Matthew Arnold Field, Saturday 11th December 2021

 This week's blog post was written by session leader, Eleanor Dangerfield: 

This Saturday thirteen of us gathered in Jarn Way to work in Matthew Arnold Field, Boars Hill. We met the new Oxford Preservation Trust officer, Charlie, for the first time, who told us that our main task was to clear the belt of brambles growing half way down the field and to stack them along the fence at the bottom of the field.

Sally and Adrian set to work with their scythes and others with slashers and loppers and soon there were plenty of brambles to rake up and carry down to the fence.

We worked hard until tea break time but realised that the task was going to take us all morning. However, our break was not as relaxing as we had hoped as a horse, which we hadn’t even noticed before, ambled up with the clear intention of sharing our biscuits. We tried shooing it away, but it refused to budge, trampling on the tarpaulin and grabbing plastic bags and rucksacks in the hope that they would be tasty. I think it must spend its time standing by the field gate (where it has a perfectly good sack of hay) and being fed treats by walkers and thus associates all humans with food.

In the end, we decided to take our bags and rucksacks back to the cars and the horse lost interest in us and resumed its post by the gate.

We carried on with the slashing, raking and stacking  and were pleased to see that, by the end of the session, we had cleared all the brambles. We were lucky with the weather, too as it stayed dry until almost the end of the morning. We look forward to coming back to Boars hill again, where the different sites offer a variety of tasks.


'Do you have any mince pies?'


Tasty tarpaulin




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