Showing posts from October, 2015

Autumn/Winter 2015 Programme

The new Abingdon Green Gym programme for Autumn/Winter 2015 has been published.  See below, or click HERE to view a larger-text PDF version (opens in new window).

Abrahams Wood, Boars Hill, 24th October 2015

This session saw us at Abraham's Wood, Boars Hill again. Despite the grey, drizzly weather, there was a good number of us, 15 in all. Our tasks were to cut back the laurel and to dig up the bamboo, of which there is a large patch at the upper end of the wood. The strategy of digging a trench around the bamboo had been proposed, to stop the roots spreading any further, and a small team set to work doing this. The rest of us went to tackle the laurel, of which there is a huge amount throughout the wood. Cut laurel has a nasty habit of taking root again, so it was important to pile it up in just a few areas close to the outer fence. By the time we had our tea break it had started to rain, but we were fairly sheltered in the wood. The ground was thick with autumn leaves, the holly already had bright berries and there was quite a variety of fungus around. Towards the end of the session it was time to clear up the remainder of the laurel we had cut and the bamboo battlers had du

Abbey Fishponds, 18th October 2015

This week's session was held at Abbey Fishponds, one of our regular haunts. A fifteen-strong green gym contingent turned out to join volnteer site warden Marjorie White as well as recently-appointed Earth Trust warden, Lucy who now manages the reserve. Tasks on this occasion were to cut back and rake overgrown vegetation from the path margins, and to cut back and clear the prolific goat willow growth from some of the wetland areas. In addition, a litter-pick was conducted. October is a great time to visit the site owing to the lovely seasonal colours on display.  The temperature was also mild and the sun even made a brief appearance. -Andrew Spindle fruits Margaret cutting back willow Willow cleared by a wetland area Teasel The troops returning for the tea break The view across the reserve Refreshments are taken Tea, coffee and conversation Overgrown vegetation cleared from one of the paths

Cothill Fen, 10th October 2015

It was back to Cothill Fen on a mild, yet somewhat overcast autumnal morning. We were here to continue our operations on this wetland site.   Working under the direction of Judy Webb as previously, we split into groups to variously rake up and stack cut reeds and trim back sprouting alder shoots from felled trees.  There was also some slashing to be done to re-instate the footpath around the site perimeter. We were pleased to welcome two new members along, Philippa and Ben and along with the remainder of the group, we numbered fourteen. A decent enough assembly to achieve plenty. Being October, there were many mushrooms and fungi to see. Indeed, the site has rather a honey fungus epidemic, very evident on this occasion. There were also many devil's bit scabious wild flowers apparent.  It is a joy to witness the fen throughout the seasons with something different on display on each visit. -Andrew The party assembles Judy instructs Lopper action Honey

Withymead Nature Reserve, 3rd October 2015

Twelve Green Gymmers joined a larger group of local volunteers at the Withymead Nature Reserve for this weekend's session.   The reserve is the farthest-flung of our regular sites, but is well worth the long trip out.  It occupies a lovely spot close to Goring-on-Thames and sits alongside the river itself.  The session started a little later than our usual work parties, at 10am, giving us additional time to get there. Upon arrival, we discovered that the usual car park was closed, meaning that some tricky manoeuvring was required along the narrow track to get to the alternative location.  Once this unexpected issue was dealt with, we met up with Withymead wardens Dorothy and Keith and were instructed on the morning's tasks. Two separate jobs kept us busy from the off - the first group was involved in raking up grass outside the main house.  The grass had been removed by means of a rotorvator, before it was required to be transported to a compost heap.  The purpose o