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 collecting litter.

The rain started just before our very welcome tea break and Dieuwke had also brought some satsumas for us to enjoy along with some tasty biscuits, which lifted our spirits.

We were pleased to hear from Eleanor, who had been working at the Town end planting wild flower bulbs with Andrew, Petra and Dan that they had successfully completed their task, but unfortunately, had all decided to go home afterwards as it was a long trek from the Town end to our base, so they missed out on tea on this occasion.

Colin had reported finding a used mattress, which we thought had been discarded, but when we went to collect it, it was clear that this was or had been someone's home.  Sadly, we found evidence of drug use and Sally reported this to the police and Council so that the site can be properly cleared, afterwards.

We then spent the next 20 minutes or so finishing up.  Janet disturbed a huge rat (fatty ratty!) on the river bank in her quest to retrieve some litter before it made its way into the Ock and then with Colin and Sally managed to pick up an array of screws, bolts, copper tubes and plastic ties that had been strewn on the pavement by Barclays Bank.

The path is used by many people lots of whom were very appreciative of our efforts.  All-in-all, a very satisfying morning's work was done.

Photos by Andrew (first 11) and Sally (last 5):

Sign warning of the closure of the footbridge.

Autumn colours on the path.

Ducks on the Ock.

Petra and Eleanor prepare to plant bulbs beside Chris's memorial tree.

Petra plants.

Dan keeps busy.

Some of the spring bulbs.


Eleanor plants the last of the bulbs.

Leaves on one of the young beech trees that the Green Gym planted a few years ago.

Homeward bound.

Michele sweeping fallen leaves

Rosie nettle bashing.

Graham clearing the path.

Janet with part of our haul.

Matt, Rosie, Janet, Graham and Michele with our collection of litter and recycling.


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