Showing posts from September, 2020

Southern Town Park, 26th September 2020

Abingdon Green Gym deployed at Southern Town Park this Saturday, with the usual tried and tested workout, mainly bramble-bashing, chopping up fallen branches, litter picking and clearing and sowing wild flowers in an area next to the footpath, adjacent to the sports field. But there was a slight twist. Not only did we have two new enthusiastic volunteers - Daniel and Leah, also Zak and Vanessa from Brookes University in Oxford doing a film piece for Healthy Abingdon, covering different group that encourage people in the Abingdon area to keep themselves healthy! We assembled in the usual place in the car park next to the sports field, but we weren't the only ones! It seemed like there was a children's football tournament kicking off as the large car park where we usually park with ease was full to the brim with parking even on the main road. Once everyone was there, I did a quick intro to the new people, checking all had signed the tracking form. We then set off transporting the

Cothill Fen, 19th September 2020

It was a beautiful fine morning for Green Gym as we returned to Cothill Fen SSSI to help Natural England with its ongoing programme of cutting the reed and raking it off in order to reduce the build-up of nutrients, as the specialist fen and wet woodland flora favour poor soils.  Cothill Fen is one of a number of calcareous fens in Oxfordshire, where spring fed water percolates to the surface and deposits lime in the form of tufa.  We are very blessed as a county to have these precious fens as they are a very rare habitat indeed.  15 Green Gymmers were joined by local scyther, Jim Ballantyne, and we worked under the direction of Steph Wilson from NE and Judy Webb. Our first task was to load our heavy tools, jerry cans of hand sanitiser and water for washing hands onto Steph’s van - we all heaved a collective sigh of relief - as we then made our way from the car park down the track, past Parsonage Moor and reached the adjoining Cothill Fen.  Adrian had arrived early and had started a bo

Barton Fields, 12th September 2020

Today's session was a joint effort between the Green Gym and the Abingdon Naturalists' Society Green Team. It involved raking the cut grass at Barton Fields wildflower meadow and piling it in to loose haystacks.  The show was run buy David Guyoncourt, who along with his volunteers maintain the area between the river and Barton lane. David had brought along ample rakes and with Eleanor bringing more rakes and pitchforks there were plenty for everyone. This task has been a regular event every year - helping clear the grass and allow wild flowers to come through again next year.  So we all knew what to do and it didn't take long before we were making good headway, as the grass was dry and light making the raking and pitchforking easy, as in the past we have done it when it had been wet making it heavy to move. The haystacks soon started to grow. These will be left for the wildlife to inhabit especially the grass snakes who will lay their eggs in it and let the heat generated t

Ock Valley Walk, Town End, 5th September 2020

At  last the return of Abingdon Green Gym to our rightful place in amongst the vegetation of the Ock path! With a great turnout of 20 volunteers assembling in the parking bay at the end of St Helen's Court which gave us enough room to keep our distance. Once every one had signed in for tracking purposes we loaded up the equipment and headed down to our usual base by the side of the Mill stream. The tasks were clearing round the young trees that we had planted a few years ago, chopping up fallen branches caused by the winds, clearing over hanging vegetation on the mill stream, wood chip laying on the path and of course litter picking. Once the outline instruction by the session leader of the tasks was given, it only remained for the volunteers to decide which one to pick, or, if they didn't mind the leader would suggest one that was under manned. As you can see by the photos Adrian was keen to lay the wood chip as he had brought his own barrow and shovel (one volunteer is worth