Showing posts from 2019

Oxford talk by Green Gym founder Dr William Bird

Some of our members recently attended a talk at the Oxford Martin School by Dr William Bird, the founder of the Green Gym movement. Entitled 'Why we need a Fourth Revolution in Healthcare', the entirety of the talk has been uploaded to YouTube. The video has been embedded below or can be found at  HERE  if you'd prefer to watch it in a separate window.

Dry Sandford Pit and Christmas Meal, 14th December 2019

This was the last Green Gym meeting of the year, with a slightly shorter-than-usual work session at Dry Sandford Pit followed by our annual Christmas meal at the nearby Merry Miller pub. Despite a favourable weather forecast, we assembled eleven-strong at the car park in the pouring rain! Undeterred, we gathered tools and tea kit and braved the conditions, setting up camp beside the spot where we had worked on our last visit here a couple of weeks ago. On this occasion we were joined by Nicole Clough, representing the local Wildlife Trust who own and manage the site. Nicole gave us our instructions for the morning along with a quick talk about the site and the purpose of our work - namely to keep the cliff faces clear of vegetation and shadow. This provides an ideal habitat for solitary bees and other invertebrates, with the added bonus of keeping the sedimentary layers of this former quarry clear for geological study. The bulk of our endeavours on the previous visit had involve

Barton Fields, 7th December 2019

There were 21 of us for today’s session at Barton Fields, next to the River Thames in Abingdon. The session was led by Sally in conjunction with David Guyoncourt from the Abingdon Naturalists' Society Green Team who manages the site. We unloaded the tools and David took a splinter group of a few of us, including Rosie and Michele, off for some hardcore lopping and sawing to take place along the river bank. A path had to be forged through the undergrowth to get there and they were given their own supplies of refreshments as they wouldn’t be able to make it back to the main base for break time. Otherwise, we made our way to the place we’d be working and were split into two further groups – a small group of loppers and sawers to work next to the Sustrans cycle path where grassy bays are being created in order to attract solitary bees and butterflies. Here it was a question of cutting down and thinning out overhanging branches so the light can get through. The remainder of us t

Dry Sandford Pit, 30th November 2019

Dry Sandford Pit Nature Reserve was the venue for today’s session, led by Sally. We were there to do work for BBOWT, continuing on from our last visit to the site in July. Sixteen of us turned up on a beautiful bright frozen morning with the grass and trees glittering with frost as the sun rose. It was so cold it was nice to imagine that millions of years ago this place had been the bed of a warm, coral-rich sea. The nature reserve was once a quarry and our job for the morning was to carry on clearing the cliff faces of vegetation, in order to expose the strata of limestone and sand, and maintain the many habitats of solitary bees and wasps that nest there. With a mixture of tools, including loppers and slashers for cutting back brambles, and trowels and small mattocks for hacking at the vegetation clinging to the cliff faces, we set to work, building up the habitat piles and soon warming up as the morning wore on. By break time the sun was high in the sky and we drank ou

Winter 2019/2020 programme

Our new programme for Winter 2019/2020 has been published and starts after the session this coming weekend. It will be uploaded to our website soon!

Jarn Heath, Boars Hill, 23rd November 2019

A crowd of 22 green gymmers turned up for today’s session at Jarn Heath on Boars Hill, plus two local residents who decided to join the group. It was a mild, muggy morning. We were led by Margaret, with Lindsay Priddle from OPT and Rod D’Ayala giving instructions. We mainly split into two work parties. The first party were set to laying the hedge along the lane, under the expert guidance of Rod. And the rest of us headed off into the woodland to plant foxgloves, red campion and wood sorrel, which local resident, Camilla, had potted up from her vegetable garden. As the secondary woodland on the heath means it’s quite poor at ground level, these were to be planted ready to give variety and colour when they flower next spring. Otherwise there was also a lot of clearing of dogwood from the woodland floor, as well as clearing up where contractors had been to cut back trees. We set to work and by tea break all the plants had been planted and the hedge was coming along brilliantly.  W