Showing posts from November, 2017

Sunningwell Green, 25th November 2017

Back in February 2016, we made our first visit to Sunningwell to assist some of the locals to plant a hedge on the green.  The green had recently been saved from possible development and since then has been bought by a group of the villagers to ensure that it remains as a valuable community asset. We returned for a second session this weekend to continue with the hedge planting - essentially to extend it in a line from the where we left off last time, down the slope, towards the main road. Having parked our cars outside the village hall, we met with Bob Evans who lives opposite the green and who was again supervising our work here.  After being briefed in his front garden, the fifteen or so Green Gymmers and a few Sunningwell residents began work. The first task was to clear away some overgrown vegetation in the area with slashers and rakes.  Next, a line was established with some string to define where the tree whips were to be planted, with canes put in the ground at regular i

Ock Valley Walk, 18th November 2017

Because of the closure of the footbridge at St Helen's Wharf, the venue for our planned session for work at the Town end of the Ock River Path was changed to the Tesco end, as parking was easier for everyone.  Sally was our leader for the session and the tasks were to collect litter, clear nettles from the footpaths and generally tidy up. The weather was fine, if dull, to start with and we all got to work, as there was a lot of litter to pick. We made our way to our normal base area in the wood, while Matt and Colin put our signpost and leaflet holder up. Michele, Graham and Colin set to work by sweeping up fallen leaves from the bridge over the Ock so that it was less slippery underfoot and generally cleared the paths of leaf litter.  Matt slashed away nettles from the sides of the path, while Janet, Rosie and Sally collected litter.  The new handihoops for our litter bags made this task a lot easier.  Dieuwke joined us a little later and she and Colin also joined in collec

Southern Town Park, 4th November 2017

Southern town park is a large site in south Abingdon surrounding the rugby football fields   - there are many trees, brambled areas, the beginnings of a wild flower area instigated by the green gym.   It is a popular spot for locals to walk and cycle and take their kids to play sport. This autumn visit for green gym to this site entailed litter picking, nettle slaying, bramble bashing and caretaking of the newly planted wild flower patch to remove invasive species (mainly nettles). The day started off very cold but and wet, but not long in the rain stopped, 13 brave souls joined in and we spread ourselves around the brambly area to the east side of the site, along peep-o-day lane and along the southern side towards the wild flower area. Litter picking started off with attempting to fix litter bags to the new hoops that Sally obtained to help with the activity - with much success the pickers went off on their way to collect.   Brambles were chopped enough to free the trees sur

Jarn Mound and Wild Garden, Boars Hill, 11th November 2017

Jarn Mound and its woodland garden is one of three sites on Boar’s Hill where we help the Oxford Preservation Trust to restore, maintain and improve the environment.   The gardens and the mound were built by Arthur Evans with the help of local volunteers during the depression.   This provided work at a difficult time and left a legacy for our enjoyment.   It seems fitting that voluntary organisations are again instrumental in caring for this heritage.   Rachel from OPT has had talks with a garden designer to device a long-term plan to restore not only the mound but also the garden.   The ponds may never be proper ponds again, but it would be possible to create a wetland with a diverse habitat for plants suitable for a site that would remain boggy. To this end we were asked to remove many saplings and small trees from the pond areas. The day started cold and drizzly, but we soon warmed up sawing and lopping.   The bonfire was alight in no time in spite of the damp, and kept fed by