Showing posts from April, 2016

Clubs and Societies Fair, Abbey Buildings, 23rd April 2016

Saturday was the day of the Abingdon Clubs and Societies Fair, therefore we had no outdoor work session this week. The event happens every two years and is normally held in the Guildhall.  Many of the town's groups attend and use the occasion to showcase their activities.  However, with a refurbishment programme currently underway at the Guildhall, the fair had been re-located to the Abbey Buildings, just around the corner. The Green Gym stand was on the upper floor of this Medieval building - a rather atmospheric venue, but also a very cold one as it has open sides - no window glazing here! A steady stream of interested people visited our stand throughout the day.  Many leaflets and copies of our current programme were distributed by our willing, if slightly shivering volunteers.  Hopefully we may recruit a few new members as a result, but time will tell! -Andrew Directions to the event in town, but only for the most eagle-eyed! Roll-up, roll-up... Kate, J

Frilford Heath Golf Club, 18th April 2016

In common with recent years, an additional springtime session was held during the week at Two Pine Fen, Frilford Heath Golf Club. The fen had recently been mown and required raking.  Since one of the club's courses was closed on this particular day, we could work without too much fear of being hit by a golf ball! That said, there was an active fairway close by, so we still had to be careful. Natural England have an active role in looking after this site, and the session was once again supervised by Dr Judy Webb from that organisation. The fen is home to a number of locally-rare plants including sphagnum mosses and orchids, and therefore requires some maintenance to ensure its survival within the golf course. Seven volunteers turned out - an impressive number for a Monday, and just as well, for there was plenty of raking to be done.  The cuttings were raked into piles, with the material later loaded into builders' drag-bags and transported to one end of the fen for later c

Abingdon Green Gym in the Oxford Mail!

Our recent session at the Jarn Mound and Wild Gardens, Boars Hill, has been featured in a piece by the Oxford Mail - which includes a photo of Lauren (not Laura!!!) hard at work.  There is a direct link to the article HERE

Ock Valley Walk, Town End, 16th April 2016

Green Gym meets at the car park at the town end of the Ock Path. Sally tells us the jobs which include cleaning up along the river path, maintaining our little plantation of young trees, and of course dealing with any Himalayan Balsam that we encounter. We agree that it is unlikely that the rain will continue all the morning. -Barry Colin has brought along his wonderful all-purpose trolley. It’s a great asset for this kind of job and will be well used today. Green Gym planted these trees some time ago, and a very high proportion have survived so far. Today we pulled out weeds that were interfering with their growth, and did some maintenance in the area. Excellent growth on many of the trees. Coffee break. Still raining but it is bound to clear up soon. Fritillaries in an area we cleared some time ago. Another fritillary plus a Spanish bluebell? A beautiful small white wildflower – I was told the name but have forgotten! Wil

Green Gym on Abingdon Blog

The ever-popular Abingdon Blog has recently posted an entry featuring our work along the Ock Valley Path.  Read it HERE

Claire's wedding

Last Friday, 8th April saw the wedding of former Abingdon Green Gymmer, Claire, and her partner, Bob.  A number of our members were in attendance to help the happy couple celebrate!  I'm sure all of us will wish Claire and Bob all the best for the future! Margaret, Ursula, Sally and Eleanor celebrate!

Jarn Mound and Wild Garden, Boars Hill, 9th April 2016

This was a new site for us - however, it is not far from our usual work locations at Boars Hill, and it is also owned and managed by the Oxford Preservation Trust. Jarn Mound  was laid-out in the late 1920s and early 1930s by famed local archaeologist, Sir Arthur Evans.  It consists of an artificial mound, 15 metres high, which was originally constructed to enable breathtaking views over to the city of Oxford in one direction, and the Vale of the White Horse in the other.  Significant tree growth in the intervening decades has obscured much of these views, yet the structure remains impressive, and the steps to the top are still in place.  Around this main feature are wild gardens, including rare plants and shrubs and many stone steps, benches and rockeries. Session leader, James, had visited the site earlier in the week with Andy Gunn from Oxford Preservation Trust, in order to discuss what work was to be done.  The overall aim was to begin restoring the gardens to their former glo

Ock Valley Walk, Town End, 2nd April 2016

For our first post-Easter session and to kick off the new programme, it was back to the town end of the Ock Valley Walk.   A large turn-out of 18 people and a dog assembled by the bridge over the River Ock, including three new members; Graham, Penny and Harry.  Kevin was leading this time and gave us a quick briefing on the tasks before we set of with our tools to the work site. The main job on this occasion was to re-lay the path through the wooded area of the site.  The council had left piles of woodchip at either end of the path, ready for us to shovel into wheelbarrows and rake into place.  We split into groups - starting at each end simultaneously and ultimately meeting in the middle.  This task was completed shortly after the intermission. Otherwise, other members variously cut back brambles that has been encroaching upon the path, litter-picked or began the somewhat tedious process of weeding-out the first of the season's Himalayan Balsam seedlings.  We were startled mor