Abbey Fishponds, 4th May 2013

Saturday found us once again at the Abbey Fishponds nature reserve on the eastern side of Abingdon.  We assembled as usual at the far end of Hadland Road where we were met by site warden, Majorie White.  We unloaded the tools from session leader James's vehicle and proceeded down the track to set up our base on the mound and to be briefed on the morning's tasks by Majorie.

Despite a few spots of rain as we set out, the clouds soon parted and the welcome sight of blue sky was soon upon us.  We split into a number of groups - the largest of which continued with the laying and maintenance of the woodchip path, another which tackled some overhanging brambles around the path margins and a third which was deployed on a litter pick.

A number of wheelbarrows had been brought by various green gym members and the main objective with the path-laying was to re-distribute the large and troublesome pile of woodchip that had been deposited at the Radley Road end of the site.  Unfortunately, the remaining areas of the path that required laying/re-patching were some distance away from the pile, so the shoveling and transporting of woodchip was a rather strenuous task.  However, given that one of our main objectives is to stay fit, there could be no complaints.  Three wheelbarrows and Colin with his cart were soon making several journeys up and down the reserve to patch and extend the path, ably assisted by further bodies raking the woodchip into a path-like form once unloaded.  We were later joined by Fishpond volunteers Mike and Pete whose contribution was most welcome.

The sunshine had us working up a sweat in no time and with it came the need to remove overcoats and green gym hoodies!  T-shirt weather at last.  It was with some relief that the 11am teabreak soon arrived and our 16-strong group returned to the mound for refreshments.  Revitalised by beverages and biscuits we pushed on and completed the removal of the woodchip from the pile - providing just enough material to extend the path down to the bridge.  Our bramble-bashers and litter pickers had also done a great job and de-littered and brambled the site magnificently before home-time came around and we packed up ready for the off.  A quick glance around the site and you could tell that we'd been!

the group assemble at the eastern end of Hadland Road

path progress by the tea break

tea break on the mound

section of path patch-up!

wheelbarrow and woodchip path

Sally rakes the last of the woodchip 

session's end

the completed path

the litter-picker's bounty

home time!


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