Showing posts from July, 2017

Ock Valley Walk, Tesco End, 29th July 2017

The Tesco End of the Ock Valley Walk is one of our least exciting venues, but our work here is valuable and we are highly-visible to the general public.  We also drew the highest turn-out in several weeks this Saturday. As usual, we were here to litter-pick and to continue the seasonal Himalayan Balsam pull.  The latter task was the main focus this time as this invasive plant is particularly rampant in this area, beside the River Ock.  It was also very much in seed, so we needed to be careful not to aid the spread of it by disturbing the explosive pods in which the seeds are housed. Although only July, it was apparent that many of the fruits associated with late summer or autumn are already ripe.  Apples, blackberries, elderberries and others looked to be peaking, therefore good to see that some native vegetation is flourishing despite aggressive invaders such as the Balsam taking over in close proximity. -Andrew Kevin on litter-picking duties. A large stand of H

Cothill Fen, 22nd July 2017

We returned to Cothill Fen for this summer session after a few days of heavy rain!  We were here on this occasion to rake up reeds that had been cut shortly before our arrival, and to stack them into piles around the site margin.  The plan was to burn them at a later time on specially-constructed platforms.  There were also some logs from recently-felled trees to be moved off the fen itself. As usual, we met with site warden, Judy Webb and once we had unloaded tools and tea-kit, we began the hike down to the wetland area.  Upon arrival, we saw the results of the hard work that Green-Gymmer Adrian has been undertaking here on his own, regularly, over the past few months.  This is under the guidance of Natural England, who manage the site. Session leader Margaret outlined our jobs for the morning and went through the usual risk assessment.  We were joined this Saturday, by Andrew's mother, Judith, who along with an additional twelve of us and Judy, made for a respectable tur

Ock Valley Walk, Town End, 15th July 2017

We were back at the Town End of the Ock Valley Walk this Saturday to continue with our various tasks here under the guidance of session leader, Sally.  These included the seasonal Himalayan Balsam pull, checking on the health of the trees that we have planted here in recent years (and clearing vegetation from around them), trimming back dangerous willows and of course the usual litter-pick. Since we were 17-strong on this occasion, many hands made light work.  Dividing up into smaller teams, we set about our work, mindful that the session was shorter than usual - finishing at 12pm instead of the usual 12:30pm.  This was so that several amongst us could attend (regular Green Gym members) Barry and Enid's 90th birthday celebrations later in the afternoon. The tea break was brought forward to 10:45am at which point Eleanor produced one of her lemon drizzle cakes, to the delight of the workers!  This even mitigated the fact that it had begun to rain as we assembled back at our b

Mill Road, Marcham, 8th July 2017

Our second visit of the summer to Manor Farm, Marcham saw eleven Green-Gymmers assemble outside Cumber's Farm Shop on a beautiful July morning.  We welcomed along new member Matt, while Eleanor (with mother, Anna) was here for the final session to contribute towards her bronze Duke of Edinburgh award.  Once briefed on the morning's activities by session leader, Kevin, we ventured off to our work site. As before, we were here to pull the non-native Himalayan Balsam from the field margins and the banks of the streams.  The plant is so prolific at this location that we could not hope to achieve total elimination, but instead concentrate on reducing it in certain areas before it spreads and scatters seeds.  The ultimate aim is to narrow its coverage over the coming years and thus allow the native flora to regenerate. We commenced operations at a slow and steady pace due to the heat, yet made reasonable inroads. The tea break crept up, almost by stealth, and we marched ba