Showing posts from November, 2013

Southern Town Park, 23rd November 2013

It was a couple of months since our last session at Southern Town Park and since then, the onset of winter has become rather apparent.  Fortunately however, Saturday morning was relatively mild, in sharp contrast to the preceding week. We assembled as usual in the Football Club car park, and this time, we decided to focus our efforts on the area in the South-West of the park. We began the walk around the playing fields and across the newly-restored bridge to get there.  Once we had arrived and inspected the site, the most obvious task was to clear the wooded area of brambles and other climbing plants that had begun to choke the trees.  At the same time, a litter-pick was conducted, although the litter situation was not the worst we had seen. Despite being late in the year, the brambles were still thick and had managed to climb quite a height up and around the trunks of many of the trees.  It was difficult work cutting and removing them while trying to avoid entanglement with all th

A few more photos from last week's Geo Conservation session at Dry Sandford Pit...

Photos taken by Eleanor:

Geo Conservation, Dry Sandford Pit, 16th November 2013

This was our annual geo-conservation session, held with the Oxfordshire Geology Trust and led by Denise Dane.  This year, we were back at Dry Sandford Pit - a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) close to one of our usual work-sites, Cothill Fen.  As with the fen, it is managed by the local Wildlife Trust.  The Green Gym last visited the pit a few years ago to undertake similar work, so it was interesting for those who were in attendance last time to re-visit and for those of us who hadn't been to explore this interesting location.  A total of nine Green Gymmers turned up for the occasion. Having assembled our tools and safety equipment, we were led to the first of two exposed rock faces and given a brief introduction to the site by Denise, who was joined by two other Geology Trust volunteers.  It was explained how the area was once covered by a tropical sea and therefore we could expect to see the fossilised remains of corals and other marine life.  We were also informed t

Ock Valley Walk, Tesco End, 9th November 2013

That most unusual of  occurrences - a wet Saturday morning and a soggy Green Gym session!  No sooner had we assembled in the Davis Langdon car park, close to the Tesco superstore, than the heavens opened. It became apparent that our usual, somewhat unprecedented run of clement Saturday sessions had come to an abrupt end. No matter.  The Green Gym pride themselves on being a hardy bunch and a few splashes of rain were not going to stop us.  We gathered together our tools and ran the gauntlet of pedestrian crossings to get to the Ock path. As usual, negotiating motorists that seem unwilling to stop at these crossings in their hurry to get to the supermarket was an issue.  Thankfully we all made it safely and set up our base in the trees while pondering our next move. We only had six litter-picking tools and there were fourteen of us, so we split into pairs to collect litter with a couple of others setting off with saws and loppers to tackle troublesome overhanging tree branches that

Abbey Fishponds, 2nd November 2013

Following our stall at the Abingdon Eco Fair last Saturday, it was back to work this week at one of our most familiar haunts, Abbey Fishponds.  As usual, site warden Marjorie White was on hand to supervise our activities, ably assisted by regular fishponds volunteer, Pete.  We assembled as usual at the top of Hadland Road and we were pleased to welcome a new volunteer, Georgina, who had discovered us at the Eco Fair . An eclectic range of tasks were on offer as usual, with various groups dispatched across the site and engaged in tree clearance, path-laying and maintenance, general tidying-up and litter-picking.  The storms of the previous weekend had caused some tree damage and with the recent wet weather, the main path through the site had become somewhat waterlogged. Booted and suitably attired, we set about distributing a quantity of woodchip via wheelbarrow, from a pile at the Hadland Road end to the most worn and muddied sections of path while clearance of tree obstructions w