Riding for the Disabled, Southmoor, 17th July 2021

Another new Green Gym work location this week. The local Riding for the Disabled venue in Southmoor was where we assembled under chairman Kevin's leadership and guided by the staff at the riding centre.

After a quick briefing in the car park and welcoming of new member Adela, we set off down the path to the field where we'd be working. Kevin was able to take his car down, which meant that we could enjoy the stroll empty-handed and collect the tools once we had arrived.

The task was to clear a ditch beside one of the fields where horses are kept. This ought to improve the drainage situation in an area that is prone to flooding in the winter around the vicinity of a narrow bridge.

The weather was scorching and shade was at a minimum, therefore we worked at a leisurely pace and kept ourselves suitably hydrated. That said, we quickly cleared a long section, armed with loppers, slashers and our bare (gloved!) hands. We raked out the cuttings into the field and pitchforked them into a small trailer attached to a tractor that the centre's maintenance employee was driving. The cuttings were taken away from the field to a pile where they would later be added to a bonfire. Kevin took up the essential role of riding on the trailer in order to help unload at the other end. Roger and Graham later took trips too!

Elevenses couldn't come quickly enough in the hot weather and another of the centre's staff arrived with cold drinks, biscuits and cakes for us to share. Very welcome indeed.

For the second half we continued as before, clearing the ditch in the main field in its entirety and continuing down past the bridge into an adjoining field. A lovely, productive morning and somewhere I'm sure we'd be happy to return to on subsequent occasions.

-Andrew


Assembling in the car park.

Kevin instructs the team.

Ditch clearance begins.

A mystery skull found in the ditch by Eleanor B.

Progress!


Piles of cleared vegetation.

A section of cleared ditch.

Happy workers.

Break time supplies.

The perks of being session leader!

Further ditch clearance.

Graham takes the reins.

Horsies!


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