Showing posts from August, 2016

Barton Fields, 27th August 2016

This was our annual visit to Barton Fields to assist with the raking of the wildflower meadow.  The meadow covers a significant proportion of this nature reserve and is cut once a year - during the late summer, by a local farmer using a tractor mower.  We help David Guyoncourt and his 'Green Team' volunteers from the Abingdon Naturalists Society who manage the site. The meadow had been cut on the previous Wednesday, with the Green Team beginning the raking operations on the Thursday and continuing into the Friday.  During this time, the hay had been raked into small, loose piles across the entire meadow in order to dry out, and some of these had been consolidated into larger piles at the field margins. Our task was to continue to transport the rakings away from the meadow to ensure that the ground is kept in optimum condition for the next season. A good amount of Green Gymmers, numbering around fifteen, turned up for the occasion, assisting with a smaller number from Da

New Autumn 2016 programme

The Abingdon Green Gym programme for Autumn 2016 has just been published - see below or click  HERE  for a larger-text pdf file version.

Caldecott School, 20th August 2016

For the third summer in a row, we met at Caldecott Primary School for a session of grass raking - following the annual cutting of the wildflower meadow. Our task was once again overseen by Marion Owen from the Abingdon Carbon Cutters group, with five or so of their members working alongside us for the morning. The day was off to a dry start, but after some recent rain, the ground was a little wet, with many slugs and snails evident. Some common frogs were also spotted - finally some rather ideal weather for our amphibian friends after the recent drought conditions. As previously, the rakings were transported via some builders' drag-bags from the meadow area to the compost heaps close to the gate of the field.   Some advice was taken from members of the Carbon Cutters on how best to construct these heaps to encourage the material to break down efficiently.  Layers of new and old cuttings were thus alternatively piled on, sandwiched between dampened cardboard and oth

Summer Picnic, Jarn Mound and Wild Garden, Boars Hill, 13th August 2016

This was a week off in our otherwise busy programme - for the annual summer picnic.  As well as being a vital social gathering, it is timed to coincide with some of our members' birthdays, including those of Ursula and Eleanor. The venue for the event was our newest work site - the Wild Garden in the shadow of Jarn Mound at Boars Hill.  It had been decided that the location was ideal when we had our first work party here back in the spring and it was certainly nice to be able to enjoy this wonderful environment that we have been helping to renovate. We gathered somewhat later than would be usual for our work parties - at 11:30am, and assembled a picnic table with chairs around it.  All the Green Gymmers present contributed food and/or drinks - a carefully co-ordinated operation overseen by Carolyn who unfortunately was unable to attend due to a family commitment that had come up at short notice. Despite this setback, nearly 20 hungry members turned and therefore an impressi

Abbey Fishponds, 6th August 2016

Green Gym arrives at Abbey Fishponds, Abingdon. It’s a fine warm late-summer morning.   James is leader and our tasks are to get rid of as much Himalayan Balsam as possible and  clear the paths of encroaching growth. We will be working with members of The Earth Trust.  Marjorie, the site warden indicates where some of the jobs are. Lesley spots a Himalayan Balsam and out it comes! They are hard to see under these  conditions when the reeds and other plants have grown so high.  The reason for removing  them is that they are prolific seeders and will soon under the right conditions completely  colonise an area with consequent loss of native wildflowers and the wildlife that is sustained  by them. They were introduced by the Victorians who saw them as a cheap and effective  way of having exotic brightly-coloured plants in their gardens! Graham is well-equipped with a slasher to do some cutting-back. Dieuwke uses loppers for hig