Showing posts from July, 2022

Parsonage Moor, Saturday 23rd of July 2022

This week's blog post was written by the sensational Sally G.!:  This week, Abingdon Green Gym was at Parsonage Moor, which is a BBOWT nature reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest and one of the Cothill Fens.  Our leader, Adrian, had advised us that wellington boots would not be required.  The weather has been so hot and dry, that alarmingly, even the fen is running dry!  A group of 17 gathered in the Cothill School overflow car park opposite the Merry Miller and made our way with the tools along String Lane to the kissing gate that leads onto Parsonage Moor.  Halfway along the boardwalk, we set up base camp and Adrian explained the morning's tasks.  He would show the scythers the area of old rush to be cleared with the assistance of rakers to follow.  Michele and James volunteered to cut back vegetation overgrowing the board walk and were assisted by some of the rakers until the scythers had got going, whilst Lesley and Rosie were shown where the ragwort was growing,

Boundary House Fen, Saturday 16th of July 2022

This week's blog post was written by Chair Extraordinaire - Eleanor D.!  When we arrived at the golf course, we found that the gate we usually enter by was chained up on both sides. It had obviously been rammed and damaged so we had to park on the verge. Meanwhile, Kevin had driven further along with the tools so he could park by the roadside next to the fen.  There were reeds for the scythers to cut, while the rest of us raked up the reeds that had already been cut and put them in the stream and the pond or on heaps at the edge of the fen, according to Rod d’Ayala’s instructions. The weather was very hot and the fen itself has no shade, so by tea break time we were all flagging.  A few of us were sent to search and destroy any Himalayan Balsam in the wooded area, which gave us a short welcome break under the trees but sadly (I never thought I would say that!) we didn’t find any so it was back to the fen. We must have done too good a job on the HB last Summer.   Judy Webb was also

Ock River Path, Saturday 9th of July 2022

 This week's blog post was written by AGG Chair, Eleanor D.! There were only eleven of us, a smaller number than usual, at this session, other events in Abingdon having lured away some of our regulars.  Our tasks were to pull up Himalayan Balsam, to widen part of the path leading to New Cut Mill, where nettles and reeds had encroached and there were overhanging willow branches, and to pick up litter, of which there is always an abundance in the Tesco area. Sally set to work with the scythe, cutting back reeds and nettles and James cut back the willow branches. There was plenty of work pulling up Himalayan Balsam in both the woodland and the ditch. Philip did a sterling job of picking up litter.  By the break, the sun had come out, but our base camp was in the shade of the trees. After the break some of us changed tasks.  There was a lot of raking up to be done and Adrian decided to go into the river (not mentioned in the risk assessment!) to pull up the balsam that couldn’t be reac

Hinksey Heights Fen, Saturday 3rd of July 2022

This week's blog post was written by the daring duo, Helen and Henry!: Hinksey Heights Fen was the site of this week’s Green Gym. We met near the Harcourt Hill Field meadow, welcomed two new members (Greg and Amy) and, following a safety briefing from Sally, headed out to the fen with the tools, enjoying the wildflowers and the views out to Oxford on the way.   Judy Webb from the Oxfordshire Fens Project gave an overview of the fen system, and showed us the positive impact of the restoration work that has been underway since 2018. We then moved on to our work location for the day in an area further round the trail where the rush was tall and the overgrowth was encroaching on the path. Many of us set to work pulling orange balsam from the area whilst Sally, the only scyther in the group, tackled the rush. Once the orange balsam was swiftly dispatched by many keen pairs of hands, work moved to pull horsetail from the path edge.    After refuelling ourselves with drinks and biscuits d