Showing posts from November, 2020

Two Pines Fen, 28th November 2020

We returned to Two Pines Fen today to pick up where we left off last week - to continue scything and raking the reeds across this Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), set within Frilford Heath Golf Course. Again, our session was held to take advantage of the current course closure. Led again by Sally, we were 18-strong this time including new member Colin and almost-new member Camilla. We had five scythers among us and the remainder of the group raked and stacked reeds both in piles on the boundaries and within the stream running through the fen to slow the water and encourage it to spill outwards onto the wetland area. There had been plenty of reeds left untouched despite our best efforts last week and these were all cut during the morning on the main site with clearance on an additional small area off to one side. A further large reed bed area will also require attention in the near future, but we did well to achieve what we did today. -Andrew Meeting at the compound. Arriving

Winter 2020/2021 Programme

Our new programme for Winter 2020/2021 has just been published. A downloadable pdf version can be found here: We are currently looking for new session leaders! All necessary training will be provided. Please contact us for further information or speak to a session leader/committee member at any Abingdon Green Gym session. 

Two Pines Fen, 21st November 2020

Two Pines Fen Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) at Frilford Heath Golf Club was the venue for yesterday's re-scheduled Green Gym session. We work here with Natural England (the government's adviser for the natural environment in England), who are happy for our socially-distanced work parties to go ahead during the current lockdown period. Their operational update regarding activities during the ongoing coronavirus situation can be found here -   Sally took on the leadership duty and instructed the 15-strong group on the jobs to be carried out after we had assembled at the ground-staffs' compound. After completing the signing-in form and the risk assessment, we set off for the fen, a short walk to the end of the nearest fairway. The principle task involved raking up reeds that had already been cut during previous sessions and those that were cut during the morning. These were then stacked in piles by th

Ock Valley Walk, Tesco End, 14th November 2020

Our remaining programme for November has been cancelled due to the lockdown. However, volunteering is still permitted under the government guidelines and our parent organisation TCV have approved us holding sessions during this time subject to the updated COVID 19 safety guidelines. Therefore as part of a revised schedule, a group of six of us met at the Tesco end of the Ock Valley Walk for a socially-distanced morning of litter picking, path sweeping and sowing of wild flower seeds. Eleanor led the charge, issuing us with our details. It was apparent that there was a large amount of litter to be collected and half of us set off with bags for recyclable and non-recyclable waste. Much of the bounty was made up of discarded drinks cans and bottles, with an alarming number of disposable face masks also lining the path.  As well as litter, the path was covered with fallen leaves which had become quite slippery as a result of the rain. Armed with rakes and spades, we cleared these to the p

Ock Valley Walk, Town End, 7th November 2020

This session gave us the opportunity to finish off the wood chip path and plant spring bulbs and wild flowers. There were seventeen of us, which was lucky as there was a lot of work to be done. Two big heaps of woodchip had been delivered, though at the opposite end of the path to where they were needed. Fortunately, we had two wheelbarrows on the go, with teams to load, transport and rake. We chose two spots within the wooded area to plant our spring bulbs – wild garlic, wood anemones, wild daffodils and fritillaries, varieties which we chose because they will flower before the nettles take over. First, the areas had to be cleared but it was easy to pull up the nettles as the ground was very soft. We also had decided to plant and sow wild flowers close to the river bank. We chose a spot near the first bench which was fairly clear of nettles and would get a reasonable amount of sunshine. We sowed a wild flower mix, and planted some ox eye daisies and violets as well as some wild daffod

Updated COVID-19 information

Having taken advice from our parent organisation, TCV, we will continue with sessions during the lockdown period. This will be in accordance with revised COVID-19 guidelines and includes additional controls. We are therefore amending our current programme accordingly. The updated programme will be posted to our members, meanwhile, here is a statement from the Chief Executive of TCV to clarify the situation:

Kennington Memorial Field, 31st October 2020

Despite the damp weather, a good number of Green Gymmers assembled in the playing field car park for our session at Kennington Memorial Field under the direction of Lyndsay from Oxford Preservation Trust. We were also joined by some Kennington residents. Our main tasks were to cut back nettles and brambles from the banks of the stream which runs along the bottom of the valley and to clear brambles and briars from around the trees to stop them encroaching on the chalk grassland. We usually look forward to a bonfire on our twice yearly visits here, but Lyndsay said it was too windy. It also proved to be very wet with the rain coming down heavily about half an hour into our session but most people were prepared, with waterproof jackets and trousers. The rain had eased off a bit by the time we had our break, but there was no sign of the sun. However, we carried on bravely, slashing, lopping, raking and pitchforking for the rest of the morning. Fortunately, we had packed up and were on our