Jane Hotchen

Oxford


22

Good Deeds

Workouts
22
Cheers given
1
Cheers received
98

Member
Doing good since June 2018

Verification in progress

0 Month Streak

Not done a group run this month

9 Month Streak


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Jane Hotchen
Jane Hotchen went on a group run

Wed 14th Sep at 6:00pm

Testing our mettle against stinging nettles

Oxford Report written by Anwen Greenaway

Aston's Eyot is a 32-acre island in Oxford. It might not be obvios that it's an island, but it’s delineated by the River Thames, the River Cherwell and Shire Lake Ditch. It has been a Victorian rubbish tip, leased to bottle diggers for a period from the mid 1980s, and in the early 21st centrury a bit of a tangle o'bramble. Now it’s a mosaic of woodland, open area and scrub, and a haven for wildlife. The site has been sensitively managed by the Friends of Aston Eyot for the last decade, and they now have an official lease from Christchurch (who own the land).

This summer the Friends have been working on creating a wildlife pond and boggy area, which we have helped with on a number of Wednesday sessions. So far we've reprofiled the edges of the pond, moved piles of logs to create hibernaculums within a newt's crawling distance of the pond, and helped dig an area next to the pond to create a boggy habitat. Last night we split into digging and scything crews (there's always nettle scything needed on Aston's Eyot) and got straight to work. Diggers worked up a sweat and dodged Victorian broken glass to get the bog patch so nearly ready to lay the tarpaulins which will keep the moisture in. One more digging session and it'll be ready. Scythers and rakers channelled their inner Poldark (but with better scything technique, of course) to chop down the nettles and thistles popping up in the meadow areas. Mind the daisies though! A third wildcard task was to move a pile of nettles a few yards so that meadow plants could be sown in their current location. We approached this with long sleeves and trepidation given that the nettles seem to have recovered their viscious sting after the recent rains (what we assumed was a growing immunity to nettle stings turned out to be that they lost their mojo in the heatwave). We needn't have worried too much as it seemed that the nettles had been in situ for quite some time and were a dried out tangle. Of course, we still managed to acquire the odd sting around our ankles - is it GoodGym without a nettle sting or bramble scratch? - but it was the nettle-ageddon that we had feared.

Corgi family tree in the photos thanks to Holly. Welcome to GoodGym Hannah and congratulations on getting to the 10 Good Deed milestone Sam.

Good to meet you in-person Ivo.

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Anwen GreenawayMatt BurtonJuliaBethan Greenaway
Jane Hotchen
Jane Hotchen went on a training session

Sun 11th Sep at 9:30am

Can’t see the views for the mist

Oxford Report written by Anwen Greenaway

Our once-regular GoodGym Bromley tourist Tim devised a route several years ago taking in all the View Cones of Oxford - places from which the view of Oxford’s historic centre are meant to be protected. Having often talked about attempting the circuit this weekend we finally gave it a go.

The View Cone locations are:

  • Raleigh Park
  • Boars Hill
  • Hinksey Hill/A34 Interchange
  • Port Meadow
  • Elsfield
  • Doris Field Memorial Park
  • Headington Hill Allotments
  • South Park
  • Crescent Road
  • Rose Hill

We covered the 24 miles in 5 hours 40 minutes, discovering paths and parks we didn't know existed.

Number of view points - 10
Number of runners - 11
Number of (human) walkers - 4
Number of puppies - 1
Number of icecreams consumed - 6
Number of views missed due to mist - 3
Number of near face plants (just about saved) - 1
Overall pace of the runners - 14 minutes 10 per mile
Last walker standing went as far as Rose Hill
Number of people attempting further than they were really prepared for - all of us!!

It was lovely to spend the day exploring with the group, and fun to have people join for sections at a time as suited their schedule/distance they wanted to do. When the morning mist cleared the views were good, some even quite surprising, although we're really not sure where we're meant to go in Rose Hill for a view across Oxford! To our knowledge no-one other than us has attempted the route since this run in 2018, so we're now part of a very select group mad enough to try it! Great to get cheered into The Perch at the end by Julia and Vicky, and to have Samantha waiting there with a table already reserved.

If you fancy trying the route yourself the route map can be seen on Map my Run here or Strava here.

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Anwen GreenawayBethan GreenawayLorenzo
Jane Hotchen
Jane Hotchen went on a group run

Wed 7th Sep at 5:45pm

It’s an Apple-anche!

Oxford Report written by Anwen Greenaway

Last night a group of intrepid GoodGymers set off on an expedition to the frozen North of Oxfordshire desperately seeking their fortune in apples. Scrumping poles, litter picks and tarpaulins at the ready, they were a veritable trail of Dick Whittingtons.

Alighting in Lower Heyford to a warm welcome from the hardy locals they set to work filling their boots (crates) with apples from the heavily laden trees. With plenty to go around competition was not fierce, and team work prevailed between the ground crews and climbers. Various iterations of 'shake the branches of the tree and catch the apples in a tarpaulin' yielded 580kg of apples in a mixture of cookers and eaters. In a win for the Health and Safety executive (but a loss for science?) no-one got hit on the head by a falling apple Newton-style. Shona the unicorn-esque horse seemed happy to have company for the evening, and while the possibility of a ladder-based disaster was ever-present it never actually materialised.

