Showing posts from March, 2017

Two Pine Fen, Frilford Heath Golf Course, 29th March 2017

For the last couple of years, we have held a midweek session at Frilford Heath Golf Club, specifically on Two Pine Fen.  This was repeated today as we took the opportunity to carry out our annual raking duties here on a Wednesday, while the golf course was (relatively!) quiet. The fen had recently been mown and we went armed with rakes to gather the cut material into piles and to eventually consolidate into larger stacks at the edge of the site. We were supervised again by Judy Webb, representing Natural England.  As well as raking, volunteers were also involved in damming the fen runnels, with the aim of making the ground wetter, to improve the habitat.  A number of wooden boards were erected at intervals to achieve this, and reinforced with peaty soil dug from the vicinity and deposited as required.  Ideally, the two pine trees that give the fen it's name will be felled in the near future, as these draw up a large amount of water that would be better remaining on the fen itself!

Ock Valley Walk, Town End, 25th March 2017

An startlingly bright and beautiful morning greeted the Green Gymmers as we gathered at this week's appointed meeting spot - by the footbridge over the weir at the town end of the Ock Valley Walk.  We were somewhat reduced in numbers due the ATOM science festival occuring at the same time, with several of our members being involved. In addition, session leader Kevin was unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances, and Eleanor stepped up to deputise. In the event, a group of eleven assembled - still a respectable number. Once we had re-located to the work site, the tasks for the morning were outlined.  These were to re-lay the woodchip path, to sow some wild flower seeds and to litter-pick.  We subsequently divided ourselves up accordingly and got underway. We only had a single wheelbarrow and the woodchip piles were minimal.  We did well throughout the morning to cover half of the path, however, but will need to continue with this task next time.   Elsewhere, a number o

Spring 2017 Programme

See below for our new Spring 2017 programme, or visit the programme page on our website for a pdf version:

Southern Town Park, 18th March 2017

Thirteen Green Gymmers, new and older, attended our session this Saturday at Southern Town Park.  We have enjoyed a significant growth in our membership in recent times, and while this was actually the smallest turn-out of the year, it still represented a respectable total. It is perhaps true that this site tops none of our lists of favourite work locations, yet our work here is valuable in the maintenance of this community space.   We gathered as usual here in the car park along Lambrick Way, before heading down towards the area beyond the sports pitches to set up beside one of the picnic tables.  Kevin was the leader on this occasion and outlined the morning's jobs - to clear and pile stray tree branches, to conduct a litter-pick and to clear an area in order to plant some wildflower seeds. The group split into sub-teams and set to work, with each detail having plenty to keep them busy.  As usual, the fruits of the litter pick were rich and bountiful, with much fly-t

Elizabeth Daryush Memorial Garden, Boars Hill, 11th March 2017

The latest of our sessions working with the Oxford Preservation Trust (OPT) saw us return to the Elizabeth Daryush Memorial Garden at Boars Hill for the first time this year.  It was another good turn-out of Green Gymmers, with numbers boosted by OPT volunteers under the expert guidance of the organisation's land officer, Rachel Sanderson. Once we had arrived, parked our vehicles in the assigned locations and transported tools and tea-kit to the garden itself, we were taken on a short tour outlining the many and varied tasks on offer.  Both Rachel and Green Gym leader, James explained in a good level of detail what was to be done.  We then divided up and set to it! Three small trees needed felling, and then chopping into sections to be used as fencing material to block off a gap in the fence at a southern corner of the site.  Elsewhere, some large patches of brambles needed clearing, some bracken needed cutting back and other general tidying jobs were assigned. Many daffodil

Ock Valley Walk, Tesco End, 4th March 2017

After a thoroughly changeable week of weather, it was quite a relief to be greeted with blue skies as we gathered on Saturday morning, eighteen-strong.  We were at the Tesco end of the Ock Valley Walk for our regular litter-pick and tidying tasks. As well as the standard and often depressingly large volume of litter to be found bordering the main path from Tesco back towards town, there was also some fly-tipping to deal with.  Leader Eleanor had become aware of some waste that had been dumped off Mill Lane at the far extent of the path, beyond the housing estate.  A group of six of us initially broke away from the main group to investigate, and found two large piles of rubbish left besides the hedgerows beside the old Wilts and Berks canal, bordering a field.  Eleanor had brought her wheelbarrow to make it easier to shift much of it, while the larger items could be carried away with some effort. The fly-tipped waste was transported to the grass verge at the end of Mill Road, with