Showing posts from May, 2022

Abbey Fishponds, Saturday 28th of May 2022

This week's blog post was written by Abingdon Green Gym Chair, Eleanor D.!:  For this Green Gym session we were at Abbey Fishponds in Abingdon. This Nature Reserve, between Radley Road and Audlett Drive, is looked after by the Earth Trust. There was plenty of scything and raking to be done and some people who hadn’t been “scythe trained” got the opportunity to try it out. Cutting the long grass and reeds gives the wild flowers a chance to come through and a good patch of ragged robin the attractive pink flower in the photo, which thrives in damp places, had been established.  A less popular task was pulling up nettles. Some of us went to cut back the vegetation from the path through the reserve and the tarmac foot and cycle path running alongside. A resident with a bike was very grateful for the cutting back of an elder tree overhanging the path. The flowers were not wasted, however, and are currently being turned into elderflower cordial. Tea break was a special occasion as we cel

Dry Sandford Pit, Saturday 21st of May 2022

This week's blog post was written by Green Gym Chair, Eleanor D:  This Saturday we were at Dry Sandford Pit, a site managed by BBOWT. It is a former quarry and has sandy cliffs containing many fossils from the Jurassic period. There is also a calcareous fen, grassland and woodland. There were twelve of us in the work party, and we welcomed new member, Sam.  Our tasks were to dig up sycamore and hawthorn shoots which were encroaching on the grassland, clear around the gates and cut back vegetation encroaching on the footpaths. Uprooting sycamore seedlings was much harder than it looked at first as we found many were sprouting from a hefty root, so the tree popper was needed for some of them. The hawthorn we dug up was not all wasted as a couple of people took some home, hoping to plant a garden hedge.  The weather was sunnier than expected and we were soon quite warm. Buzzing insects were also a bit of a problem. After our break on a sunny bank, most people set off on a tour of the

Hinksey Heights Nature Trail, Saturday 30th of April, 2022

This Saturday we were lucky enough to have the perfect weather for Green Gymming - blue skies, sunshine, no breeze, and plenty of good company!  We met Sally, our session leader, at the carpark of Hinksey Heights Nature Trail. Although the weather forecast had predicted a chilly start, it was already almost t-shirt weather when we arrived. We had three main tasks for the day, which Sally helpfully explained as we walked down to our campsite for the morning: 1. Create habit piles from dead wood near the beginning of the trail  2. Collect tree guards which saplings had outgrown ready to be collected by the Hinskey Heights tree team (taking care to also collect the wooden stakes, and the plastic ties which need to be carefully recycled) 3. Cut back some of the dead brambles by the stream to stop them choking up the stream, and creating nature piles from them As soon as we set down our tools Sally lifted her hand and told us to listed: a cuckoo was singing close to us in the woods! For thi