Community mission

Short bread, long distance

5 GoodGymers made their way to help the Friends of Grove Farm and Friends of Grove Farm in Ealing.

  • Jenni H
  • Sevan
  • Genevieve Moss
  • Kash
  • Adrienne
Saturday, 25th of February 2023
Led by Kash

This Saturday GoodGym Ealing teamed up with Friends of Grove Farm for the second time to fight with the Bramble Empire for freedom of wooden enemies... I mean wood anemones!

Adrienne was first to arrive at the task and it was her first GoodGym session - well done Adrienne! 🎉

Grove Farm is probably the furthest North site supported GoodGym Ealing. It hides a beautiful woodland area which is absolutely worth a journey all the way to North Greenford. The Three Brambleers, Jenni, Sevan and Kash, who teamed up for the second Saturday in a row to battle brambles on the borders of Hounslow, it was a long way up North, so they had to cheat a bit to get to the task on time - but worry not - all three did a fair amount running and walking afterwards to get to their third mission of the day. Gen cycled from West Ealing for her bramble bashing and raking workout, then cycled back. Adrienne needed only a short walk to get to Grove Farm but a very long distance to cover to reach GoodGym Ealing - she came to London all the way from the US!

After a briefing from Friends of Grove Farm Anna, the GoodGym team got into action with shears, loppers and rakes to remove the remaining brambles by the path and make space for wood anemones. They will hopefully get enough sunlight to start flowering in March and turn the place into a massive flowery carpet 🌼 We raked the enemies of anemones back towards the dead hedge to show the brambles living on the other side what happens if they cross it! Gen felt pangs of conscience cutting the brambles, imagining a little bramble begging for its life, surrounded by a pair of sharp blades. Anna assured her we spare a lot of brambles and let them live behind the dead hedge where they provide a home for many wild animal species.

Our main incentive for today's job was biscuits 🍪, shortbreads to be exact, which Anna passed to us more than once - how good does that sound for joining the next Grove Farm task? Another bonus was a talk from Martin by the end of the session who shared his knowledge about wild service trees - very rare trees from the rose family that grow on clay grounds. The wild service trees (Sorbus torminalis), along with wood anemones and bluebells, are indicators of an ancient woodland growing on the grounds of today's Grove Farm over 400 years ago! We learned that the fruits of those tree species are called chequers and were once used to flavour beer. That's apparently why some of the pubs have the chequer board 🏁 as their symbol.

Next month we will be back at Grove Farm for another conservation day - no more bramble bashing but an equally solid workout. Watch this space!

Report written by Kash

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Led by Kash

Running? Lifting? I'll do that only for GoodGym.

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    • Sevan

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