Showing posts from August, 2019

Barton Fields, 24th August 2019

We gathered at the north end of Barton Fields for our annual hay raking and stacking session under the instruction of the warden, David Guyoncourt. There were sixteen of us, led by Eleanor, along with members of the Abingdon Naturalists' Society Green Team. The hay had already been cut by tractor in previous days, and raked into neat lines by the Green Team, ready for further raking up and stacking at various points along the nature reserve. It was hot work, with the temperature climbing towards the 30s as the morning wore on. But we took to the hay with our pitchforks and rakes with relish and by tea break had already cleared over half of the field. A second rake was done to clear up any stragglers – the aim being that as much hay needs to be removed to prevent the hay from rotting down and ensuring that the nutrients don’t go into the ground and the wildflower meadow can flourish the following year. We took tea break, some of us taking to the shade of nearby trees, and Ala

Our Barton Fields session on the Abingdon Blog

Our session of hay raking last Saturday at Barton Fields has been featured on the Abingdon Blog:  (link opens in new window).  Our own blog update from this session will follow soon!

Autumn 2019 programme

Our new programme for Autumn 2019 has been published, from next Saturday 31st August onwards. Click  HERE  for pdf version (opens in new window) or see below:

Summer Picnic, Jarn Mound and Wild Garden, 17th August 2019

Our annual summer picnic was held last Saturday at the Jarn Mound and Wild Garden as per the last few years. Fingers and toes had been crossed that the weather would be fine, in contrast to the wild and changeable conditions that the previous week had offered. As we arrived, the sun shone, yet some ominous looking clouds were also evident. One of the reasons for choosing this site, which is also one of our work venues, is due to it having a sizeable shelter as a bad-weather back up. However during his recce, Kevin found that it was already occupied! Therefore we would have to set up outside and hope for the best. Seventeen Green Gymmers gathered for the occasion, along with Eleanor's husband, Arthur. Once we had unpacked the food and drinks from our vehicles and transported it to the garden, we decided to take a short walk in order to work up our appetites. James remained to keep guard over the picnic as we set off. A light stroll through the nearby woodland and heath was all th

Ock Valley Walk, Town End, 10th August 2019

Nine of us came along to what turned out to be quite a hair-raising session along the Ock River path today, led by Kevin. The rain held off, but the winds were high! We met in the car park and gathered our tools and hard hats and made our way to our base in the usual spot. As we walked we could see the pathway and river itself strewn with branches brought down by the winds. Once we’d set up base, Kevin gave us our tasks which were mainly to cut back over grown foliage around the trees we’ve planted, cut back any branches overhanging the path and the inevitable litter picking. We set to work. It was noisy with the wind causing trees to sway in an alarming manner. About 20 minutes into the session, Joanna was walking along the path when she heard an enormous creaking behind her and a crack willow came crashing down across the pathway. ‘I guess that’s why they’re called crack willows,’ said a passerby sardonically. A jogger stood flummoxed for a moment before deciding to pick his

Abbey Fishponds, 3rd August 2019

The Green Gym rendezvous was at the usual Abbey Fishponds meeting point at the far end of Hadland Road.  Here we met with Lucy of the Earth Trust, who manage the site, and Sally our team leader for the day. Once assembled, we transferred the tools and equipment needed to our tea break location on a high bank overlooking the nature reserve.  The Fishponds themselves have long since gone but you can see that the flat low lying area with springs rising in the reserve would have been a ideal site to stock fish for the monks at Abingdon Abbey, centuries ago. One of the tasks for the morning was clearing back overgrown bushes and brambles on the edge of the reserve next to the Radley Road which were beginning to cause a hindrance to traffic. Adrian, who had been working with Lucy and knew the spot, took Margaret, Dieuwke, Rosie and Carolyn to fulfil the task - with the added precaution of high visibility jackets for working in such an environment. A squashed Hedgehog found on the si