Showing posts from October, 2022

Boundary House Fen, Saturday the 22nd of October, 2022

Thirteen Green Gymmers assembled in the greenkeepers’ compound for our session on Boundary House Fen. We had been asked by the Head Greenkeeper to be on the fen by 10a.m. as there would be a “shotgun start” to a competition, with golf balls flying off from all the tees on the course, so mindful of this warning, we made our way to the fen, where Rod d’Ayala was waiting for us with instructions.      He showed the scythers the areas which needed cutting, while the rest of us had to rake the cut reeds into rolls to be transferred on drag sheets to build up a wall along the ditch on the edge of the fen. Once a passage had been cut to the stream, we also needed to rake the cut reeds into the stream. The idea is to make the water spread out across the fen.      Fortunately, the weather was mild and sunny, unlike the previous day or the following day, and we enjoyed sitting in the sunshine for our break.  Judy Webb had arrived with the cotton grass plants which some of the Green Gymmers had b

Sunningwell Village Green, Saturday 15th of October 2022

This week's blog post was written by the marvellous Sally G.! Adrian was our session leader on Saturday, when we returned to the lovely village of Sunningwell.  The sun did not disappoint and it was a glorious autumnal day.  We soon separated into various groups - the pond and stream clearers, the scythers and the hedgelayers.      The first task was to clear unwanted vegetation (mainly rosebay willowherb) from around the pond and stream to prevent it from taking over.  It was lovely to see how well the purple loosestrife was doing!  We were working under the guidance of Bob Evans and were also joined by a few of the villagers and much appreciated their help.  We had also been asked to clear around newly planted trees including two young elm trees, which are hopefully resistant to Dutch Elm disease and should do well near the stream, and Barbara set up one of the new Green Gym scythes to do this.      Our other main task was to carry out some hedge-laying and Jim set forth with his

Dry Sandford Pit, Saturday 8th of October, 2022

This Saturday, the Abingdon Green Gym team were at Dry Sandford Pit. With bright blue skies and little breeze, it was a wonderful morning to don our favourite pairs of wellies and wade out into the SSSI fen. As we arrived, avid scyther Jim spotted a fox slinking off, and a large muntjac deer. Eleanor D. was our leader for the session, and by the bench which overlooked the fen she gave us our instructions for the day. Our task for the morning was to cut back as many saplings as possible, and to use the cut materials to build up the dead hedge.      The fen was a little tricky to navigate with its hidden rocks and squelchy mud, but since the dry weather of the summer there was not so much water as to make it unnavigable. The team split into two halves to tackle the fen from two sides, and everyone worked hard to tiptoe their way through the fen and ferry their cuttings to the side.      There was lots of sunbathing at breaktime in the autumn sun as we all sat around and had our drinks an

Thrupp Green, Saturday 1st of October 2022

This week's blog post was written by the super Sally G.!:  This week, we had been asked to help the Radley Lakes Trust ("RLT") cut and rake an area of tall vegetation to make it more appealing for ground nesting lapwings when they return to breed next year, as they like to be able to see all around them.  It was a good opportunity for our newly trained scythers to practise their skills and Adrian, our leader for the day, had brought our new scythes for them to use.  We met David Guyoncourt from the RLT at the end of Barton Lane and walked up the path for nearly a mile before we got to Thrupp Green, where David explained our main task for the day (the cut and rake), which also included removing encroaching willow.        Although the skies were a little overcast at the start, that did not deter us and whilst the scythers set up, other members of the team got to work lopping the willow saplings. Once the scythers got underway, there was soon plenty to be raked off into heap