Windsor and Maidenhead

Community mission

A squir-really lovely evening!

9 runners ran to help the Braywick Nature Centre in Windsor and Maidenhead.

  • Sara
  • Charlotte
  • Amy Lovell
  • Sophie Lack
  • Angie Faires
  • Jess Smith
  • Claire Hobson
  • Raymond
  • Nicole Fallon
Wednesday, 9th of September 2020
Led by Amy Lovell

This evening 9 GoodGymers headed into Ockwells Park for our second acorn harvesting community mission. Click here to read Sophie's run report all about last week's tree-mendous effort (1099 acorns harvested!) and to learn how to identify different varieties of oak trees by looking at their earlobes...yes, really, be-leaf it or not!

A big welcome to Nicole, who joined us this evening for her first session. Nicole works for Coop as the Member Pioneer for Maidenhead. This role is all about supporting local causes and bringing the community together, so very much aligned with GoodGym's values. She is really keen to support GoodGym through her work, and she gave us chocolate and bottles of water, so she can definitely come again!

We met at the Ockwells Park car park at 7pm, had a good natter, then ran 500m or so into the woods to meet Alistair from the Braywick Nature Centre. Thank you to Sara and Jess for back-marking, although you can see from the synchronised flying feet in the photos that they were hardly dawdling!

It was great to see Alistair again and he re-capped for us the aims of the acorn game:

  • pick the pale green or golden ones, the bigger the better!

  • avoid the little ones, brown ones, furry ones, ones with strange protrusions (caused by those cheeky gall wasps), holes, or cracks.

  • don't fall in the ditch.

  • take them home and plant them (instructions in Sophie's report from last week), give them to Alistair to squirrel away into pots or keep moist, and/or come back next Thursday to plant them in the ground at Ockwells (sign up here!)

  • Fast forward in your imagination to the year 2220 and marvel at the beautiful forest of mighty oaks that you have helped restore, and the wonderful wildlife they support.

A squirrel in the canopy above listening to Alistair's briefing was a bit miffed that we were going to steal his acorns, so he pelted some at our heads. But we were not galled (geddit!? Really scraping the oak barrel for puns this week...) and we set out on our mission under lovely pastel skies.

While we walked, talked and picked we fell into a peaceful rhythm, getting in touch with our hunter-gatherer roots. And as Alistair pointed out,

What better exercise for the body and tonic for the mind than the gathering of fruit, an activity as ancient and innate for humans as the species itself.

Alistair is very wise. He also casually quoted the Greek proverb:

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit.

Perhaps we should ask him to write the run report next time!

By 8pm the sun had set, head-torches and variations there-of were donned, and we congregated to present Alistair with 4 buckets of lovely acorns. That's acorn-harvesting ticked off the bucket list then!

Then the bats came out and did a little victory air show for us. Fascinating bat fact of the evening: the phrase 'blind as a bat' is simply, well, batty! These amazing flying mammals actually have very good eye sight, as well as having highly sensitive hearing skills.

It was a lovely atmospheric run back by torchlight, once again with Jess and Sara making sure no one was left behind. Thank you ladies! Back in the car park, Amy led a quick fitness session before we scoffed Nicole's generous offering of chocolates and water. Then it was time to make like an oak tree and...leaf, making sure everyone had a safe route home.

Report written by Amy Lovell

Discuss this report

Sophie Lack
Sophie Lack
Thursday September 10th, 2020 07:38

Great report Amy!! X 🦇 🌳

Thursday September 10th, 2020 09:42

Great report Amy and a lovely evening x

Nicole Fallon
Nicole Fallon
Thursday September 17th, 2020 16:40

Fabulous evening, I had so much fun for this great cause. Brilliant report Any.

sign in to add a comment

Amy Lovell
Led by Amy Lovell

Area Activator for Windsor and Maidenhead. Loves running & Pilates and runs to escape from her hoards of small children.

Runners helping out
  • Back markers

    Make sure that no one is left behind

    • Sara
    • Jess Smith

Share the love

Become a member

with an optional £9.95 monthly donation

  • Run to help older people
  • Access sessions across the country
  • Claim your GoodGym t-shirt

Need help with a community project?

If you're a community organisation and have a physical task then we'd like to help.

Request a task

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more