Showing posts from November, 2019

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

Boundary House Fen, 16th November 2019

We were at Boundary House Fen at Frilford for this morning’s session, led by Sally under the aegis of Rod D’Ayala, who has been managing the site, and Judy Webb of Natural England. Seventeen of us turned up, during a lucky break from the previous days’ rain, including newcomer Phineas, who came with his father and will be joining us for sessions for his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. We gathered initially in the Golf Club car park then consolidated into fewer cars and drove round to the site. We took up our tools – mostly rakes - and made our way across the golf course which was pretty busy. Rod was already hard at work on site, and he gave us our task for the morning which comprised one thing: raking! Rod pointed out where the cut reeds lay strewn about the ground, and where we needed to rake them to, placing them in the centre of the stream running through the site, or in the hedges at the edge of the fen, or in large habitat piles to rot down. Particularly towards the bottom of

Abraham Wood, Boars Hill, 9th November 2019

We were back at Abraham Wood for our session this Saturday. Fifteen of us turned out on a freezing morning, which started brightly enough although rain threatened as the morning wore on. The session was led by James, with Lindsey from OPT giving us our tasks. At the top of the site, the battle with the bamboo continues. It’s been cut back substantially, but there was still more work to be done here. A few of us took to it with mattocks. The other jobs were to re-edge the paths through the site, and to spread out various piles of wood chip which have been left by the contractors who have been thinning the trees. We also took to cutting back any new laurel shoots that have grown from previously chopped down bushes. As the laurel contains cyanide and can’t be burnt we put these cuttings on the top of wood piles where they’ll hopefully rot down over the coming months. Eleanor provided a delicious ginger cake at tea break. With temperatures only just above zero, it was agreed

Southern Town Park, 2nd November 2019

Several green gymmers gathered at Cothill on Saturday morning, ready for our scheduled session at the fen. However, upon arrival we discovered that both Judy and Steph from Natural England had safety concerns due to high winds and rain that had been battering the site overnight and into the morning. There was a risk of trees coming down, particularly diseased ash, and therefore the decision was made to cancel. While obviously disappointed, we prepared to head back home and begun to let our members know - including those that were still en route. The weather did look like it was set to improve though, and just before we retreated, leader Eleanor suggested that we might instead head to Southern Town Park to tend to our wildflower patch. There might be enough work to keep a smaller group busy for a while.  Five hardy souls thus reconvened at the Lambrick Way car park back in Abingdon to ensure that the morning was not a total write-off. Additional tools had to be fetched on the w