Julia Millington from Hazeldene writes:
“With a dire forecast and in the midst of Storm Dennis, you might be forgiven for thinking the turn-out for Eynsham's 1st Nature Recovery Day would be poor. However a large number of hardy souls turned out for the meet up at The Market Garden and a really enjoyable morning ensued. After an excellent introduction about how far the project had come already, we divided into groups with myself joining the tree-planting group. The speed with which the trees were planted was quite breath-taking and soon the trees along Ross and Julie Macken’s property on the Oxford Road before the Toll Bridge roundabout were in-filled with new crab-apple trees, hazels and oaks. It will become a glorious site in spring. My job was to fetch and place the mulch - quite amazing how enjoyable even that job can be! Completely disregarding the rain (which was by now coming down in bucket-loads) we laughed and chatted and it wasn't long before the job was done. I have to admit I am not a natural gardener and have never taken part in a project such as this before. However I can thoroughly recommend it for all sorts of highly commendable reasons - not least for enhancing knowledge, community spirit and undoubtedly for getting to know your neighbours better.”
Expert birders Sally Taylor from Witney Road and Andy Creasey from Clover Place set out with a group novice surveyors, underlining the principle of the project that knowing what we have is not only critical for protecting it but also enables us to measure gain (or loss) and is a key preparation for any intervention.
“The first bird survey was conducted on Fishponds, but in difficult heavy rain, at times.
We encountered 12 species of birds, Song Thrush, Robin and Wren all singing, so I would expect them all to be breeding in that area. A Treecreeper was only seen by one member of the Group, let's hope we all see it next time.”
It is hard to imagine a more powerful coming together: on the 15th, Jonathan and Lucy decked out the Market Garden and raised around £250 for trees – 5% of their takings for the day - from many Eynshamers who spent more than usual for the fund-raiser. The following day, Jonathan and Lucy again took the lead by opening up the café for the nature recoverers on their one day off. The Market Garden is surely becoming the generous heart of Eynsham Nature. Thank you from all of us!
Also, by some wonderful telepathy, the sum raised by the Market Garden is cost of the new trees, which now nestle between trees planted by Julia and Jim Loken in the 1960s. Our trees come from Murray Maclean, who is the same local grower who supplied all the Lokens' trees, so hopefully our additions will thrive along with their ancestors. Huge thanks to Ross and Julie for facilitating this and also for providing a perfect mulch in last summer’s hay which they took off to prepare for their newly created wildflower meadow.