Community mission

It Wasn't Any Shrubble!

4 GoodGymers made their way to help the Ingestre TRA in Camden.

  • John Shirley
  • Alex Murtough
  • Charlie Linton
  • Islington runner
Saturday, 2nd of March 2024
Led by Alex Murtough

I fell asleep expecting a morning of pond digging. I think I even dreamt about it. Spades and mud, and digging deeper and deeper - first one pond, then two, then multiple puddles and pools - and people shouting "dig faster, Alex, dig faster we said, Alex, the ponds need digging, Alex!!!......"

...and then I woke and saw... the rain...

... which meant a damp journey to the lovely Ingestre Road Community Centre (a stone's throw from Tufnell Park station), where I was met by the wonderful grouping of Charlie, Emily, John, former Camden AA Pete, and Ingestre TRA supremo, Helen.

If you haven't been to Ingestre Woods, it's a tucked away spot of green sanctuary, housing mature trees, winding pathways, and a whole host of natural wildlife - it was a joy to be there today.

Having donned gloves and zipped up our waterproofs, we looked at the pond and agreed that it was simply too much of a pond today to be dug, and we swiftly turned our attentions to a large and expansive shrub covering one of the slopes. Thick branches mixed with green foliage and small berries in a mass of dominating nature, and we later learned (thanks to Charlie's quick eyes) that it was a cotoneaster, native to the mountains of Tibet... and the slopes of Kentish Town!

Across two hours, we collectively snipped, sawed, cut, and pruned, removing a quite massive amount of nature whilst sharing conversation and stories - it was wonderful.

Helen, Pete, and the Ingestre TRA will be using the cut away shrubbery to create a dry wood hedge, and the newly aired space will mean the surrounding fence can be repaired, the ground cleaned, and new ideas for plants considered.

Thank you, everyone - I had such a lovely time - and your work is hugely appreciated!

Report written by Alex Murtough

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