ash saplings left to weed out after our last session here, which we attended to in the second half.

Otherwise, it was all about the scything and raking to the close of play, with the rain returning just as we were packing up. John had offered us complimentary drinks at the golf clubhouse post-session, but we were soaked and keen to get home to dry off by the time we made it back to the car park. Perhaps next time!

-Andrew


Cathy and Eleanor B modelling their new Green Gym attire.

The tree people.

The scythers and rakers.

Nature Trail information board.

Break time with Joanna and Elly's cameo appearance.

Is it a pond or is it a lake?

Peak thistle action.

The scythed patch at the end of the session.

Elly meets her courgette doppelganger.

 

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