Showing posts from January, 2020

Abraham Wood, Boars Hill, 25th January 2020

It was another big turn out from Green Gym members for our session at Abraham Wood on Boars Hill this morning. As usual for our work here, we all had to sign an attendance sheet as the work in the woods is funded by Network Rail and volunteer numbers need to be known. There were 23 of us, led by Margaret and there was lots of work for us to do. Lindsay of OPT gave us our tasks for the day, the main one being hazel coppicing near to the path through the woods, and weaving donuts through stakes set around the freshly coppiced trees to protect new shoots from munching muntjacs and other wildlife.  Otherwise we were to cut back the laurel which has been vigorously bouncing back, placing the cut material on habitat piles that are now placed throughout the woodland. In addition, at the bottom of the wood there is quite a lot of dead wood that needed clearing and putting on the habitat piles there, and at the top of the wood, the task of digging up the bamboo.  We set to work wi

Flooding at the Tesco end of the Ock Valley Walk

Thanks to Petra for the following photos of the floods taken yesterday at our work site at the Tesco end of the Ock Valley Walk:

Hinksey Heights, 18th January 2020

For this session we visited a site which was new to us; Hinksey Heights, to the west of Oxford. The land is owned by John Brimble and Oxford Preservation Trust look after it. It is a sloping site consisting of a meadow, a wetland area,  woodland and a lake.  Sixteen volunteers turned out, including a newcomer, Jen and we were working under the direction of Rod d’Ayala. The site, off the A34 was approached by a private road and we had to park in the meadow, slightly worrying as the ground was very soft due to the recent rain. The weather, however, was fine and sunny after an overnight frost. The tasks were to move cut reeds to a specific area and to cut back bramble and scrub from the side of the boardwalk which runs through the woods, then to construct a dead hedge. We set to work on our chosen tasks. The reed shifting was quite difficult at first as the piles had frozen overnight, but most of this task was done by tea break time. The bramble and scrub were quite dense an

AGM, 11th January 2020

Another year, another Abingdon Green Gym AGM.  Usually this is our first gathering of the new year, however we had an outdoor session last week, just to throw in a curveball. A respectable number of us, around fifteen in total assembled at the Methodist Hall along Appleford Drive, which was again the venue for our meeting. Following pre-10am teas and coffees to provide us with our collective caffeine shot, we kicked off proceedings by introducing an Oxford University student, Cassandra who is interested in working with us over the summer months. She gave a brief outline of her master's degree programme at the School of Geography and the Environment and her plans to join us do some research for her thesis. This would involve participant observation, interviews, and focus groups, to learn more about how biological conservation and human health and well-being can be integrated in green spaces. Following on from Cassandra, Kevin ran through some apologies from absent members and the

Jarn Mound and Wild Garden, 4th January 2020

Happy New Year! We must have missed each other over the Christmas break as a good twenty of us turned out for the first session of the year – or in fact, decade - including two new members, Henry and Helen. The session was led by James, under the guidance of Lindsey Priddle of Oxford Preservation Trust. We took up tools and tea things and made our way to the shelter in the middle of the site where we were given our various tasks for the day. These were three-fold. First, we had brought buckets, water and scrubbing brushes in order to remove moss from the stone benches that are placed around the Wild Garden. In a similar vein we were also to clear the stone steps of built up mud and debris. Secondly, we were to clear the paths of fallen branches and these were brought to Graham who was put in charge of the bonfire. Thirdly, the steep steps leading to the top of Jarn Mound have become overgrown with brambles, blackthorn, ferns and other foliage, so we were to clear the steps an