Last night was a GoodGym Hounslow first as we got to build our very own haystack! Although it very nearly didn't happen...
After a nice warm run down to the park where the route was kindly marshalled by the people working for the huge secret cinema event happening in Gunnersbury Park, we arrived to find a load of rakes waiting for us. So far, so good.
Off we set on our merry way, until we realised the directions were slightly more complicated than my tiny mind could cope with. Luckily we had Gunnersbury guru Chris to figure it out (ie properly read my email) and after a long old hike and an even longer discussion about what exactly a trapezoid is, we eventually found the place we were meant to be (we think. Hope).
We got stuck into an intense raking session which was also a surprisingly good arm workout, and soon had the makings of a very pleasing haystack. We are reliably informed that the reason the grass needs stacking is so that it doesn’t decay back into the soil, thereby replenishing the nutrient levels. The patch of ground we worked on was fertilized a few years back, and, without heavy management including pesticides it will get overrun with weeds. So all that raking will create a better environment for a more natural mix of meadow plants which would otherwise be out competed. So there you go - a great hay-based task!
Next week we have a community mission at Turnahm Green, and next weekend there is also the opportunity to volunteer at Osterley junior parkrun. Happy GoodGyming, one and all.
We have been asked by the gardening team at Gunnersbury Park to help create a haystack following the recent heat wave. Come and spend your Wednesday evening helping keep this much-loved public space beautiful.
Hammersmith and Fulham
Five GoodGymers met at Ravenscourt park this morning to help out the Friends of the Walled Gardens at their monthly session. We were back to the usual task of removing bindweed today, albeit in a much more densely-packed bed… despite lots of soft greenery, we still managed to find a few thistles in there (and definitely came off second best!)
Chat flowed throughout the task as usual. Perhaps the most hilarious moment was our seeming complete lack of sense of direction as we tried to point in the direction of Gunnersbury park to show Ita, newbie to the Hammersmith area, which direction it was in. After lots of laughing, and a tad too much staring at the sun, we got there!
An hour later, we tidied up our piles of bindweed and called it a day, heading towards the garden centre café. Great job team, and hopefully see you again soon; see what's coming up here.
Hammersmith and Fulham
Help the Friends of the Walled Garden at Ravenscourt Park with weeding and removing bindweed from the walled garden.
Please bring gardening gloves if you have them 🧤. Tools will be provided.
The Paddenwick Road entrance of Ravenscourt Park is the closest entrance for the walled garden
It wasn't the longest run to the task last night - although we made up for that with a three part fitness session a bit later on!
It was great to see so many of you, old faces and new, and together we walked the 30 seconds over to Turnham Green where we met head volunteer Jan. The job was to prepare the ground for planting three special new flower beds and then sow the seeds in patriotic colours ahead of the Jubilee.
Luckily we had all the tools we could possibly hope for to do the job, from rakes to spades, ground scritychy-scratch forks, and one amazing turf stripper that we think should be supplied to every GG group in the country such was its brilliance.
There were three beds to do and work quickly got underway to take up the turf, remove the roots, and crumb the soil so it was ready for the seeds. One quick sprinkle and much arm waving later to keep the magpies away and we were done. Great work everybody.
Then came the fitness, and to make up for the lack of run to the task we started off with single file running, each taking turns to be leader and vary the pace - with a little bit of dancing and weaving thrown in for good measure!
Then we attempted a task master style counting/squatting/jumping game which I think eventually we cracked, before moving on to a plank and sprint challenge which was very impressive!
Next week we have a run to Berrymede school to help out with their massive garden job] (https://www.goodgym.org/happenings/helping-in-the-garden). We also have an upcoming community mission on the 5th June helping set up for a local Jubilee street party aiming to bring together local people. You can sign up here to lend a hand - we need lots of help for this one, so tell your friends!
Have a happy week of running and doing good!
Jan, lead volunteer at Friends of Turnham Green, has asked us to come and help out at this much-loved public space in Chiswick. We will be helping out in the wild meadow.