Your brilliant Tower Hamlets Task Force have come up with a solution-and-a-half to get you all together for fun and fitness this evening.
Yep, say hola to the fitness bubble.
We will all meet together at 6.15 at Cranbrook Community Food Garden, for an evening co-led by Laura and Leo.
6 lucky runners will have the opportunity to join Janet and Eileen for a variety of gardening tasks at this thriving little Community Food Garden.
5 other lucky runners will make their way with Leo (6 in total) to Meath Gardens for a lap or two of this beautiful park, before enjoying a litter-pick and a little more fitness.
5 other run/jog/walkers will meander to Meath with Laura, to join the others, and disperse around the beautiful gardens for some litter-picking followed by a short fitness session by Laura.
With full credit to Becs for tonight's report title!
It was a beautiful late summer evening as we gathered in Meath Gardens for the latest instalment of the project to clear brambles to make way for a canalside pathway between the University site and the residential area north of Meath. Even as we were bathed in the last rays of sunshine though, it became clear that tonight's task was The One Where The Headtorches Came Out Again....
Not to be put off though, a fine group of Goodgymmers were swiftly set to work by Tunde and our other friends at Friends of Meath. A few were dispatched to ensure the gardens were litter free for residents to enjoy, a couple were set to work with a saw to take down some tree stumps, and the rest of us took up our secateurs and shears to make the final push to clear the brambles all the way up to the bridge. It wasn't long before, guided by Laura's ground lights, we had breakthrough and the path was clear! Just one final section (for next week!) on the other side of the bridge. Easy!
The evening also yielded its fair share of treasures. A small colony of ladybirds caught the eye of a few of the bramble clearers, followed shortly by a frog, spotted by eagle-eyed Rebecca. Asia at Friends of Meath was delighted with it - a juvenile common frog - as a demonstration of just what an important conservation area the gardens are (pic of frog, slightly bemused at the attention it was receiving, attached).
The evening also saw the unearthing of an interesting historical relic - a post used to moor commercial barges (hopefully I have that right!) which Tunde estimated is likely to be over 100 years old.
The things you find under the brambles!
Do join us for the final installment of this particular challenge, next week!
We've been clearing this pretty area by the canal with Friends of Meath Gardens for a number of weeks now! And we're so nearly there: "One last push next week and we'll have made it to the bridge!" exclaimed Task Owner Tunde last Monday.
And so we return to what we started, in a well spaced-out group, and we'll have overspill tasks available in case the area does become congested!
Here's what you need to know
Task Forcer Becky J will be in the middle of Meath Gardens at 7pm to meet you.
At 7, we'll make our way slowly to the canal spot where Tunde and the Meath team will warmly greet you with tools and instructions (if you're running late, this is to the far left hand corner of the park, by the canal).
Area Activator Laura will come and join to say hello, and bring some ground lights as the sun sets!
Here's what you need to bring
A head torch if you have one
Long trousers and a long-sleeved top if poss, to protect you from brambles!
Gloves if you have them (as above)
Face covering if you have one just in case you end up working in a smaller space than planned
Any queries or questions on this Monday night activity, get in touch with Laura!
And so it was, on a balmy almost summer-like evening that we embarked on phase 2 of 'clear the canalside' at Meath Gardens!
After a brief intro from Laura including a run through of the muscle groups we might (ahem, definitely in my case!) have neglected during lockdown and which we could now take this excellent opportunity to exercise, and of covid safety precautions, we set to work.
Half of the group picked up where we had left off last week, clearing brambles from the side of the canal, and the other half scattering over the gardens to litter pick.
Treasures from this week's litter pick included a glittery child's headband, and some cupcake and Celebrations wrappers, as well as the usual array of water bottles, cans and KFC cartons!
Meanwhile, the other group made impressive headway cutting back all in their path as they gained ground against the brambles.
Alas, despite the warm temperatures, it is no longer summer and just before 8 both groups succumbed to the failing light, lamenting that next week may be the first we will need to bring headtorches again.... Shout out to Chris, who did remember his!
Next instalment: taking the ground up to the footbridge, with the help of ground lights - don't miss it!
Building on the great work begun last week, we have been invited back to clear more space in Meath Gardens, removing brambles, nettles and other foliage. A task where you can really see the difference, once done!
Depending on numbers there may well also be some wider gardening tasks, or litter picking across Meath Gardens as well.
Please do bring your gloves and if possible wear long trousers to protect against scratches
6:45pm Meet and greet one another! Area Activator Laura will be on hand to welcome you all and talk you through how to use your gardening task as a workout! If you're new to GoodGym, even better! We welcome new faces every week, and there are plenty of regulars on hand to say hello and show you the ropes.
7/7/10pm Disperse to separate areas of the large park to undertake all manner of gardening tasks.
8/8.15pm Meet to tidy up, return tools, have a natter and say cheerio.
Rules, regs and your safety...
GoodGym activity falls into group activity which is exempt from the group-of-6 rule ('voluntary or charitable services, and organised indoor and outdoor sports, physical activity and exercise classes.')
However, you will be fully briefed before we start as to how to follow guidelines throughout the evening.
Hope to see you there!
We were back at Meath Gardens this evening - after such incredible work at our last visit, Tunde and the Friends of Meath Gardens team couldn't wait to have us back!
The main task was more bramble clearing and with a nice big group of GoodGym-ers, we achieved an amazing amount within an hour! Everyone immediately grabbed tools and began hacking away - it was a huge section to clear. Those without tools got to work piling the debris. There were a few stray splinters in hands - I hope you've all managed to entice them out... We might need some thicker gloves next time!
Meanwhile Chris got to work sawing tree stumps too make the area safer. A great achievement (and only one hairy moment near the canal edge...).
