We've been asked to tackle a few tasks at the top of South Park to make it safer and more pleasant for everyone.
Jobs will include:
* Raking up fallen leaves.
* Clearing the park railings of ivy (revisiting our first ever GoodGym task!).
The ivy covering the railings is a safety issue at this end of the park - since the park is open 24 hours it would be much safer for people using the path if they could see into the park before entering, particularly in the dark.
* Litter picking along Morrell Avenue/Cheney Lane.
Bring your gardening gloves and head torches. We'll bring the GoodGym litter pickers and lights, and the Distillery will provide some other tools.
The Oxford Artisan Distillery has offered a complimentary G&T or soft drink to all GoodGymers taking part in this task. Please wear your GoodGym Tshirt if you have one so it's easy to identify who is a GoodGym volunteer.
* Anyone wishing to run or walk to the task as a group please meet in the car park of the Richard Benson Hall, 276b Cowley Rd at 6pm. There won’t be a bag drop available but we can use the toilets there. It's under a mile to the top of South Park from there. NB: due to the social after the task there won't be a run back to Cowley Road this week.
* If you would prefer to meet at the task please meet us at 6:15pm outside the gate of The Oxford Artisan Distillery.
ARK-T centre is a community-minded arts centre and the home of the Waste 2 Taste cafe. Along the side of the centre it has a playground space which is open for members of the public to use every day. Over the summer months the play space has been heavily used, and has also attracted some anti-social behaviour, so the space had to be closed for a couple of weeks to tidy-up. We've been called in by Ark-T a couple of times previously at this time of year to help get the play space ship-shape, so we're old hands at it now.
While 4 of us disappeared off to get extra tools and a wheelbarrow from the Waste2Taste garden all of the other GoodGymers got straight to work weeding, digging out mushrooms (best not to take risks on whether they're the poisonous kind or not!), clearing out the storage benches (SO much rotten wood and heaps of wellies inside), and pruning back the buddleia and willow which were eye-level hazards.
The litter picker team whizzed around the playground, along the lane and plogged the surrounding roads, striking gold early on with a bucket (repurposed for our garden waste) and an onion, as well as the usual cans and (literal) crap.
Back in the playground we rigged up our portable lights and deployed the head torches to keep going as the daylight faded. Leaves swept up, brown garden waste bin filled and several trugs of gardening detritus and plastic tubing were piled up ready for the skip which will be arriving soon.
I call that a highly effective hour's work - Great work dream team!
If you're not running or volunteering at the half on Sunday and would like to get out of the city for a bit then come along on a 15km walk from Oxford where we'll follow the river down to the Radley boat house. It's a flat route but might be a little bit muddy in places. Will probably be 3.5-4 hours. Bring some sandwiches along. There will also be a pub stop at the end (Magdalen Arms).
Meet at: The Missing Bean coffee place on Magdalen Road at 10:30
View the route https://onthegomap.com/s/vnbal087
It is always a joy to go to the Children's Allotment and today was no different.
Alice and her team are busy putting the final plans in place for the grand opening at the end of October and needed a bit of Goodgym pixie dust sprinkled over a fee jobs.
Enjoying some surprisingly hot autumn sunshine we leveled off and membraned some area of the polytunnel in readiness for some new raised beds. The entrance to the site was also spruced up and tidied (all worms disturbed were given a new home in the compost area), kale was planted and compost ferried across the site.
We ended our task with some acrobatic apple-picking and were sent on our merry ways with apples for crumble/cake/juice etc.
As the nights get darker we're moving over to tasks in well-lit areas. Tonight we will be heading to a task we've done a couple of times before at this time of year at the Ark-T Centre. The Ark-T Play space gets heavy use over the summer months, and when it gets to this time of year it's always in need of a tidy up. We will be weeding, pruning, sweeping and generally giving it a thorough autumn clear up.
We will have tools, portable lights and litter pickers, but if you have a head torch do bring it along. Gardening gloves will also be useful.
* Anyone wishing to run to the task as a group please meet in the car park of the Richard Benson Hall, 276b Cowley Rd at 6pm. There won’t be a bag drop available but we can use the toilets there. It's a little over a mile to Ark-T from there.
* If you would prefer to meet at the task please meet us at 6:15pm at the Ark-T Centre
We’re rushing to beautify the roadsides of Oxford before the bulb-planting window passes for this year!
We've designated this a 'starter session' as it's particularly suitable as a first GoodGym task. Of course, seasoned GoodGymers are really welcome, and we'd love your help explaining about GoodGym to newcomers. We will have refreshments available.
Please bring a trowel/bulb planter if you have one and your own gardening gloves. Other tools will be supplied.
Meeting point: The Up in Arms pub, Marston Rd, OX3 0EN.
If you can’t stay for the whole session that’s no problem, every little helps!