Boundary House Fen, Saturday 4th December 2021

 This Saturday was very cold and windy, but the intrepid Abingdon Green Gym Team were not phased as they marched across Frilford Heath Golf Course to their site for the day: Boundary House Fen. After finding a safe way to traverse through the fen whilst loaded up with rakes, forks, saws, and buckets for picking up wayward golf balls, the volunteers listened to quick briefing from Rod D'Ayala and Eleanor D, the day's leader. 

The main task for the day was to rake up the reeds which had already been cut, and which were continuing to be cut by the scythers. Some of the reeds were already in neat piles, so we needed to shift them to reinforce the bank of the stream. Other reeds were stacked on to pre-existing 'nature piles', which either covered tree stumps or sat at the periphery of the fen. One challenge faced by those forking the cut reeds was trying to transfer them to the right place without the reeds (usually on the end of a fork slung over a shoulders) falling down the back of our jumpers. I ended up navigating this by tying my ear warmer over my hair, and so looking like a charming medieval peasant (I was, however, still pulling reeds out of my hair in the shower at the end of the day). Other volunteers did excellent work chopping and lopping the brambles which, ever rampant, were encroaching on the fen. Jim and Sally were also hard at work with their scythes, which made a very satisfying sound on the then dry reeds. 

At breaktime we were all treated to Eleanor D.'s homemade florentines, which were delicious and even had their trademark squiggly fork marks on the back. After standing around for half an hour we had all gotten chilly again and so were raring to get back going. The scythers had done a particularly marvellous job, and managed to cut all of the remaining reeds by the end of the session! There was more work to be done moving the cut reeds after our morning working on them, but much progress had been made since the start of the day. Back home for well earned tea and toast for all! 

Jim's scything action

Graham reposes on a stump

Becoming a medieval peasant woman

Phillip hauls reeds on to the bank

Roger adjusts a wellie sock

Bramble cutting trio! 


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