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Saturday 13/1

Yes its nearly upon us. Ten years ago we celebrated our tenth anniversary by planting hazel at Kennylands (now known as the Millennium Green). The Sonning Common Millennium Green Trust (SCOMIT) wish to bring this area of hazels into a ten year coppice rotation.

I have already cleared brambles, nettles, blackthorn and sticking out bits from the work place. We will be processing the cut material into five by products such as stakes and binders for a later hedge laying project.

I will be at the meeting place, Kennylands car park, at 9:10 before driving the tools to the work place, the south east corner near the Bird in Hand pub. Those who have been before know that parking is limited so also park in Bird Wood Court ensuring access is not restricted. JB and JK go and park at the pub as you are bringing stuff. Our guests will be parking in the pub car park.

The weather at the moment is dry for the next four day so that’s a blessing. However, I am sure you will all want to go to the pub relatively clean so it will either mean return to your car to change footwear or bring them with you in a bag and leave in my car which will remain at the work place throughout lunch as I will be taking stuff home for safe keeping afterwards.

The rough schedule for the day is:-
09:30 Start
10:30 Coffee break as guests arrive and join in
11:15 Finish coppicing with help(?) from guests
11:45 Wind down and go to pub

Plan B
While the weather is currently dry for the day, should it turn nasty, it will be necessary to cancel the session. If this is the case I will email a decision on Friday evening so please check emails before leaving on Saturday.

Brian and I are looking forward to seeing you all.


Dorchester water meadows

Dear Julia,

thanks to you and you team of SCGG volunteers for the great job they did yesterday. Just as well we didn’t have today’s weather!

I walked past it yesterday afternoon and it looked perfect – tidy, but natural looking too. The job has been finished with a snowy watering just now.

I really enjoyed myself as most of the arrangements were Gillian’s! It was good working with your volunteers. I was especially impressed by the way that the work filled the time exactly.

Best wishes for a happy Christmas and hoping for the best new year for all of us. See you in March!




From Withymeed:

Dear Julia

Thank you and your team for such a productive and enjoyable day. I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did, and sorry I couldn’t actually help.
They all worked so hard and produced stunning results. I am really
pleased- Withymead looks so much better for it, thank you.


Just a quick email to say I went to Cowleaze last week. The work done looks wonderful – certainly a real difference to the boundary path adjacent to the larch.

Please pass on my thanks to all the volunteers.

Kind regards

Joanne Mason MICFor
Beat Forester – Chilterns
Forestry Commission England | Chilterns Forest Office


Dear Julia,

Once again – many thanks for a very productive morning at Withymead. The route from the Bridleway entrance to the slipway is now much better defined and, at last, we seem to be able to see where we are going. Thank you, too for beginning work to remove vegetation from the car park. It has proved to be quite a job involving digging of butter burr – so may well appear on task lists again!

Please thank all your group for their support over the last few months when the Trustees have been organising things. It has been really helpful for us to get to know you and the SC G Gymmers. We’d like to keep in touch and come down to see you when you are at Withymead.


20160908 Withymead

Summer awareness

This is what a tick bite looks like. It was obtained by one of our GGers at Greys Court when we were pulling ragwort in the hay field a few weeks ago.
Beware and watch out. Removal at the doctor’s and a course of antibiotics meant no further problems.
Tick bite

Aston Rowant

From an unexpected angle this time, a report from the Wallingford Green Gym:

Moorend Common

Orchids thrive at Moorend Common, and so does the Green Gym

20160716 Moorend

20160716 Moorend

20160716 Moorend

20160716 Moorend

20160716 Moorend

20160716 Moorend

20160716 Moorend

20160716 Moorend

Withymead’s thanks Green Gym

A message from the Trustees at Withymead:
Please pass on our thanks to your Green Gymmers. We had compiled a long list of jobs for today and you managed to do so many of them.
The Forest school is now looking far more inviting now that nettles and sycamore have been tamed. The slip way is so clear, I think you could do open heart surgery on it! Let’s hope that no self respecting ragwort will show its’ face in the Study Centre garden for a while.
I learnt a lot from your group again today. The group working down by the river spotted the Hemlock Water Dropwort and the Figwort – both interesting finds. I was asked about sand martin predators and have been doing a bit of Googling to find out. Apparently they are predated by both birds and small mammals – stoat, rats, heron and sparrow hawk – so the surrounding vegetation needs to be kept low to act as a deterrent.
There are fewer sand martins this year because there has been a drought in Africa – their winter feeding grounds. We hope that some might spot the new homes waiting for them at Withymead when they start their migration back to Africa.
We look forward to seeing you again in a month’s time.

Hurst Water Meadows

Many thanks for all your efforts today. I am amazed at the amount of work your group gets through. I was so pleased we managed to keep that bonfire going.

I’ve updated our blog with some of Lisbet’s pictures and attached a group one for you to use. But please feel free to download and use any of our pictures.

Lots of nettle scything during the next few months. It will be interesting to see how Old Bridge Meadow looks when you visit in the Autumn.



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