Showing posts from August, 2014

Ock Valley Walk, Town End, 23rd August 2014

Following a impromptu session midweek at Abbey Fishponds, where a number of us helped with a variety of jobs at the nature reserve there, it was back to the Ock Valley Walk on Saturday.  Tasks involved the usual maintenance of the woodchip path, further eradication of the invasive Himalayan Balsam, clearing around the recently-planted trees and litter-picking. We met by the bridge across the weir and were pleased to welcome two new members to the group.  We had a good turn-out as usual, particularly since many of us live within close proximity of the site and are keen to ensure that it is well looked-after so that ourselves and the wider community can enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Back in March, we planted around sixty trees here - all native UK species, appropriate to the area, most of which are thankfully thriving.  This is in addition to the many trees we have planted in previous years, including the memorial tree to one of our former leaders, Chris Thomas, which has been gr

Caldecott School, 16th August 2014

This was our maiden outing to Caldecott School.  Our task there was to assist a group to rake up the cuttings from a recently-mown wildflower meadow that has been created beside the playing fields.  We were relatively few in number, but were also joined by some volunteers from the Abingdon Carbon Cutters, thus boosting the workforce somewhat. The raking was begun in a small enclosed area and once completed there, our activities moved on to the larger meadow, where wild flowers had been sown in and around a number of trees.  A small orchard has been planted, along with an area of hazel saplings and a variety of other native trees. As some of us raked the grass cuttings into piles, others transported these cuttings to a compost heap besides the school gate.  Some tarpaulins and builders' 'drag bags' had been brought along to make this task a little easier.  It was soon apparent that due to the large volumes of grass, a second heap was required, with a frame to hold the c

New Summer-Autumn 2014 Programme

The new Abingdon Green Gym Summer-Autumn 2014 programme has just been published.  It can be viewed below, or click  HERE for the larger-text PDF version (opens in a new window).

Next Session - Saturday 16th August

The new Abingdon Green Gym programme will be available soon and posted up on the website.   However, the next session for Saturday 16th August will be at Caldecott School, raking the cut wild flower meadow.  Meet outside the school at Caldecott Road at 9:30am.

Annual Picnic, Wittenham Clumps, 9th August 2014

This was the day of the annual Green Gym picnic. Originally held to celebrate the shared birthday of Ursula and Eleanor, it has now become an annual event. This year we decided to go to Wittenham Clumps where we had been three years previously. We met in the car park and, having eventually all found the same car park, we set off for the Earth Trust Arboretum. D espite predictions of showers earlier in the week, the day turned out fine though breezy. We had a very pleasant walk around the arboretum, where the groups of different trees were all labelled. We then retraced our steps but this time, climbed to the top of the hill, where we had an excellent view of the surrounding countryside including the Thames, the lakes at Dorchester and the three remaining cooling towers at Didcot power station. There is a useful marker here showing what can be seen at all points of the compass, and the information that here was the boundary between the ancient kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia. We des

Cothill Fen, 2nd August 2014

This was a joint session at Cothill Fen, held with other local Green Gym groups to commemorate the Abingdon Green Gym's 10th anniversary.  The event was organised by one of our regular leaders, Margaret, who is a founder member. We assembled in the car park opposite the Merry Miller pub at 10am - 30 minutes later than usual.  This afforded the volunteers from further afield a slightly later departure.  As well as the eleven Abingdon Green Gymmers in attendance, we were joined by others from the groups in Sonning Common, Woodstock and Wallingford, and not forgetting session supervisor, Bob Silverwood from Natural England - the organisation who manage the fen. Bob had arrived in his landrover and was able to transport all our tools and other paraphernalia directly to the site, thus saving us the hard work of carrying them all the way along the muddy track. We re-convened by the Cothill entrance gate and set up our base.  Bob then gave an introductory talk on the area, outlining