Organisations Ruth Appeltant has pledged to support
Ruth is part of a crowd that's making a huge noise. Ruth has been cheered by 25 people - that's a round of applause just on their own. We hope they keep it up.
The East Oxford Plog Mob!
While our friends took on a task in Botley the East Oxford team tooled up with litter pickers and bags for a good plog.
The churchyard next door to the food bank where we've spent our winter Wednesdays has a litter problem, and now that the evenings are light it felt like high time we tackled it.
Alongside the usual detritus of masks, cans, pants, takeaway containers, lambrini bottles and condoms, we also found a broom/mop, car battery, several glass tumblers, a Santa mug, and jump leads.
It was good to see the nature reserve thriving having last done a task there all the way back in 2019.
Please note: we also have a team helping Dean Court Community Centre in Botley this same evening. Sign up here if you can make it over to West Oxford. This is the East Ox option for those who can't get to Botley for 6:15pm.
We have been based at The Richard Benson Hall, next door to St Mary & St John's Church, all winter. The churchyard is closed for new burials and is now being managed as a peaceful green wildlife space by community volunteers. As with so many things the work has been curtailed by COVID restrictions over the last year.
The churchyard is a hotspot for litter, and there have been few opportunities to tackle the problem through the winter months. Now that the evening light lasts for longer we can finally do a litter-blitz.
We will meet in the car park by the Richard Benson Hall and divide into smaller teams to litter pick different sections of the churchyard and surrounding area. Litter pickers and bin bags will be provided.
Ten Goodgymers shrugged off yesterday's rain and the Sunday morning cobwebs to help out at Marston Forest Garden. So much has changed since we were last there in December, with pathways marked out, more trees planted, a labyrinth constructed and dead hedges set up!
With the onset of spring (despite the odd flurry of snow), more plants and trees and starting to grow but that also means that brambles are starting to poke out from where they aren't wanted. Half of the group spent the session unearthing bramble roots with some proving more stubborn than others and several large tree roots requiring a heavy dose of mattock-use. With the area cleared, cardboard can be laid down and the area is earmarked for mulberry trees and raspberries, amongst other things.
The other half of the group spent the morning digging a trench around a seating and meeting area, known as the Medicine Herb Circle. While Goodgymers dug, Richard from Marston Forest Garden constructed archways as entry points.
After a productive morning, we all agreed that the "gym" part of Goodgym was more than fulfilled with a solid workout of digging in the sporadic sunshine and hail showers! Thank you to Ruth for the Belgian chocolates to keep us sustained through the morning session!
Richard, Rhian and Anthony were very thankful for the group effort. Many hands do, indeed, make light work.
On a chilly and slightly blustery evening five Goodgymers gathered at the Children's Allotment for more hi-jinks and good times.
Last week we spent a glorious evening constructing a cardboard lasagne to keep the weeds at bay, and this week we moved onto the next stage of our project.
Under Alice's kindly watchful eye we created a silver birch border, planted some lovely soft fruits (strawberries and raspberries) sprinkled compost around like confetti and added a layer of straw to make the plants alllllll cosy. Actually to protect from frost and beasties but I like to think of them all tucked up and comfy to grow and thrive......
As usual a glorious time was had by all. We dug, sawed and trowelled with all our might and were super pleased to be able to stand back and admire the fruits of our labours at the end of the session.
Big thanks to Ben for providing Oreo eggs at the end, because it's not a proper Goodgym evening without snacks after all!
Boundary Brook Nature Park was created in 1990 when a group of community wildlife enthusiasts rescued a plot of disused allotments to carve out a wild space in the heart of East Oxford.
Featuring mixed woodland, meadow, a nature pond and butterfly glade, Boundary Brook is home to a rich variety of wildlife from birds and butterflies to frogs and foxes.
Oxford Urban Wildlife Group have asked for our help to with a mixture of tasks as they start reopening the site, including seeding grassland and building paths.
We will split into smaller groups of 8 or less to work on tasks in different areas of the Nature Park. We will also have the litter pickers with us for a small group of 6-8 people to clear up the surrounding walk and cycle way. There is plenty of space to spread out and maintain social distancing.
Please bring your own gardening gloves. Tools and litter pickers will be provided.
If you want to jog over to Boundary Brook please meet at Oxford Mutual Aid at 6pm (Richard Benson Hall, Cowley Road). If you want to meet us at the task meeting point is outside the gate to Boundary Brook Nature Park, which is on the cycle way just past Larkrise Primary School at the end of Boundary Brook Road. We will be there by 6:15pm
Tonight we packed 38 parcels of food and hygiene supplies and delivered 25 of them on foot around East Oxford.
Peggy was excited to show off her snazzy new jumper, we peered at each other in actual daylight, and although more than 1 of the bag handles didn't survive beyond the car park fortunately all the cheese, greek yoghurt, corned beef, milk, veggies, bread and pasta made it to the 50 recipients in tact. There may have been a couple of head-scratching moments, but nothing we couldn't sort out, and everything got delivered before it was fully dark - an exciting springtime first!
Thank you to those who answered the call for donations and brought along some hygiene supplies to replenish the bare shelves with shower gel, deodorant and sanitary products, as well as other useful and appreciated items (tin openers, chocolate).
We're now into our 5th consecutive month of Wednesdays at Oxford Mutual Aid. It's proved to be a valuable partnership for us and provided crucial extra help for Oxford Mutual Aid through this COVID lockdown winter. It has kept us busy and connected with each other, and enabled Oxford Mutual Aid reach more people with deliveries of food and other essentials. Whilst we hope to be able to offer a greater range of tasks from April, we're really pleased to be continuing to support Oxford Mutual Aid in their vital work.
This 6pm task will be delivering food parcels within walking distance of Richard Benson Hall. We will divide into small groups to deliver in different areas. No-one will be asked to deliver on their own. We will stagger your arrival times at the hall, and you will receive an email on Wednesday (around lunchtime) to let you whether to arrive at 6pm or 6:15pm.
Please wear a mask when you arrive at the hall to collect the food parcels and when you drop them off with the recipient.
To mark Global Recycling Day a wonderful number of you shouldered your litterpickers, grabbed some bags and headed out to clean up your local area.
The litter through the three lockdowns has just been ridiculous - it seems to breed.
Rubbish was collected, fly-tipping reported, a lone football boot rescued, and pants, of course we found pants.
Well done to all of you for making a dent in the problem.