Showing posts from October, 2018

Late Autumn 2018/2019 Programme

Our latest programme for late autumn 2018/2019 has now been published.  See below or click  HERE  for a larger text PDF version.

Frilford Heath Golf Club, 20th October 2018

We had received a comprehensive email from site supervisor, Rod D'Ayala (from the Freshwater Habitats Trust) in advance on what was to be done during this session at Boundary House Fen, situated within Frilford Heath Golf Club. The principal task was to rake the cut reeds and fill the main drainage ditch in order for the water to flood the adjacent area and continue restoring this locally rare wetland habitat. Since it was a misty start  with low visibility , I thought it best to take the track down to the fen rather than chance the short cut across the course.  We couldn't afford to lose any of our small team of dedicated Green Gymmers before we even started.  If we had run the gauntlet of the fairway with its many hurtling golf balls, we risked both injury and spoiling the golfers' rounds! Once at the fen Rod was already there along with our ecologist-in-residence Judy Webb. Rod was busy with the brush cutter on the reeds. We commenced our operations with the

Jarn Mound and Wild Garden, 13th October 2018

Fifteen green gymmers turned up for today’s session at Jarn Mound, led by James under the direction of Rachel Sanderson of the Oxford Preservation Trust. On entering the site we were confronted by a huge fallen branch from one of the liquidambar trees originally planted by Sir Arthur Evans, probably in 1932. It had fallen right across the footpath and was a sad, if beautiful, sight to see. In the wind and rain, we gathered at our meeting point, a shelter built amongst the trees, and Rachel’s first job was to ring the local fire brigade to let them know that we were having a bonfire. When one of the latecomers asked what the phone call was about Rachel explained we needed to let them know… because of course we couldn’t have hunky men in firemen’s uniforms turning up, she said with a knowing smile and shrug of her shoulders! With Jarn Mound itself already cleared of its overgrown vegetation – a job which had been earmarked for us – by another eager volunteer group the previo

Abbey Fishponds, 6th October 2018

Eleven of us assembled in Hadland Road to help Marjorie and Lucy from Earth Trust on the Abbey Fishponds Nature Reserve. We were also joined by Mike from the Abbey Fishponds group.  Unfortunately the day was cold and drizzly, but Green Gymmers carry on regardless! The Earth Trust Thursday group had already cut large areas of reeds, so there was a lot of raking and stacking to do. There was a willow tree to be pruned and vegetation to be cut back from the public footpath along the edge of the reserve. Adrian was zooming along here with a hedge trimmer, so it was hard to keep up with him when clearing the heaps. We were glad to have our tea break, and despite the rain getting heavier, most of us managed to work until the end of the session and we were pleased with how much work we had done. -Eleanor Marjorie and Joan pruning the willow. Adrian trimming. Ursula lopping. Graham raking. Lucy pitchforking.  A wet tea break.

The Elizabeth Daryush Memorial Garden, 29th September 2018

The bright blue autumnal skies couldn’t have been more of a contrast to last week’s rain as 15 green gymmers plus a couple of local volunteers met for today’s session at the Elizabeth Daryush Memorial Garden up at Boars Hill. On arrival, we discovered a couple of large branches had come down from the sweet chestnut tree where we gathered, and vandalism was briefly considered before being dismissed. The warden, Rachel Sanderson of Oxford Preservation Trust, wasn’t able to make the session, but had given us a map showing us what needed doing and where: mainly cutting back the nettles, bracken and brambles to stop them from encroaching onto the grassland of the garden, and to make way for where the daffodils come up in spring. We spread out in all directions, taking on the various tasks, slashing, lopping, raking and piling up the debris to rot down. Graham and Ursula dragged larger branches through the undergrowth to add to the ‘dead hedge’ along the roadside which creates a hab