Showing posts from October, 2020

Boundary House Fen, 24th October 2020

It was a grey and windy-ish day when the GG assembled in the Frilford Golf Club carpark for the session on Boundary House Fen. It was a good turnout, just short of 20 volunteers. To get to the Fen we have to negotiate round the fairways and golfers to a lower area at the side of the golf course where a drainage ditch enters the course. This ditch is the main focus of our efforts as draining the water from the area is not what we want. Instead we want to flood the surrounding site so that the fen can improve, making the wildlife flourish. Over the years that we have been working this site we have very much seen the fruits of our labours. The reeds that have started to spread and haven't been cut due to the Covid restrictions, had to be chopped down and laid in the ditch causing a blockage and making the water spread across the fen. Rod D'Ayala who along with Judy Webb have been the major players in improving the site were there and had already started to cut the reeds. So our jo

Two Pines Fen, 21st October 2020

Following lockdown due to Covid-19, we had been unable to return to Two Pines Fen SSSI in the spring to do a cut and rake ahead of orchid flowering season.  This Site of Special Scientific Interest is home to 12 species of orchid.  It is flanked by two different golf courses and we are only able to safely work there when one of the holes is closed.  The Golf Course had kindly arranged to closed a hole on the Green Course and moved the tee on the Red Course so that we could work without fear of being hit by golf balls.  The only problem was the weather!  It rained and rained practically all day!   But this did not deter us - seven undaunted Green Gymmers were joined by JimB, who is a very experienced scyther, and well known in Oxfordshire, to rise to the challenge.  As we approached the Fen from the Green Keepers' compound area, we could see how much silver birch, in particular, had started to encroach on the Fen, with its pretty green and gold leaves shimmering in the rain.  The Fe

Boars Hill, 17th October 2020

The Green Gym were back at Boars Hill this Saturday, working with the Oxford Preservation Trust (OPT), again we split into sub-teams to carry out the work: Old Berkeley Golf Course One of the teams on Saturday Oct 17th was assigned to work on the Old Golf Course. There were just five of us, the rest being at the Eiizabeth Daryrush Memorial Garden and the Jarn Heath. From the top of the old golf course it is possible to have a fine view of Oxford but our work was down in the lower part where a stream runs through the valley. Quite often, when the Green Gym visit a site, there are numerous tasks to be undertaken, but this time, there was just one, and it was something of a 'toughie’ . Both in the stream and on the banks either side, reeds have taken root and are in danger of stifling the growth of a very rare plant, the Ivy-Leafed Crowsfoot. It has very small leaves, shaped like ivy, hence the name, and it grows nowhere else in the county, so the importance attached to giving it spac