Showing posts from January, 2022

Ock Path, Saturday 29th January 2022

We had a lovely large group of volunteers for our session at the Ock River Path in Abingdon this Saturday! The weather was a little chilly and windy, but along the sheltered path it was rather pleasant in the winter sun. Our main tasks for the day, as explained by session leader Eleanor D., were litter picking and felled-branch sawing.  Our litter picking team were particularly successful and we managed to collect a whole trolley full of rubbish and recycling! Other volunteers valiantly sawed up larger branches to distribute in nature piles, and yet more managed to clear one of the bridges of moss.  We also took part in the RSPB's #BigGardenBirdWatch for an hour at the end of the session, and managed to spot:  x1 woodpecker  x7 wood pigeons  x6 gold-finches (not counting the sadly deceased one we found) x2 mallard ducks x1 magpie x1 robin (who checked up on me every now and then) x3 great tits x10 blue tits 

Hinksey Heights Golf Course, Saturday 22nd January 2022

This week's blog post was written by AGG chair, Eleanor D., and accompanied with photos by volunteer (and former chair) Kevin!  This Saturday’s session was at Hinksey Heights Nature Reserve, where we have been several times before. Having found odd places to park along the roadside, the golf club car park being full, we gathered together so John Brimble, the landowner, could outline the tasks that needed to be done. John is in the process of creating and extending this nature reserve with the help of volunteers, which include a lake, a calcareous fen, woodland, hedgerows and meadows.  The tasks were to cut back brambles at the entrance to the footpath, widen the footpath, open up a new pathway and fill in a gap with a dead hedge. We split up into groups to start work. The weather was dull and cloudy but dry and not too cold and the work kept us  warm anyway. By tea break time the new pathway was open and the dead hedge was almost complete. The second part of the morning was mostly

Dry Sandford Pit, Saturday 15th of January, 2022

This Saturday, Abingdon Green Gym were out in force at Dry Sandford Pit. It was a very frosty and foggy morning when we met in the Dry Sandford carpark, and we were all keen to get started to that our Green Gym fleeces, as well as our fingers, didn’t start to seize up! Ably led by session leader Sally, who gave us a quick task and safety briefing, we donned high-viz jackets (on account of the fog) and headed down to our ‘camp site’ which looked over the beautiful reed bed where the cattle graze in the summer. The main tasks for the day were a) to move a pile of general cuttings over to one of the nature piles deeper into the reserve, and b) to make a fence from the cuttings which the week-day volunteer team had made. Making the fence was a team effort, and involved: ·         Selecting the girthier and longer branches from the pile which could be whittled into stakes. Mags and Rosie selected these, and then made sure to lop off any sticky-outy bits before moving them up to the Whittl

Hinksey Heights Golf Course Footpath, Saturday 1st of January, 2022

Happy new year to all of our Abingdon Green Gym Blog readers! After a week off to accommodate for the Christmas weekend, some ABG members were champing at the bit to be back outside and hacking at some over-enthusiastic brambles. This temperate New Years Day a hardy team of volunteers met at the entrance to Hinksey Heights Golf Course, and hoped that the weather forecast that promised little rain would hold. Our task for the morning was to clear a footpath, half of which was overgrown and the other half of which was entirely impassable.  On his scouting visit to the site, session leader Adrian had also noted that a willow had been partially brought down over the festive season, and that this needed to be chopped up to allow access to the end of the path.  As the wind was blowing across the main road and it was beginning to rain, Adrian wisely decided not to light the bonfire of cuttings today. Instead, our duty was strictly clearing and depositing, which was done with appropriate new y