Showing posts from August, 2015

Annual Picnic, Withymead Nature Reserve, 22nd August 2015

Thirteen Green Gymmers plus three guests arrived at Withymead Nature Reserve near Goring for our annual picnic. Once again we had chosen the weather well as the day was a warm and sunny. First of all, Dorothy, the warden showed us a pretty yellow plant, wild parsnip, of the umbellifer family and warned us not to touch it as the sap causes severe burns similar to those from giant hogweed. We then strolled down to the Thames, where, after the wild parsnip warning, we wouldn't have been surprised to see a great white shark, but there was only an inquisitive swan. We continued along the boardwalk through the reed bed, reading the helpful and informative notices along the way. We arrived at the site of the old boatyard, which was famous in its day and where you can still see the old slipway. We then made our way back through the garden to the car park and unloaded all the eagerly awaited food and drink. The weather was so warm and sunny that we actually had to move the tables i

Caldecott School, 15th August 2015

This was our second visit to Caldecott Primary School, following on from our session here last summer.  We were here once again to assist with the raking of the wildflower meadow that has recently been created in the school grounds, and was cut a few days previously. The meadow is looked after by Abingdon Carbon Cutters, and we were met on site by Marion Owen from that group, who oversaw our activities.  Upon arrival, and the unloading of tools, we were met by Marion and saw that Colin had arrived early and was already underway with the raking. We soon joined in and variously raked and transported the rakings to a pile in the corner of the field. Our task was achieved fairly speedily and we finished-up a little earlier than usual at around 12:15pm. Next up in the programme will be the summer picnic at Withymead Nature Reserve on the 22nd August! -Andrew Marion instructs. Poised to commence work. The wildflower meadow. And we're off! Ursula

Abbey Fishponds, 1st August 2015

It was the first day of August, and while assembling at Abbey Fishponds it was apparent that we had a relatively low turn-out when compared with previous weeks. The reason being that many of our regular number were away on their summer vacations! We were however pleased to welcome along a new member, Jo, and including volunteers from the Abbey Fishponds group, we still had a 15-strong presence or thereabouts. Site warden, Majorie, instructed us on a choice of activities for the morning, ranging from raking cut reeds, searching out and destroying any Himalayan Balsam, trimming an overgrown willow tree and litter picking. We thus divided up and set to work. A pleasantly mild temperature, neither too hot nor too cold was experienced, with sporadic sunshine and most crucially, no precipitation! The summer is a good time to visit the Fishponds reserve since many wild flowers provide a lovely burst of colour, and the paths are squelch-free underfoot unlike during many spells th