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 had begun to encroach upon the path.

As is normally the case on this section of the Ock walk, there were rich pickings for the bin-bag wielding teams.  Both recyclables and non-recyclables were collected in significant quantities from the Tesco end, all the way down to the Drayton Road.  A rogue shopping trolley was recovered and notes were subsequently compared on the most unusual items of refuse found. 

By break time at 11am, the group had received quite a soaking and the path had been cleared of all litter excluding that which was too dangerous to get to or beyond the fenced areas.  The general consensus was that we should pack up early since it was mission accomplished and the rain showed no signs of stopping anytime soon.  

Following the usual refreshments and jolly banter, the refuse sacks were taken to the spot where the council contractors had agreed to collect them from and all tools and personnel were dispatched homewards.  Let us hope that next Saturday brings us more favourable conditions!

setting up base


fruits on a spindle tree

litter-picking around the exercise trail

Kevin tackles some encroaching tree branches

recyclables and non-recyclables upon a carpet of autumn leaves

a rare litter-free path

autumn colours, a lovely splash of red from the guelder-rose and hawthorn berries

a soggy refreshment break


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