0 Month Streak
4 Month Streak
Wed 8th Jun at 6:00pm
That rare thing: a litter pick with not much litter!
A couple of years a go Port Meadow was a litter hot spot, with tonnes of litter being left on the meadow regularly. Since then the situation has improved, but as it's a SSSI, a scheduled ancient monument, and also home to cows and ponies, it's always worth a scout around to check that the litter isn't getting out of hand. With good weather forecast over the Jubilee weekend we thought that a lot of people might come to the meadow, and that might mean that there was a need for a clean-up this week. Of course, we all know that the long weekend was actually a bit of a wash out! Still, we turned up en masse to scour the river bank and favourite picnic spots just in case.
Julian Cooper, the Port Meadow ranger, met us at the gate with sturdy bags and litter pickers, and directed us to the areas he wanted us to check over. Half a dozen GoodGymers set off towards Burgess Field to clear up some hazardous broken glass, while the rest of the group pottered along the edge of the meadow, over the bridge to Fiddlers Island, and along the Thames Path past the boat yard.
Port Meadow was a Victorian rubbish dump, and bottle diggers take spades to it to search for potentially valuable Victorian or Edwardian glass bottles. Bottle digging is hazardous as the holes are rarely filled back in by the diggers, causing danger of 'trip' injury to humans and livestock, and it also disturbs glass and other Victorian waste below the surface exposing it and causing the risk of serious cuts. Livestock have died in the past from injuries caused by broken glass. The recent rain had brought more glass to the surface where bottle diggers had vandalised the meadow, and our breakaway group filled a bag with pieces of broken glass. Literal life savers.
Meanwhile the rest of our team meandered along the riverbank and across the meadow. We were surprised and delighted by how sparse the litter was. Aoife's crew, who headed over towards the boat yard were the only group who found significant quantities of litter. Other than that it was a few cans, wrappers, bottles, a blanket, but really not at all bad considering how it used to be. In fact, the situation was so decent that we called it a night a bit ahead of schedule which meant that we just escaped the downpour. Unfortunately, the hardy bunch who headed to The Medley for pizza afterwards got a thorough soaking alongside their dinner, but you can't win them all, and the pizza was worth it.
What's a GoodGymer to do when caught in the rain without a rain coat?! Kudos to Henry and Julia for taking part in this week's Project Runway challenge of making an outfit out of a spare litter bag. Garland of joy went to Louise - Happy Birthday for last week!
Wed 13th Oct 2021 at 4:30pm
It was panic-stations this morning when we realised we were down to 2 GoodGymers on our foodbank shift this afternoon. However, I should've known better than to worry, as Rachael jumped in to help (thank you cancelled jury duty), Sarah came along straight after work to help get the parcel list completely packed, and Cassy pedalled over to help restock the shelves and put away donations.
With Ben and myself we were almost a full team so got parcels packed, food waste binned, donations put away, and some restocking and portioning up done. That should make tomorrow's shift easier, which is great since they're a bit short-staffed Thursday too!
Very much appreciate the team pulling together on this task today.
Sunday 10th October 2021
Cassy Fiford run a race with GoodGym for the first time.
Cassy has done their first race with GoodGym. Performing on the day is a lot of pressure; Cassy's dealt with the nerves and turned up on the day to make it happen.
Sun 10th Oct 2021 at 10:30am
Wed 6th Oct 2021 at 5:45pm
With the evenings getting darker earlier we raced over to Marston to complete a bulb-planting session with Marston Community Gardeners before it got too dark to work.
Working in pairs we planted hundreds of daffodil bulbs all along the road heading out of Old Marton towards the ring road. No messing about on this evening session - we knew we probably only had 40 minutes to get the job done, even with head torches and portable lights helping to extend the work time.
We all admired the professionalism of Mary's bulb-planting tool - the ultimate way to plant several hundred bulbs without getting repetitive strain injury! - although most of us made do with spades and trowels. That's something for the GoodGym tool wishlist for sure, right below our own scythe! We picked up a bucket full of litter along the way as a bonus good deed.
Finishing in the dark, we were promised hot chocolate all round for all volunteers on our next bulb-planting mission on 31st October meeting at the Up in Arms. Check it out and sign up in the Sessions listings.
This is our 3rd year in a row planting bulbs in Marston. I very much hope that we'll finally get to see the resulting flowers next spring - 2 spring lockdowns mean that we haven't made it back to see the display yet!
It was perfect running weather, so the group run to and from the task was a joy.
Report title courtesy of Bethan. Thank you!