Hinksey Heights Golf Course Footpath, Saturday 1st of January, 2022

Happy new year to all of our Abingdon Green Gym Blog readers! After a week off to accommodate for the Christmas weekend, some ABG members were champing at the bit to be back outside and hacking at some over-enthusiastic brambles. This temperate New Years Day a hardy team of volunteers met at the entrance to Hinksey Heights Golf Course, and hoped that the weather forecast that promised little rain would hold. Our task for the morning was to clear a footpath, half of which was overgrown and the other half of which was entirely impassable. On his scouting visit to the site, session leader Adrian had also noted that a willow had been partially brought down over the festive season, and that this needed to be chopped up to allow access to the end of the path. 

As the wind was blowing across the main road and it was beginning to rain, Adrian wisely decided not to light the bonfire of cuttings today. Instead, our duty was strictly clearing and depositing, which was done with appropriate new year vigour. The vast majority of the material cut was dry and dead brambles that had clogged up the path and crowded out any other growth, but this was no match for our combination of slashers, loppers, hooks, scythes, and saws. By the end of the first half most of the chopping had been completed, and so the second half was entirely occupied by transporting the cuttings up on to the bonfire pile. This was somewhat tricky work: picking up rolls of brambles with thorns of various viciousness required swapping between rakes, forks, and sturdy gloves, but by the end of the session we had managed to move it all to the pile. We were even able to see a couple of intrepid walkers stride off up our newly recovered path! 

If you're looking for a new experience, then why not pop along to one of our sessions this year! It's completely free, and you're welcome to do as much or as little as you like. Whatever your fitness or skill level, everybody is welcome. Its a great way to explore Abingdon and its surrounding environs, to be active, and to meet a lovely group of people! 

X (or circle) marks the spot

Uncovering over the way marker 

Opening up the footpath

Pushing back the brambles

The bonfire pile, with Sally for scale! 

Team New Years! 


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