Showing posts from April, 2021

Hinksey Heights, 24th April 2021

A jaunt to one of our furthest-flung sites was on offer this weekend - Hinksey Heights. A location that we'd only visited on a handful of occasions in the past. The meeting point this time was the golf club car park, where we formed a team of six and two teams of three, under the leadership of Sally. We were greeted by bright sunshine and mild temperatures as we gathered for our briefing, before going off to meet the owners of the site, John and Jenny who outlined the tasks in greater detail. The first job to be assigned involved three of us clearing bramble and nettle roots, stones and other debris from a patch by the start of the nature trail that had been earmarked for wild flower planting. A mechanical digger had been brought in on an earlier occasion to prepare the ground, but there was still much for myself, Kevin and Graham to do in order to prepare the soil for planting.  Elsewhere, another group was assigned to planting tree whips - rowan and crab apple in an area across t

Sunningwell, 17th April 2021

It has been wonderful to re-establish Green Gym following the extended lockdowns, to return to our familiar haunts and pick up from where we left off some time ago, albeit with a few restrictions on numbers and activites. Sunningwell Village was the venue for this Saturday's still-not-quite-normal session, working as usual alongside local, Bob Evans. Bob directed the tasks along with Green Gym leader Eleanor. It was suitably warm and sunny for the occasion. A beautiful spring day. As with our previous work parties here, high up the agenda was to clear the duck pond of weed. Thus Adrian and James donned their waders and climbed into the water, while several other more land-loving volunteers raked from the bank and filled wheelbarrows with the rogue weed which was dumped in a pile at the side of the green, behind the churchyard. Elsewhere, two patches of wildflower areas had been designated and marked out on the green, ready for plants and seeds to be sown. Bob provided these, with v

Cothill Fen, 10th April 2021

This weekend we returned to Cothill Fen for the first time in 2021. Again, we were limited on numbers, but were able to field two teams of six members each. One was led by Steph from Natural England, who manages the site, the other by Green Gymmer Adrian. The meeting and start times of the two groups were slightly staggered in accordance with Covid guidelines - to ensure that there was no mixing of people and tools. A number of tasks were on offer. Scything and raking on the fen itself was one, with Jim having brought his scythe. Otherwise, there was path maintenance to attend to and the clearance of brash and logs from the Parsonage Moor side of the site to the far edge of Cothill Fen. The weather was slightly on the chilly side and light rain was a feature of the morning, but it didn't appear to hamper our progress. Indeed, what looked like a daunting pile of cut material was moved in its entirety along the lane to the new resting point. Towards the end of the morning, a bonus ta

Southern Town Park and Ock Valley Walk - Town End, 4th April 2021

With COVID-19 restrictions in mind, the number of Green Gymmers was restricted to a maximum of six for our first session of the spring programme at Southern Town Park.  Knowing that so many were keen to restart, Eleanor and Andrew had agreed to run separate sessions at either end of the Ock River Path - in all 14 Green Gymmers had signed up!  Not a bad turnout for a lovely, if a little chilly, Easter Saturday! Our main task was to tend the native wildflower patch which we started in 2018 with permission from the Council.  Joan, Dieuwke and Barbara soon got to work pulling up nettles to avoid them taking over and prevent walkers from getting stung. Graham cut back bramble to prevent that from overgrowing the pathway. After break, Graham and Dieuwke picked up fallen branches under the ash tree to make another habitat pile for invertebrates and other small animals to shelter. On our way back to the car park, we managed to collect some litter. Not very pleasant as someone had emptied the d