Alex Dray

Tower Hamlets


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Alex Dray
Alex Dray went on a community mission

Mon 4th Jul at 7:00pm

The Big Weed Deed

Tower Hamlets Report written by Laura Williams

One by one we gathered near The Soanes Centre in Mile End this evening, looking forward to tonight's task.

What were we doing, and why?

We were heading to the wildflower meadow area known as Highglade in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, where Park Manager Ken had asked us to give a hand tackling the invasive, pesky Common Hogweed in this pretty wild meadow area.

It’s essential to a park this size that a range of nectar-rich plants, such marigolds and yarrow, that populate this area, are allowed to flourish. These are the plants that foragers (pollinators) can really grab hold of. Common Hogweed, however is invasive, and needs many pairs of additional hands to prevent it taking hold.

And so to the weed mound

After a little wait for those last couple of GoodGymers, we meandered along the path to our pretty spot. Following my slightly unfortunate tutorial (you had to be there), we made a start on this surprisingly physical task, blitzing quite a large area over the next 50 minutes.

Bend and Snap

Park Manager Ken had said, "...It's like Bend and Snap: remember Legally Blonde?" And so the analogy for the correct pulling technique for this troublesome plant was the subject of much discussion over the next 10 minutes, with runners unsure it was so simple: "Snap?? It doesn't snap. These stalks are toughgoing." But they did good, accumulating a really decent pile of Hogweed by the end of our session.

Working in teams of 1, 2 and 3(!), the GoodGymers spread out over this area, no patch too densely-populated for their determined upper body efforts.

At 8:10, we cleared the final stalks, got stung a few more times, sneezed just a little bit more, and then posed for one final pic. Way to go, team.

Dispersing in various different directions, we headed home for the night, glad our week had started so sunny in every way.

Next week, we're back to the Parkview Estate, on a surprisingly fun and physical task with Catherine and young son Liam, as we help water those parched little estate trees. More info and sign-up is here.

Until then.

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Alex Dray
Alex Dray signed up to a community mission.

Mon 4th Jul at 7:00pm

John Shirley