Kennington Memorial Field, Saturday 12th of February 2022
This Saturday, Abingdon Green Gym were at Kennington Memorial Field, an area of pasture dedicated to the six men from the village who lost their lives in WWII. The KMF is owned by the Oxford Preservation Society, and cattle come to graze the field every summer to promote the species-rich grass it is famous for. The field was starting to look more spring-like at its borders, with lots of mustard-coloured hazel catkins and a sea of pristine snowdrops in some of the woods.
We were here in our usual scrub-cutting capacity, which meant either scything or lopping the blackthorn and bramble which had sprung up at the edges of the field. The cattle can keep this down themselves when they are in residence but only whilst the shoots are young, so we were there to ensure they wouldn’t chomp down on any woody or spiky outgrowths. Sally and Adrian, our resident scythers, did an excellent job of razing this down (with frequent blade sharpening), while many of us alternated between kneeling and standing to lop tangled and spiny low-set scrub. We even had a go with the tree popper, with varied success. All of the cuttings were deposited on the already-established nature piles, which we could see were already home to some burrowing critters. Meanwhile Operate Ivy Removal (ably represented by Carolyn) were up at the entrance gate, stripping the ivy from the memorial plaques, and Lesley did an excellent job picking up stray bits of litter.
We look forward to revisiting the site again in the autumn!
|All ready for the briefing|
|James is chuffed with his tools|
|Adrian pops a bush|
|Dieuwke kneels in reverence to the scrub|
|Rosie gets stuck in!|
|Phillip clips away|
|The Green Man|
|Sunshine out in time for the break|
|You can just about make out the sea of snowdrops|
|The final push!|