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 during the break, some of the group continued with the horsetail pulling, some removed the seed heads from pendulous sedge (to stop the plants dropping hundreds of seeds) and others raked and cleared the areas which had been scythed. With everyone suitably invigorated from a hard morning’s work, we collected up the tools and made our way back through the fen and the meadow before all heading home. 

Judy showing us the work that has been done in area 1 of Hinksey Heights Fen

Marsh Lousewort - a root parasite that is key to the restoration project

Everyone hard at work

Orange Balsam defeated 

Rosie with Horsetails 


A Scarlet Tiger Moth

Ursula with pendulous sedge 

Chief scyther Sally

Henry clearing some of the fruits of Sally's labour


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