Ock Valley Walk, Town End, 24th November 2018

It was drizzling when we met in the car park at the Town End of Ock Path, thirteen green gymmers ready to work a session led by Sally. Thankfully, by the time we’d carried the tools and equipment to our usual spot on the river bank, the rain had cleared and Sally split us into three groups: the planters, the prospectors and the progressives.

The planters were to clear areas between the pathways using the mattocks for wild bulb planting. Eleanor had brought along a variety of native English bulbs, including wood anemones, wild garlic and bluebells.

The prospectors were the litter pickers. They set off with recycling and bin bags towards the Drayton Road end of the path, where most litter seems to be thrown. And if we had been prospecting for gold we’d have been millionaires after the first half of the session as there were rich pickings indeed: a large plastic paddling pool, road traffic cone that had to be hauled out of the river, shopping basket on wheels (nearly new), a whole bike (in a sorry state), a push chair, bits of clothing, and a small mountain of cans and bottles, plus the usual sweet wrappers, fast food containers and other bits and pieces, including someone’s bank card which had expired in 2002!

In the meantime, the progressives set to clearing leaves and other debris from the paths along the Ock river, making sure they’re nicely delineated and easy to walk along.

After a busy first half of the session it was back to our spot for refreshments with a delicious coffee cake made by Eleanor and biscuits. Notices were given and Margaret brought to our attention a concert her choir were giving the following day.

In the second half of the session, we continued with our various tasks. At the town end of the Ock Path we found a whole fake plastic Christmas tree in the undergrowth, replete with baubles and ho-ho-ing santa which must have been dumped there last winter. We bagged it up and took it to Drayton Road, ready for collection by the council with the rest of the rubbish.

By the end of the session much progress had been made and we set off for home, happy and with thanks from many appreciative passers by.

Photos by Andrew and Joanna (and Petra - last two photos):

The pre-session gathering.

Sally proposes her three P's.

Evidence of the planters.

Graham the progressive in action!

A pair of planters.

Andrew prospects.

Eleanor's coffee cake.

Eleanor addresses the Green Gym public at the break.

Ho ho ho? Littering ought to be a definite NO NO NO!

A pair of shrooms.

Further along the path.

A trio of progressives.

A millionaires' litter pick.

A discarded push chair.

...and an owl motif shopping trolley!


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