Showing posts from August, 2022

Abbey Fish Ponds, Saturday 28th of August 2022

 This week's blog post was written by the cavalier Kevin!:  Abbey Fish Ponds is one of the GG's local sites, which makes it easy for volunteers to to attend by foot or bike. The nature reserve has three springs rising within its boundary, making it a small oasis for foxes, muntjac deer and the odd water vole (as well as Abingdon Green Gym volunteers). Ponds have been dug to encourage a further mix of animals, although we have since blocked some of them off to spread the flow of spring water over a bigger area, which will help improve the diversity of plants and creatures. We have been working on and off here for many years doing reed scything/raking, ditch clearing, Himalaya balsam plucking and scrub and tree growth lopping. It was the latter that we set to work clearing the summers growth and more, from the paths that are frequently used by the local residence for dog walking etc. Adrian had a clear picture of what was needed having done a recce with the Earth Trust site manag

Southern Town Park, Saturday 21st of August 2022

This week's blog post was written by blogger of brilliance, Eleanor D.!:  There was a change of venue for this session. It was on the programme as Barton Fields hay raking but the meadow had not yet been cut. However, there was work to be done on the wild flower patch in South Town Park, so we went there instead. At the end of a very dry Summer the wild flower patch needed to be cut down and raked. There was also, as usual in this area, plenty of litter to clear. Sally set to work with her scythe and soon there  was plenty of dry vegetation  to be raked up. Some people cut back encroaching brambles while others uprooted nettles with mini mattocks and garden forks.  There was a nasty surprise for the litter picking volunteers as the picnic area where we made our base camp was strewn with little metal nitrous oxide ampoules and some larger canisters of this gas. This picnic table is a popular partying place for such activities but these nitrous oxide containers are used in catering f

Boundary House Fen, Saturday 13th of August 2022

This week's blog post was written by outstanding authors Helen and Henry!:  Nine Green Gymmers braved the heat on Saturday for a session at Boundary House Fen. We were met by Rod who showed us our tasks for the morning: raking up material that had already been scythed, continuing the scything work and lopping/sawing some brambles and logs.   Sally, Barbara and Jim set about scything, whilst the rest of the team got to work clearing the ground and making compact and tight heaps with the cut material. This was mostly grasses and rushes but a small patch of sneaky Himalayan Balsam was spotted and quickly dispatched to prevent it spreading in the fen.   At breaktime we took shelter under a tree not only for some much-needed hydration but also to enjoy some delicious chocolate cake kindly provided by Sally for Eleanor’s birthday. Rested up, we continued with our earlier tasks, thankful for a bit of dappled shade provided by the trees in the area where we worked. With the heaps full and

Sustrans x Abingdon Green Gym - Reade Avenue, Abingdon, Monday 8th of August 2022

This midweek blogette was written by the sensational Sally!:  Abingdon Green Gym has been doing the occasional mid-week session, working with Sustrans on clearing vegetation from the foot/cycle path at the back of Reade Avenue. A small but select gathering of four returned to the site on Monday, 8 August to continue the work.  Our leader, Adrian, had managed to get hold of a number of bags branded with the “Surfers against Sewage” label and although we’re probably based as far from the coast as it’s possible to be in England, it did seem a fitting use for them!   While Helen and Denise concentrated on cutting back some buddleia, Adrian worked a bit further along the path clearing overgrown vegetation.  There was also a heap of cut branches which needed clearing.  By break time (much needed as it was hot thirsty work), two brown wheelie bins (one of which was on loan thanks to a kind local resident) and about 6 bags were full.  We’d each brought our own drinks but the Green Gym biscuits

Manor Farm, Saturday 30th of July 2022

This week's blog post was written by the dream team, Helen and Henry!:  Manor Farm is a site that Abingdon Green Gym has been going to for many years but there was still plenty of Himalayan Balsam for the 16-strong group of Green Gymmers to tackle this week.   To cover as much ground as possible, we split into several groups – some worked along the lane where the balsam had been very successful at growing on the roadside, whilst others made good use of their wellies by crossing the stream to get to the balsam in the wooded area.    After a good initial session of balsam bashing, we reassembled for the tea break, where Kevin reported he had seen a crayfish in the brook and Sally drew our attention to the call of a yellowhammer.   Powered by tea and biscuits, we mustered for a final round of balsam pulling and although we could have been there for many more hours to fully clear the area, we were nonetheless pleased with what we had achieved.    The balsam hoards Getting to work Resis