Showing posts from 2016

Group photo from our last session of 2016!

Judy Webb sent through a group shot of the Green Gym members from our last session at Cothill Fen last Saturday:

Cothill Fen, 10th December 2016

Our last session of 2016 already and back to Cothill Fen for the second week running!  We were here to continue with the tasks that had kept us occupied on the previous visit. Primarily to remove the recently-felled trees from the fen itself to piles at the perimeter, while another group was tasked with reed cutting and raking/stacking at the far end of the site. Although it had been dry when we assembled in the car park, no sooner had we walked down the lane to the fen itself than it began to spot with rain.  As the morning progressed, the rain got heavier - to the extent that we got a reasonable soaking.  Not to worry, there was considerable motivation to keep us going, namely the annual Christmas dinner in the Merry Miller pub afterwards.   From the outset, it looked like we had much to keep us busy before thoughts could turn towards luncheon.  There was quite a considerable brash pile to deal with.  Fortunately, our numbers were sufficent enough to give us a decent chance.  We

Cothill Fen, 3rd December 2016

December already and our penultimate session of the year - the first of two successive trips to Cothill Fen to continue our work at the nature reserve there.  The preceding week had been cold and frosty, but Saturday morning was a little milder at least.  Just as well since Dieuwke and Barry had been keen enough to cycle in! Before our arrival another work-party had visited and removed some more of the (mostly Alder) trees at the edge of the fen.  These had encroached upon the site in recent years, slowly destroying this rare habitat.  The group had also cut the reeds back.  Therefore our two tasks were to rake up the reeds and transport them to piles by the main footpath in, and also to remove as much as the brash remaining from the aforementioned tree-felling operations. As always here, Judy Webb was on hand to provide guidance and carry out some of her usual species identification.  Some of the photos below show some of the interesting plants and fungi seen on this visit. The

Barton Fields, 26th November 2016

We joined site warden David Guyoncourt and his Abingdon Naturalist's Society Green Team volunteers for this week's session at Barton Fields.  It was the first time that we had been here since the end of the summer - back when we had been busy raking the recently-cut wildflower meadows.  The tasks on offer this time differed somewhat, but involved either raking-up vegetation that was being strimmed from the perimeter of the ponds, grubbing-up invasive snowberry plants close to the main path, or litter-picking. We split into teams once we had transported our tools from the meeting point on Barton Lane, down to the main field and got stuck into our various assignments.  It was a lot milder than the previous week, and while not overly warm, proved to be a good temperature for working. The pond-raking team had made impressive progress, being almost finished by the tea break, while the litter-pickers were nearing completion also.  Therefore the second half of the morning saw mos

Frilford Heath Golf Club, 19th November 2016

Another session was held at Boundary House Fen, within Frilford Heath Golf Course on Saturday. It was our first trip here for a few months, and as usual, we gathered in the main club car park before driving the short distance along the road to the ground-staffs' premises to park and walk to the work site.  Or at least that was the plan - instead, our convoy arrived at the turn-off to be greeted with a locked gate, and we had no option but to park on the grass verge beside the main road and carry our tools a longer distance to the fen than usual.  On the way we passed by Two Pine Fen, where we have held a couple of weekday sessions, this year and last.  Unfortunately, the reeds had not been cut as had been hoped, and the area looked rather overgrown and neglected. The longer walk meant that we didn't arrive at the Boundary House site until 10am.  It was still rather cold and frosty at this time and some warm-up exercises were performed to get us going.  While the session was