Group run

A pizza plogging

24 GoodGymers made their way 3.5km to help the Oxford City Council in Oxford.

  • Charlotte Hansford
  • Cassy Fiford
  • Anwen Greenaway
  • Rachael H
  • Bethan Greenaway
  • Julia
  • Sarah
  • Aoife Fitzgerald
  • Oxford runner
  • Holly
  • Matt Burton
  • Miriam
  • Louise Hall
  • Katie Fellows
  • Samantha Drewett
  • Sophie Wilkinson
  • Hattie Elvins
  • Emma
  • Thomas Heath
  • Ben Gremson
  • Matthieu Marshall
  • Henry Gibson
  • Genevieve
  • Fred Collman
Wednesday, 8th of June 2022
Led by Anwen Greenaway

That rare thing: a litter pick with not much litter!

A couple of years a go Port Meadow was a litter hot spot, with tonnes of litter being left on the meadow regularly. Since then the situation has improved, but as it's a SSSI, a scheduled ancient monument, and also home to cows and ponies, it's always worth a scout around to check that the litter isn't getting out of hand. With good weather forecast over the Jubilee weekend we thought that a lot of people might come to the meadow, and that might mean that there was a need for a clean-up this week. Of course, we all know that the long weekend was actually a bit of a wash out! Still, we turned up en masse to scour the river bank and favourite picnic spots just in case.

Julian Cooper, the Port Meadow ranger, met us at the gate with sturdy bags and litter pickers, and directed us to the areas he wanted us to check over. Half a dozen GoodGymers set off towards Burgess Field to clear up some hazardous broken glass, while the rest of the group pottered along the edge of the meadow, over the bridge to Fiddlers Island, and along the Thames Path past the boat yard.

Port Meadow was a Victorian rubbish dump, and bottle diggers take spades to it to search for potentially valuable Victorian or Edwardian glass bottles. Bottle digging is hazardous as the holes are rarely filled back in by the diggers, causing danger of 'trip' injury to humans and livestock, and it also disturbs glass and other Victorian waste below the surface exposing it and causing the risk of serious cuts. Livestock have died in the past from injuries caused by broken glass. The recent rain had brought more glass to the surface where bottle diggers had vandalised the meadow, and our breakaway group filled a bag with pieces of broken glass. Literal life savers.

Meanwhile the rest of our team meandered along the riverbank and across the meadow. We were surprised and delighted by how sparse the litter was. Aoife's crew, who headed over towards the boat yard were the only group who found significant quantities of litter. Other than that it was a few cans, wrappers, bottles, a blanket, but really not at all bad considering how it used to be. In fact, the situation was so decent that we called it a night a bit ahead of schedule which meant that we just escaped the downpour. Unfortunately, the hardy bunch who headed to The Medley for pizza afterwards got a thorough soaking alongside their dinner, but you can't win them all, and the pizza was worth it.

What's a GoodGymer to do when caught in the rain without a rain coat?! Kudos to Henry and Julia for taking part in this week's Project Runway challenge of making an outfit out of a spare litter bag. Garland of joy went to Louise - Happy Birthday for last week!

Report written by Anwen Greenaway

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Anwen Greenaway
Led by Anwen Greenaway

Goodgym Coordinator for Oxford. Trail runner, often muddy.

Runners helping out
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    • Sophie Wilkinson
    • Katie Fellows
    • Aoife Fitzgerald
    • Bethan Greenaway

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Food Forest

Wednesday 17:45 - 19:30
Led by Anwen Greenaway
East Oxford Community Centre

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