Showing posts from 2014

Cothill Fen, 13th December 2014

This was our final outing of the year and our second consecutive work party at Cothill Fen.  Once again, we were joined by Judy Webb from Natural England, who was directing our activities at the site. Fifteen-strong, we met in the car park and unloaded the tools before beginning the fairly lengthy trek along the path to the Fen itself.  Upon arrival, Judy set out the morning's tasks, which were primarily to continue thinning the trees that have been encroaching upon the edges of the wetland habitat and also to add to the log path at the around the edge of the site perimeter - using the trunks of some of the felled trees. Prior to commencing, Green Gym session leader Margaret gave a short presentation on the correct use of tools - namely loppers and saws.  This was mainly for the benefit of our new members, but served as a good refresher for the rest of us. We set to work and despite the cold and frosty start to the morning, we soon warmed up.  Many small trees were removed an

Cothill Fen, 6 December 2014

About fifteen of us assembled at the Merry Miller Car Park near Cothill Fen Nature Reserve on Saturday 5 December. Our group included Erin and Rihanna from John Mason School who were working on their Physical Activity Section of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.  It was a beautiful frosty morning, bright, sunny and cold. We were met by Judy Webb who explained our tasks for the morning and gave us a safety briefing. There were two main jobs; one was to improve an existing dirt path across a very boggy area by cutting up and laying down trunks and branches that had been felled previously. The other job was dragging and stacking raked grass. Everyone worked very hard! Lots of pictures were taken by several people – they were so good we have shown most of them below in no particular order. It was a great morning! -Barry Dieuwke carrying a log. Bagging the grass Raking in the field Kevin treading down logs for new path Hauling the raked grass Heaping up

Ock Valley Walk, Town End, 29th November 2014

The weather turned fine and sunny after a night of heavy rain for our session at the town end of the Ock Path. The tasks were to inspect the young trees and clear around them, tidy up fallen branches and make habitat piles and pick up litter. We had decided not to renew the woodchip on the woodchip path at this stage as the area was quite likely to flood during the winter and wash away our good work, but to leave this task until the early spring.  We split up into small groups for our various activities. There was a lot of litter at the Drayton Road end of the path, especially where a footpath cuts through from Ock Street to Drayton Road. Along the path and under the bridge is a notorious litter blackspot as people buy food and drink at the corner shop and discard the annoying and cumbersome packaging as they proceed homewards. When teabreak time arrived, we had cleared around many of the young trees and found that most of them were in good condition. As well as the usual biscuits,

Frilford Heath Golf Club, 22nd November 2014

The Green Gym headed to Frilford Heath Golf Club for this Saturday's session.  As usual at this site, the main task was the raking and clearing of the Fen. Once we had negotiated the Fairways of the Golf course with no mishaps, it was down to the Fen with a few quick instructions from site supervisor, Alison as to what needed doing.  The weather was cloudy with the odd shower - one which curtailed our Coffee break and made us get back to work. Judy our fungi expert in residence collected many different types to show us, and these were in just the area we were working. We also had some new faces Kate and Erin, who did some sterling work with the raking and clearing the reeds. The Fen covers about the size of a football pitch and is obviously quite boggy but not quite to the same extent as one of our other regular worksites at Cothill. The first half of the session saw remarkable progress in clearing the reeds and after the revitalising Tea/Coffee break and biscuits

First Aid Course, 16th November 2014

Six Abingdon Green Gymmers today gave up their Sunday morning to do a First Aid course, run by St John Ambulance. We were joined by David from Abingdon Naturalists Green Team, Wendy from Wallingford Green Gym and Janet from Chipping Norton Green Gym.  Our trainer, Beth ran a very lively and practical course. We learnt how to assess an unconscious casualty, practised putting each other in the recovery position and each did CPR on dummies.  The course emphasised dealing with accidents likely to  occur in outdoor work, such as dealing with strains, sprains and eye injuries. We were given useful suggestions for things to add to our first aid kits. We were shown how to use a defibrillator, though I don't think we can afford one of these!  It was a very interesting and useful morning and we are now qualified for another three years. -Eleanor Carolyn assesses unconscious casualty Kevin Beth shows how to put Kate in the recovery position Beth shows us how to do CPR