Showing posts from May, 2017

Bank Holiday Walk, 29th May 2016

As usual, there was no Green Gym session on the Spring Bank Holiday weekend so instead we led one of the Bank Holiday walks, which have been organised by the Friends of Abingdon since 2012. Our walk left from the centre of town and took us along the Ock Valley to show people some of the work Green Gym does there and nature and history of this part of town. Green Gymmers Eleanor (who organised and led the walk), Sally, Andrew, Graham and Colin were in attendance along with an additional four who had signed up for the tour.  This was somewhat lower number than than on previous years, but the damp weather may well have been a factor. The route took us from Abingdon Market Place, down East St Helen's Street to weir behind St Helen's Court.  From here it was along the Ock Valley Walk to it's furthest extent at New Cut Mill via Drayton Road and past the junction of the footpath with the Tesco store.  After that we headed towards Drayton/Sutton Wick and traversed som

Ock Valley Walk, Town End, 20th May 2017

The Green Gym met at the Town End of the Ock Valley Walk last Saturday in what was a change to the initially-published programme. The jobs to be taken care of were outlined by session leader James, and consisted of finishing the woodchip path, clearing the path from nettles and other overgrown vegetation and the usual litter-pick. The nettles bashing took a bit of a back seat to raking of the rampant goose-grass (cleavers) as it had grown in place of the nettles.  The turn-out was smaller than usual but the usual suspects worked hard.  We were pleased to welcome along a a new member, Dan, who had a good day while making him fully aware that there was no payment only - in coffee and biscuits, or at least the ones available before Graham turns up! Let's hope that we don't scare him away. Despite threatening skies, the rain thankfully held off in what was a pleasant morning's work. -Kevin The group assemble. Let work commence... Green Gym

Cothill Fen, 13th May 2017

We met at Cothill Fen this Saturday for another session at this nature reserve, working as usual with Judy Webb, representing Natural England, who manage the site. In our absence, Green Gymmer Adrian has been working here regularly on his own, cutting back the trees that line the border the fen, close to the main footpath.  We were therefor, keen to see how he had got on since our last session here, some months ago. On our walk down the track from the footpath, we encountered a large group of schoolchildren from the nearby school, and elsewhere there were many walkers and cyclists about.  The weather was dull and overcast with the threat of rain, but it was fairly mild, especially apparent once we started working. Prior to getting underway, Judy outlined our task, which was to continue cutting small trees back on the edge of the fen, to open the area out and reclaim as much as possible of this rare habitat.  We donned high-vis vests, googles and hard-hats where applicable as ext

Change to Green Gym programme for 20th May session

In a change to the programme, the session for 20th May will now be held at the Town End of the Ock Valley Walk. We will be finishing the woodchip path, pulling Himalayan Balsam, cutting back nettles and litter-picking. Meet at the usual spot by the footbridge over the weir, St Helen's Court, 09:30am!

Abbey Fishponds, 6th May 2017

It was a slightly gloomy, grey and blustery start to our latest outing at Abbey Fishponds. We were here to work alongside the Earth Trust, with community reserves warden Lucy Tomkinson and of course, local warden Majorie White.  We joined with a number of volunteers from their group. As always at the Hadland Road entrance to the reserve, car parking is an issue, and some manoeuvring and re-arrangement of vehicles was required to enable Lucy to bring her truck and trailer in, which contained a number of tools and materials for the morning's tasks. Having assembled, we were then instructed on the various jobs that were to be done.  These included scything and clearing away overgrown vegetation from the path margins, replacing the wooden boards along the central route through the site, Himalayan Balsam picking, lopping of brambles and other overgrown vegetation, litter-picking and constructing a habitat for stag beetles. After digesting the itinerary, we divided up and got to i