Pinkhill Meadow, Farmoor, Saturday 12th of March 2022

This week's blog post was written by Abingdon Green Gym chair, Eleanor D., and the accompanying photos were kindly provided by Michele, Kevin, and Nicky! 

This Saturday’s session was at Pinkhill Meadow Nature Reserve on the far side of Farmoor Reservoir, working under the direction of Kate Thatcher of Thames Water. We met in the reservoir car park and drove in convoy across the central causeway with the wind whipping up waves on the water to either side. After parking, we made our way to the area where we were going to work.

Pinkhill Meadow is a wetland site with boardwalks and hides, and is very popular with bird watchers. Kate led us to an area not normally open to the public, where our tasks were  to cut and stack reeds and to cut down sprouting willow. The scythers set to work while the willow cutters had to negotiate an area of thick gloopy mud to get to the willows. We set to work and found the sawing knives (there is probably a proper word for them), very useful for cutting the thicker willow stems. Soon the piles of cut willow were stacking up against the barbed wire fence from where they will be collected. The scythers and pitchforkers were also doing a good job and the reed area was getting clearer.

Kate had brought tea and coffee for us, which was a treat as we are so used now to bringing our own. By this time there was a large stack of cut reeds, which several Green Gymmers used as a comfortable relaxing place, as you can see from the photo. Then it was back to work for the second half of the morning and by 12.30 the area was looking much clearer. We collected our tools and made our way to the cars, then back across the causeway, enjoying the sight of the intrepid windsurfers falling over in the water.

A map of the wiggly river next to the reservoir 

Mud, glorious mud! 

Knee deep Carolyn! 

Graham working hard

A tea break in the sun

The Jim Reaper...ask not for who the scyther scythes, he scythes for thee...

A proper spring sky! 

Max with his load - a scene for the ages! 


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