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!
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
Roger Bannister eat your heart out with your sub-4 minute mile!
Well done everyone for pushing yourselves out of your comfort zones and thank you for helping Sarah and Ben get the footage they need to complete the UK Athletics Leader in Running Fitness qualification. I'll be keeping my eyes pealed for funding to get more of you enrolled as Run Leaders, so if that interests you do let me know.
Here's our pyramid session in case you want to repeat it another time:
10 minute warm up - jog a couple of laps, then do some drills (high knees, bum kickers, lunge walks etc). It's important to get your muscles warmed up before launching into faster running.
Main session -
200m fast (0.5 lap of the track), 30 seconds static rest
400m fast (full lap), 1 minute static rest
600m fast (1.5 laps), 1.5 minutes static rest
400m fast, 1 min rest
200m fast, 30 sec rest
200m jog back to start/finish point
Cool down - at least one slow jog lap of the track (preferably 2 laps) and some gentle stretches. This is important even if you are tired after the session as it will help prevent your muscles seizing up or cramping. If you can't face jogging then a brisk walk will do!
Meadow Lane residents have formed a gardening group and are planning some guerrilla gardening along the edge of Meadow Lane Recreation Ground. Last night the GoodGym flash mob was called in to help clear the ground and get it closer to the point where it can be planted up.
Spreading out all along the lane we hauled out long grass, nettles, litter, burdock, and bindweed, tripping to and fro across the recreation ground with wheelbarrows to dispose of the detritus amongst the nettles on the Aston's Eyot side. A couple of frogs/toads were rehomed in a more peaceful spot (anyone know how to tell which is which?), and needles and glass carefully excavated and disposed of safely.
The residents had expected us to just clear one section, but with our bumper turnout we managed to do a MUCH longer section of the lane than they'd anticipated, almost joining up with the area near the playground which has already been beautifully planted up with cottage garden flowers.
We've received heartfelt thanks for our efforts: "Thank you so much for the amazing work you guys did on Meadow Lane tonight! It will make a beautiful public space for all to share."
Definitely one to watch in the spring - what will pop up in the new flowerbeds along Meadow Lane?
Welcome Shati - great to meet you!
We're back at Brookes Climb for another opportunity to try top rope climbing and bouldering. Instruction and equipment included. £12 per person. Meet at Oxford Brookes University, Cheney Ln, Headington, Oxford OX3 0GB
Some residents of Meadow Lane have formed a gardening group and are planning to plant up a strip 1m wide along the edge of Meadow Lane Recreation Ground. They have asked for a GoodGym flash mob to help them prepare the ground by digging out the turf and weeds in preparation for planting. A strip by the playground has been started, and we will extend this.
Sunset is at 7:04pm, so we will want to get working quickly, but Meadow Lane is street lit, which will extend our digging time.
Wheelbarrows, forks and spades will be provided. You may prefer to bring your own gardening gloves, but they aren't completely necessary for this task.
* 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 will be running and walking routes planned. There won’t be a bag drop available.
* If you would prefer to meet at the task please meet us on the corner of Jackdaw Lane and Meadow Lane at 6:10pm.
I am hoping to get a booking on the Roger Bannister Track for 7:45-8:15pm and will list that separately once it is confirmed.
Over 50 people came to the Cycling Festival in Rose Hill 2021
Over 30 people got their bike registered with Thames Valley Police (and many recieved a free D Lock!)
Loads of people got their bike fixed with help from Broken Spoke!
About 10 or more people came to the Rides lead by Cowley Condors, Joy Riders and Trev lead a social ride with help from Sarah and Ruth
Many kids played balance games with tennis balls, chalked hopscotch and golf balls thrown into a bike basket lead by Joy Riders. They also rode a course set out on the field and older kids helps make the course more difficult!
Some adults (Kathy and Phillipa from RHILC) tried the Bike course, and some adults (including Ruth, Ellie, Amy and Matty) also tried balancing the tennis ball to win a sticker! Matty failed to do it whilst eating a biscuit but did win a leopard sticked eventually! He also found a lucky rubber band on the ride which apparently you are meant to post into a post box to cheer up the postmen (they are always loosing them apparently!)!
Refreshments were expertly made by Eleanor and Chris From RHILC plus Emily and Trev making Hot chocolate for kids.
On our social ride we met a mule named Falco who is training for Walk for Earth, Ecocide!
Merlin a local artist came and did a quick painting of some of the action!
The sun shone and fair to say we all cycled home pretty happily exhausted Enjoy your bikes guys :) Trev
We've been given access to the Roger Bannister Track for a running session this evening.
Track sessions are great for all speeds and experience of runners - since we run around in circles no-one can get too far ahead or behind the group!
We will do an introductory session including a warm up, section of fast and slow intervals, then a cool down jog at the end. The principle is similar to a HIIT session, where you alternate sections of higher effort with gentle recovery sections. Everyone will run or run-walk at their own pace, so the faster runners will just have to complete more intervals in the time ;-)
Open to all, come and join in!
We will meet outside the main reception to the sports centre. Please ensure you are there by 7:40pm as I won't be able to come back out to collect latecomers.
Pond reprofiling was the name of the game this evening - the end goal being to create a few new habitats suitable for newts and other amphibians at Boundary Brook Nature Park.
The pond currently has very steep sides, and digging out the edge to create a gentle slope will make it much more newt friendly. Tonight's Wednesday team picked up where the soggy Saturday crew left off, but this time with added mattocks! We cleared vegetation, mattocked the ground to loosen the earth, and started digging out the soil, holding our noses every time anything disturbed the somewhat stinky pond water. The race is on to get the work done by the end of September when the newts will take to the water. In a win-win, the vegetation and soil were piled up to create 2 hibernaculums; another wonderful habitat for the creatures.
Mattocking, digging, wheelbarrowing and running - we got full body workouts tonight!
Boundary Brook Nature Park will be having an open afternoon on Saturday 11th September. So if you're keen to go back, walk the paths we've built, and admire the fruits of your pond digging, that's your chance.
Well done on your 50th Good Deed Louise - get that black Tshirt ordered!
Nice to meet Hannah on tour from GoodGym Bromley.