Thrupp Green, 11th September 2021

A new site for this session! We were at Thrupp Green - basically an area of private land comprising a meadow beside a lake in the Thrupp/Radley Lakes area. The session was a joint meeting with members of the Green Gym, the Abingdon Naturalists' Society Green Team, Earth Trust and the Friends of Radley Lakes. 

We met at the far end of Barton Lane - essentially the same location as our Barton Fields work parties, but in this instance we would be gathering our tools and heading out in the opposite direction. Along the old railway line/Sustrans track out of town. We met with members of the other groups at 9:30am, including David Guyoncourt from the Green Team who directed the session. Here we picked up the tools - mostly rakes and scythes and walked the 15-20 minutes along to the site.

A small sub-team peeled off before we arrived at the entrance gate in order to remove a fallen willow across a path using saws and loppers. The rest of us soldiered on, gaining access to site close to the main Oxford-Didcot rail line.

David instructed us on what was to be done - essentially to scythe across a fairly large area of the meadow before us and to rake up the cuttings and to pitchfork them across to the side of the field by the tree line. The trees themselves (mainly willows) were also to be lopped back somewhat to stop them from encroaching further upon the land. The idea was to provide favourable conditions for the local fauna to thrive, including snipe and lapwing.

We had several scythers amongst us within the twenty-or-so strong group and an approximately equal number of rakers. Therefore we were able to make good progress from the off. The site was large enough to spread out nicely and the ground was dry.

By break time, the tree team had returned and we gathered for refreshment in the shade of a hedgerow since the weather was especially warm and sunny for this time of year.

Once we resumed, everyone headed down to the meadow to clear as much of the area as we could. We were careful not to disturb the wildlife - we spotted the occasional field vole, plus frogs, toads and dragonflies as we worked, and also an elephant hawk moth caterpillar.

While the Green Gymmers (mostly) left at 12:30pm, some of the other volunteers stayed on until 2:30pm in order to complete the task. We very much enjoyed our visit here and hopefully it will become an annual event!

-Andrew


Meeting at the far end of Barton Lane.

Opening the gate.

David directs the group.

Work begins.

Break time in the shade.

Half-time progress.

Eleanor D's socks du jour.

Michele rakes while Barbara scythes.

Rosie and pitchfork.

Lesley and Olivia, busy raking.

A formidable quartet.

Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar.

Kevin.

Hemp agrimony.

Graham!

Time to pack up?

We didn't need this!

Danger!

The 'before' photo. (photo by Sally)

Centaury. (photo by Sally)

The 'after' photos. (photo by Sally)

The 'after' photos. (photo by Sally)

The 'after' photos. (photo by Sally)

Tackling the willow. (photo by Margaret)

Tackling the willow. (photo by Margaret)

Tackling the willow. (photo by Margaret)

Tackling the willow. (photo by Margaret)


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