Showing posts from September, 2022

Elizabeth Dayrush Memorial Garden, Saturday 24th of September 2022

The Abingdon Green Gymmers had a pleasantly chilly start to their session at the Elizabeth Dayrush Memorial Garden, and whilst it is not frost-and-flask weather just yet, it was definitely cool enough for many of us to don our toasty warm green gym fleeces! We met on boars hill by the side gate to the Garden, and awaited the (quite large!) gathering that was due for the morning whilst admiring the hips and haws that were making the place feel all autumnal.  We had three main tasks to tackle, all of which were ably explained by Sally, our Session Leader for the day: 1. Scythe the reeds and longer grasses around the pond to allow better access 2. Remove as much of the Crassula helmsii from the pond as possible 3. Clear the lower branches, brambles, and nettles away from the footpaths, an disperse the cuttings on the dead hedges and nature piles around the site  Now firstly, a note about Crassula helmsii! This type of Crassula originates from Australia and New Zealand, where it grows in m

Hinksey Heights Nature Trail, Saturday 17th September 2022

This week's blog post was written by Abingdon Green Gym chair, Eleanor D!:  Eleven of us gathered in the Golf Club car park ready to work on the Nature Trail. We were met by the owner, John Brimble, who outlined the tasks to us, that was, to scythe around the young trees and to dig roundels for the new trees, which would be planted shortly. We set off with two wheelbarrows, one of them very heavily laden with tools, on the long trek to the work site. Fortunately we had a strong young volunteer, D of E Max to pull this barrow. The only hitch came when we reached the raised boardwalk and some of the tools slid off.  At last we reached the site by the Lower Lake. The scythers set to work, clearing around the trees and  the others raked up the grass and piled it up under some bushes.  The morning, which had started off quite chilly, grew warm and sunny and many layers of clothing were discarded.  We were grateful for the two picnic tables and benches when it was time for the break.  Jo

Abingdon Green Gym x Abingdon Naturalists Society, Barton Fields, Saturday 10th of September 2022

This week's blog post was written by Abingdon Green Gym Chair, Eleanor!:  This session saw Green Gymmers at Barton Fields helping the Abingdon Naturalists Green Team with the annual hay raking.  The wild flower meadow had been cut by machine on Wednesday and members of the Green Team had been busy on Thursday and Friday raking the vegetation and transporting it to the heaps on the edge of the meadow. The weather had been quite wet on Wednesday and Thursday so the cut grass was quite heavy. However, it had dried out a bit by Saturday when Green Gym arrived to finish the job, under the direction of Green Team leader, David Guyoncourt. Wild flowers flourish on poor soil, so it is important to rake the vegetation off as quickly as possible after cutting so the nutrients don’t leach back into the soil.  There was still a lot to do. Some people raked the grass into piles while others transported it to the heaps at the edge, either with pitchforks or drag bags and sheets. Everybody worked

Abbey Fish Ponds, Saturday 3rd of September, 2022

This week's blog post was written by the marvellous Max!: This week we were back again locally at Abbey Fishponds, splitting our numbers as one group continued last week's work while another were trained thoroughly in the art of scything by Nicole Clough from Joy of Scything. Despite reduced numbers, the former group still got to work hastily around the same spot as last week, lopping new willow growth, raking up debris and chopping overgrown bushes and trees that narrowed the trails running through the site. Along with these tasks a great effort was put in by a few of the Green Gym volunteers with the felling of a large willow branch. While one group laboured hard it was found at break time that the other had been quietly sitting, listening to the experienced words of Nicole. Of course this would not last all day as later their newly acquired knowledge would be put to the test in practice as they would learn all about the movement and technique needed to scythe before getting