Owl-ways a hoot at Ockwells
13 GoodGymers made their way 3.0km to help their local community in Windsor and Maidenhead.
- Wednesday, 14th of June 2023
This evening's sunny session took us back to Ockwells for more tree care. Our walk and run looped through the lovely and ancient Thrift Wood, where we admired the foxgloves and the path we've helped to improve with woodchip on previous sessions. When we arrived at the planting compound, we were treated to the most wonderful sight...a barn owl was on the hunt, swooping and gliding over the planting site and surrounding meadow. I'm talon' you, it was beautiful!
The owl no doubt had rich pickings, as the park was a-buzz with insect life, and hopefully plenty of mice, voles and similar too. When we first starting harvesting acorns to plant at this site twoo years ago, Owl-istair from Groundwork South told us that although the woodland we were creating would take hundreds of years to mature, the positive impact on biodiversity would be owl-most immediate, and it was great to see this in action...even if we did become part of the food-chain ourselves, despite Gillian's generous efforts with the insect repellent.
Our job at the planting compound was to weed and mulch around saplings, giving them a boost in their fight for surviv-owl. Thanks to Claire for briefing everyone, having learned the ropes on her previous session here. The saplings near the entrance had owl-ready received this treatment, so we had to hunt for unpampered saplings further in, carrying mulch in buckets.
As well as working on saplings protected by guards, Georgeta tended to lots of unprotected baby oaks, which are likely to have grown from the acorns we harvested back in 2021.
Sol found just one sapling that hadn't survived and said a prayer as she removed it's guard and laid it to rest.
Unfortunately the long grass was owl a bit much for our hayfever owl-lergy sufferers, Jenni, Kanika, and myself, but it wasn't too mulch of problem, as we owl-so had the option of adding some more woodchip to the path.
It wasn't twoo long before it was time to head back. We took a different route across more open meadows, and the park looked particularly beau-owl-tiful in the setting sun. Twit twoo!
Many thanks to our talon-ted photographer Kelley, who took many of this evening's gorgeous photos.
When the runners got back to the flag-pole, Georgeta and Claire impressed me and Gillian by energetically flying off for a lap of the playing fields while we waited to cheer in the walkers. We then had a quick circuit and stretch to round off the session. We finished by having a great laugh with a dog owner, who had to half carry his dog to his car, because he didn't want to leave the GoodGym party.
Owl-ways a hoot to spend a Wednesday evening with these birds of a feather. Owl be back (but next time with longer trousers and more hayfever remedies)!
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Led by Amy L
Area Activator for Windsor and Maidenhead. Loves running & Pilates and runs to escape from her hoards of small children.
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