Showing posts from December, 2018

Christmas Meal, 15th December 2018

In recent years we have enjoyed our Christmas meal at the Merry Miller pub in Cothill.  This year was no exception, the difference being that there was no session at the nearby fen beforehand.  Instead we assembled in our clean clothes, a week later than the same occasion last year. The idea was to take a leisurely stroll around another local nature reserve, Dry Sandford pit in advance of lunch. Upon meeting in the pub car park, the day took rather a soggy turn. As the rain lashed down, anoraks and wellies were donned and umbrellas brandished. While a minority took refuge in their cars, the hardy remainder began their stroll up the road to the pit. We were lucky to have an expert on hand - Alison Muldal of Natural England and supervisor of many a Green Gym session over the years. Alison imparted her broad knowledge of the fenland environment and a little of the wider habitat upon the group as we took our tour around this former quarry.  We have worked at this site before - under t

Winter 2019 Programme

Our new programme for Winter 2019 has now been published. See below or click  HERE  to open a larger pdf version (opens in a separate window).

Cothill Fen, 8th December 2018

For our last session of the year, we met at the car park opposite the Merry Miller pub – the venue for our Christmas lunch next weekend – and made our way down the path armed with hard hats, bow saws and loppers to Cothill Fen. The session was led by Kevin, with Judy Webb from Natural England instructing us with the morning’s tasks. As we came upon the fen, it was quickly apparent what a change had taken place since the last time we were here at the end of September. Natural England volunteers had done a huge amount of scything of brambles and general clearing and Adrian had built two reed causeways across the fen, which had filled out nicely with water. The original National Trust post from 1916 had also been rediscovered and placed next to the gate onto the fen. In a change from our usual fen-work, there was no raking today. Instead we were to stick to the boundaries on both sides of the wet area continuing to cut back the hazel coppices, holly and other growth. It was also

Frilford Heath Golf Course, 1st December 2018

There was barely a golfer in sight this rainy morning, proving the 15 green gymmers that turned out for today’s session back at the fen within Frilford Heath Golf Course are a much hardier species! James led the session along with the project manager, Rod d’Ayala and Alison Muldal and Judy Webb from Natural England. We made our way from the meeting point laden with rakes, pitchforks and other equipment where Rod was already to be found raking. The morning’s task was to continue the good work from the last session - raking the cut reeds and sedge that had been taking over in the calcium rich ground of the calcareous fen into the stream that runs through the site. The purpose of this is twofold: to raise the stream bed, enabling the water to spread out over the fen, and also to rot down in the water, the bacteria from this process converting the nitrate to nitrogen. Clearing the reeds and sedge makes way for rare species such as Grass of Parnassus, Devil's-bit Scabious, Narrow-l