Showing posts from February, 2019

Kennington Memorial Field, 23rd February 2019

Today we met at Kennington Memorial Field, where we go twice a year to cut back the scrub and which is run by Oxford Preservation Trust. We welcomed two new Green Gymmers, Alex and Barbara, and we were also joined by OPT volunteers and Kennington residents. The early mist soon cleared and the sun was shining as we made our way down the slope. Rachel from OPT showed us the line of trees and scrub, where she wanted us to cut bays to make a scalloped edge. This will mean that the fauna living on the edge of the scrub will have more habitat and more areas will be exposed to the sun at different times of day. Graham got a bonfire going to burn the brash and we set to work. We needed to keep busy carrying pitchfork loads to the bonfire to keep it going. As we worked, we uncovered various items of litter and, worst of all, dog mess, much of it in black plastic bags. It is an unsolved mystery that people take the trouble to clear up after their dogs and then leave the bags behind.

The Elizabeth Daryush Memorial Garden, 16th February 2019

We turned out in force for today’s session at the Elizabeth Daryush Memorial Gardens up at Boar’s Hill, led by Kevin under the instruction of Rachel Sanderson of Oxford Preservation Trust. Seventeen green gymmers, plus local resident Patrick, and Stephen who works with Rachel, made our way to the meeting point at the frog- and toad-filled ornamental pond. It’s the first time we’ve had a session on this site in the month of February. One of the reasons for doing so was so that we could see the fruits of our labours over the last year, and very gratifying that was too. All the clearing of bracken and brambles beneath the tree-lined borders of the garden has made way for the snowdrops and daffodils that have been planted to spring up. Before too many weeks, we’ll see bluebells flowering too. After a brief introduction to the gardens, we were given our task which, in the main, was to cut back the brambles which have taken over at the bottom of the gardens, choking fruit and blackt

Cothill Fen, 9th February 2019

Twelve green gymmers turned up for our first outing at Cothill Fen for 2019. Today’s leader was Margaret, under the instruction of Judy Webb of Natural England and her colleague Steph.  Two weeks had elapsed since our last session - owing to the snow of he previous weekend, thus we were raring to go! It was a beautiful morning with pale winter sunlight breaking through the clouds as we made our way to the fen. On arrival, we could see how much it has transformed since our last visit in December. The pond has expanded considerably over the area, proving that all that reed cutting and raking has been worth it. In addition, there had been a lot of tree work around the perimeter. Many of the ash trees are dying but rather than chop them down completely, they had been topped to allow jet ants to continue living in them, as these attract rare beetles and insects. Our task for today was mainly hazel coppicing in the woodland beyond the fen. The aim of doing this is to allow light