GoodGym Richmond

That's what we're all a-Scout!

Monday 20th March

Written by Liz (She/her)

Starting with an intro and a warm-up outside Tap Tavern in Richmond town centre, the seven of us headed straight down to the riverside to run on the river path to Petersham & Ham Sea Scouts. It was very quiet in town and even quieter by the river, giving us all the chance to take in the view and feel fortunate to be in such a beautiful place.

Around 2.5km of running at a variety of paces, we arrived at the scout base. Task leader Russell explained the two jobs for the evening: digging out an area of soil we had cleared bushes from on a previous visit, and shifting logs from where they had been cut to where they could be used as seats for the scout groups, further up than the Thames comes in when the tide is up.

Both jobs were a really good workout, just what GoodGym tasks are all about, and warranted a nice stretch off once we had run back to the Tap Tavern.

We are back there on Saturday for our Community Mission to help them get on top of the digging area and clear up after more tree work.

Read more

Chopping Spree

Saturday 18th March

Written by Adam Stephens

Our latest monthly visit to the Richmond Furniture recycling charity saw six GoodGymers: Chris, Emma, Sam, Suze, Rosie and Adam, brave the variable weather conditions. Simon, the manager of the scheme, presented us with the task of chopping and sawing back the overgrown brambles and branches to tidy up the car park shared with the 2nd Teddington Scout Troop. The work inevitably required brute force as well as precision, both qualities at which GoodGym members excel! By the end, we could clearly see the difference we had made and the car park looked a lot more spacious. We will be back here on Saturday 15th April, see link below.

Read more

Gardening Everywhere, All At Once

Monday 13th March

Written by Anita (she/her)

We had the BAFTAs back in March 2020 ( ) but this year, this time , we were back in Beuccleuch Gardens, Richmond for the Academy Awards. All was not quiet on the Thames River Front for our 13 March 2023 ‘second Monday’ monthly group run . GoodGymers ran, walked and cycled the tarmac carpet to reach our sponsored plots in Buccleuch Gardens for a task-studded evening of gardening glamour.
A fantastic turnout meant that GoodGym Richmond were able to be ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once ‘ and in under an hour we managed to: Cover the Canarian Palm’s in front of the Arcade to protect them from Frost; Complete the leaf sweep-up at The Arcade; Sweep and Weed around and about the Three Pigeons Plot; and plant cornflower seeds. GoodGym Richmond’s Canine friends have already shown remarkable form when it comes to predicting Oscar winners ( Molly the dog was promoting The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse way back in July 2020: ) and tonight’s guest star, Boots the dog, charmed her way into everyone’s hearts and is tipped for future run report fame.

Read more

Scratch Of The Day

Saturday 11th March

Written by JP

The Friends of Ham Lands welcomed 6 cheery GoodGymers (and Hunter the pooch) on a much brighter and drier Saturday morning than was expected for a second go at the brambles along the pathway we worked on last month.

It’s always great fun to get together with the FoHL and help them with their ongoing efforts to preserve the green spaces of the Ham Lands for the benefit of walkers and local residents. This time, Sharon brought along a couple of boards showing an aerial photo of the area in 1944 and a map from 1841, when the topography of the area was quite different from today.

We were armed with loppers and shears and headed out along the path in twos and threes, cutting back the brambles and gathering them in large canvas sacks, all the while catching up on each other’s news and the events of the moment.

Those brambles can be nasty and the murmur of chat was punctuated by the occasional “ouch” (or a slightly less polite term) as several of us received our scratch of the day, but these didn’t spoil the merry mood as we did our bit for nature to get the weekend off to a good start.

The prospect of a visit to the Swiss Bakery helped our motivation and we soon settled down to excellent (tiny) coffees and delicious flammenkuchen and quiche as reward for our efforts. Guten Appetit!

Next visit to the Ham Lands is on the Easter weekend so we will be updated soon on whether this will affect it. Keep an eye out for changes to the listings!

Read more

Meets, Roots and Leaves!

Monday 6th March

Written by Liz (She/her)

Despite the rain and yellow weather warning, a couple of diehard runners met at Richmond and ran to Petersham Common where they met the rest of the crew.

Ken gave us a brief introduction to the task of planting native hazel and common hawthorn trees as part of the 25,000 understory songbird habitat restoration project in the woodland. We were planting in an area that only had ivy on the ground and then an upper canopy of trees and we were there to create bird blocks for nesting habitat and foraging areas that will form the understory. It was challenging digging on the slope in the rain but we managed to plant a total of 89 trees in 40 minutes before we set off into the night on our return run and journeys home with a big thank you from the Petersham Common Conservators.

Read more

I would plant 500 trees, now let's plant 500 more!

Saturday 25th February

Written by Ken Mackenzie

Part of our mammoth tree planting task at Petersham Common. An absolute pleasure to welcome GoodGymmers from other areas, and first timers Andreeca, Anastasia, Tim and Laura. What a brilliant first task to be part of: creating a lasting legacy in our beautiful green borough.

Ken gave us a brief introduction to the Common and woodlands restoration which included restoring the middle layer of the woodland. He explained how there was an upper canopy and ground floral plain but how the woodlands was mismanaged for around 50 years and had the middle understory canopy removed regularly. We were helping to plant 25,000 trees to restore this vital habitat where most of our native songbirds nest in the understory between the ground and 5m height.

Ken gave us a demonstration of how to plant a tree and told us about how it was vital to get the plant at the right level in relation to the roots and the stem so it had a good chance of survival.

We set about into the woods with native trees soaking their roots in buckets of water and started planting bird blocks of trees happily chatting away with each other. In no time we had planted 500 trees between us and Ken was very pleased with our work and thanked all of us from the Petersham Common Conservators.

We are back to plant more on Monday 6th March, sign up for the session to join us.

Read more