The nights are starting to close in and we finished up at 8pm in almost darkness - head torches from now on everyone!
Shout to Boris on his first GoodGym mission who discovered a little birds nest amongst the brambles. Great to meet you - we hope to see you again soon!
All this work is in aid of transforming the area by the canal. Eventually it will have a seating area and walkway through to the Queen Mary University campus - we can't wait to see the transformation when it all comes together!
Next up on Friday, Laura is leading a fab mission to trusty Parkview, including fitness in Victoria Park! And on Saturday, Isabelle is leading a mission which is a workout itself shifting soil - be sure to sign up!
Join Becky G and the Tower Hamlets crew as we return to our Monday night Meath Gardens activity, where more bramble and undergrowth-clearing is taking place.
Tasks will be varied and you will be involved in one of the following areas:
- Cutting back brambles
- Clearing the undergrowth from the canal edge
- Litter-picking around the beautiful gardens and the ivy-covered bridge
The gardens are huge, and picturesque, so the perfect space to start with a couple of warm-up laps - or wind down with a cool-down stroll.
Any questions or queries around this task, just get in touch with task leader Becky G, or our Area Activator Laura!
Liz completed a community mission. Instead of watching TV or lying in bed, Liz was out there making their community a better place to be. For making that choice they have earned the community cape.
22 of us gathered last night for our two-task Monday extravaganza.
We spaced ourselves nicely out in front of the beautiful Cranbrook Community Food Garden to enjoy our first workout, where we whizzed through some stretches, balance moves and standing waist exercises. Limited content with no floor or surface to lean on, but the team wereexceedingly tolerant of my limited repertoire.
It was a wonderful start to the evening not just because we put the working day behind us, exchanging keyboards for courgettes, but because this was also our time to welcome Alex and Becs to our Task Force! What a time to join! We are so excited about you joining our unbelievably talented, dedicated Task Force squad. What a fit. Here's to many happy, sociable, exciting weeks ahead for us all.
And so to work.
Becky G was heading up our task de-suckering (is that a term?) the big White Poplar tree at Meath Gardens. Now you may read this and think, "What are they going on about?" but let me tell you: this was a big gardening gig. The council have threatened to take the beautiful vast tree down unless it was tamed, and so the fantastic Friends of Meath Gardens called on us to help tame this tricky tree.
Nothing to see here. Just a yellow skeleton among the trees.
A team headed to the canal, and while some cut brambles and branches, others participated in a litter-pick. And in the process, found a skeleton attached to the outside of a bridge. A yellow plastic skeleton (sorry, should have specified earlier). Which became the focus of the evening. Sorry, White Poplar.
Meanwhile, Leo was heading up the Cranbrook crew who were planting; fixing those fickle vegetable bed trellises, and scurrying around productively as usual. Janet and Eileen who head up the Community Centre and garden are so appreciative: what is great fun for us, and provides an opportunity for us to be together, helps them enormously as local resources are currently a little thin of the ground. And despite their drive and dedication, they do need a hand.
We all met by the canal after 8, and while some opted to call it a night, a few of us gathered by The Mystical Tree (an old tree trunk) at the front of Meath for a little stretching and a bit of extra breathing, to the backdrop of Massive Attack. Heaven.
And so to our shout-outs...
Well, always it's to our Task Force. Our truly terrific team of individuals who enable us to enjoy weekly activities (Friends of Meath Gardens sent over an eye-wateringly long list of dates to help out, and because our Task Force picked up every single one of them, we can enjoy this regular Monday night gig). Thank you tonight to Becky, in particular, who took time out from moving house to heading up this Community Mission and to Leo for Cranbrook task.
Thank you to Chris, our HTFM (Honorary Task Force Member) who was on hand, as always, to advise on, ahem, dubious-looking litter-pick items; First Aid, and other top bits of consultation.
Thank you to Isabelle for coming up with this week's pun in record time (Isabelle had little choice when faced with the option I was proposing...).
And a HUGE warm welcome to Conor, whose first GG outing it was. Such fun! You did so much - thank you. See you soon?
And that's it for now. Well, until next week when our Isabelle heads up a Monday mission to Hollybush where you'll be fixing netting to a fence, weeding...Ooh, it sounds like a lot to do, so do come on board.
Until then, have a good week and take the greatest care.
Two-task Monday: Clearing trees by the canal at Meath Gdns + more Cranbrook gardening! PLUS MONDAY BOOSTER WORKOUT!
Come on board another two-task Monday where you'll get to choose from:
- Clearing the White Poplar tree from the canal at Meath Gardens
- OR staying at Cranbrook Community Food Garden to join Eileen and Janet as we clear leaves, fix trellises and stake tomatoes.
What's the fitness offering?
Very good question. So, Laura will be taking you through a short workout after our introductions designed to tick the following boxes:
- 'Landing' for the day (putting our working day behind us, and stretching out before we start our tasks).
- Getting heart rate raised in case we skipped that lunchtime sweat sesh.
- Squeezing in a little strength work, in case our fitness routine has been lacking.
Then, you can either:
- Head with Becky's team to run to Meath Gardens task.
- And/or join the team around 8pm for a few laps of these exquisite gardens if you fancy it.
So, to clarify, our itinerary for the evening will look like this:
- Meet at 6.45pm for hellos and intros.
- Introduce you to our latest Task Force member... (we'd suggest arriving in time for this...)
- Monday Booster Workout (see above)
- 7/7.10pm Start tasks
- 8-ish Cool-down running at Meath for anyone who fancies a sociable sweat to end the day
And last, very important message: Our sessions are for all, regardless of fitness levels and area! If you're new, we'll make THE biggest fuss of you!