GG Oxford on Tour
10 GoodGymers made their way to help the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust in Oxford.
- Saturday, 14th of May 2022
- Led by Anwen Greenaway
We came, we parkran, we pruned, we weeded.
The Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust has an outpost in Wiltshire - the in-patient Eating Disorder Unit, Cotswold House. As we've done regular work with their Oxford-site (Warneford Hospital) they reached out to us to see if we would be able to help with the ED unit garden too. Obviously the distance makes it's impractical to make this a regular thing, but the garden is a small courtyard space so a lot can be achieved on a single community mission. A day trip with a good deed included sounded like a great idea to us, add in a bit of parkrun tourism and it was a done deal!
We started our outing with Marlborough Common parkrun where we got chatting to someone from GoodGym Swindon who filled us in on what's going on in their area. Sadly, no-one from GG Swindon joined us on the task, but fingers crossed we have more success with collaborating next time we're in the area. Then after a coffee stop we headed over to Cotswold House at Savernake Hospital.
Cotswold House was fairly quiet this Saturday morning as many of the patients went home for the weekend, and so we were able to have free run of the garden without getting in anyone's way. Probably a good thing that some of our eclectic conversations weren't overheard by non-GoodGymers; ranging from relative quality of secateurs, to cockchafer beetles, and some light peer-pressure to persuade more GoodGymers to give parkrun a try!
At first glance the garden area looked in pretty good shape and we figured we'd do a little pruning and weeding and be on our way in an hour, but as is often the case, once we got started on the task we discovered that there was more to do than it first seemed. Due to some of the plants attracting clouds of little black flies the pruning had to be more extensive than we'd expected - not too relaxing to sit in a garden surrounded my midgey flies! - and getting to work we uncovered ivy and brambles which needed cutting back before they completely smothered the roses, and several fun garden sculptures which were getting swallowed up by shrubbery. Raking away the dead leaves, some watering, and weeding the pots and raised beds also got done. We even hosed down some of the windows which had got splattered by bird poo and restrung fairy lights.
After 2 hours we'd amassed 18 sacks of prunings!
Post task we hit the market in Marlborough for a picnic lunch in the sunshine, rounding off our day with ice-creams as we headed back to the cars.
What a lovely day :-)
Report written by Anwen Greenaway
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Led by Anwen Greenaway
Goodgym Coordinator for Oxford. Trail runner, often muddy.
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