The Cherwell Collective will be giving half of the apple haul to the Oxford Food Hub for distribution to various local food banks and larders. Some of the rest of the apple harvest will be turned into chutney by the Wonky Food Company and sold to raise funds for Cherwell Larder. A load of the remaining apples will be cooked up into delicious crumble to serve in the Cherwell Collective's Climatarian Kitchen, which is a food surplus cafe operating on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at Exeter Hall, Kidlington. They also provide culinary courses, meal kits, and flexible recipes to help the community reduce food waste and promote well being. They feed between 150 and 300 people per week. Finally, the Cherwell Larder will take the rest of the apples to distribute to users of the larder. The Larder operates very similarly to a food bank, providing food and other essentials to the community.

Noted for future apple picking: hard hats or bike helmets would be useful apple picking kit!

Thanks for the title pun Henry!

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Anwen Greenaway
Jane Hotchen
Jane Hotchen signed up to a group run.

Wed 14th Sep at 6:00pm

Jane Hotchen
Jane Hotchen went on a group run

Wed 31st Aug at 5:45pm

Rhubarb and cardboard

Oxford Report written by Anwen Greenaway

GoodGym - Masters of tree care!

After several sessions recently caring for saplings across Oxford we are now the self-declared masters of (fruit) tree care. This Wednesday we were in another orchard area planted by the Marston Community Gardeners weeding around saplings, laying cardboard, mulching and watering. We also detangled trees and rhubarb from brambles, and saved gooseberry bushes and black currant shrubs from the encroaching Goldenrod... no, not a Bond villain but a tall yellow flower!

Chips in the pub rounded our evening off nicely.

Congratulations Hattie on your 50th Good Deed!

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Anwen GreenawayJuliaMatt Burton
Jane Hotchen
Jane Hotchen earned their community cape by completing their first community mission. 🤩

Saturday 27th August

Community Cape

Community Cape

Jane Hotchen earned their community cape by completing their first community mission.

Jane completed a community mission. Instead of watching TV or lying in bed, Jane was out there making their community a better place to be. For making that choice they have earned the community cape.

Matt BurtonAnwen Greenaway
Jane Hotchen
Jane Hotchen went on a community mission

Sat 27th Aug at 10:15am

A spud-tacular morning at the City Farm

Oxford Report written by Julia

GoodGymers eased into this morning's shift at Oxford City Farm's open morning by saying hello to the rabbits. They were very happy to be let out of their run, but put up some resistance to being caught to go back inside (the rabbits, not the GoodGymers). The rest of the morning was mainly taken up by weeding the edamame and potato patches, and harvesting the potatoes. Some of the children visiting the farm were very good at potato harvesting too. Emma found some amusingly-shaped potatoes, but the less said about that, the better...

Anna took a wheelbarrow of "fat hen" (a weed that hens find delicious) to feed the hungry chickens, and helped the visiting children feed the sheep. We then had a break for drinks and biscuits before heading back to the potatoes, and Chris and Jane made a den under a willow tree. If only we had known about the shady willow tree earlier, when the sun was beating down!

When we were done we said a quick goodbye to the sheep and played a small game of "is this electric fence turned on?" (No GoodGymers were harmed in the making of this task.)

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Anwen Greenaway
Jane Hotchen
Jane Hotchen signed up to a group run.

Wed 7th Sep at 5:45pm

Anwen Greenaway
Jane Hotchen
Jane Hotchen went on a group run

Wed 24th Aug at 5:45pm

Axeing for trouble

Oxford Report written by Anwen Greenaway

GoodGym Oxford and the Mystery of the Missing Task Owner :-)

What do you do when you turn up to a task to find the garden all locked up? Luckily for us the hubbub of 19 GoodGymers chattering attracted some curiosity from the Barracks Lane Community Garden's neighbour, who also happens to be someone we've helped out with gardening at Flo's cafe in Florence Park. Fortunately she was able to let us in, and then came back a little later to open up the tool shed, which only left us to figure out what needed doing around the garden!

After the recent drought and heat wave it was fairly obvious that watering would be on the agenda, plus chopping back any plants completely burnt and frazzled by the unusual heat. We decided to mostly leave alone the taller sculptural-looking plants as they could look quite attractive through autumn and winter even though they've finished flowering. Stepping a bit further into the garden we found that there was plenty of weeding to be done, particularly between the cracks in the paving, and there were sneaky brambles along the edges of the garden which definitely needed lopping. The lower garden has plum, pear and apple trees, so we picked up the fruit that was dropping and sorted it into edible or compostable, and then Annie (our rescuer) requested we trim the hedge back a little at the entrance. At that point our task owner arrived and confirmed that we had guessed the task list pretty accurately, just asking us to also break down some rotten fence panels to make them easier to get out of the garden. Always happy to use sharp tools and brute force, a combination of axe-wielding and good old-fashioned muscle got that task completed in no time.

Knowing that we needed to be out of the garden by 7:30pm we filled our pockets and tummies with plums and scarpered out onto Barracks Lane bang on time.

Congratulations and big kudos to Bethan for reaching a whopping 250 Good Deeds!

Welcome to GoodGym Abi - lovely to meet you!

Sorry for the access issues everyone!

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Anwen Greenaway
Jane Hotchen
Jane Hotchen signed up to a community mission.

Sat 27th Aug at 10:15am

Anwen Greenaway

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