Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Volunteers celebrate 15th anniversary of Green Gym

SONNING Common Green Gym held a special work session to celebrate its 15th anniversary.

SONNING Common Green Gym held a special work session to celebrate its 15th anniversary.

Members of the voluntary group were joined by representatives from around Oxfordshire at the Withymead Nature Reserve in Goring.

Almost 40 volunteers took part in a series of physical tasks, including renewing fences, replacing gravel on footpaths and digging out leaf mould from a historic slipway that was the site of Saunders’ Boatyard at the turn of the 20th century.

Dr William Bird, a partner at Sonning Common Health Centre, conceived the Green Gym in 1998 as a way of improving fitness through outdoor exercise.

It is an affiliate of the Conservation Volunteers and since it was established there have been a further five Green Gym groups set up in Oxfordshire and nearly 100 across the UK.

Dr Bird, who worked alongside the volunteers at the anniversary event, said he was “delighted” to see his vision become so successful.

“It is becoming clear that over-eating is not the prime cause of major health problems but rather lack of exercise,” he said. “For those people not interested in sports or indoor gyms, activities such as health walks and Green Gyms can be the answer.”

Keith Tomey, a resident warden at Withymead with Dorothy Reich, said the Green Gym often carried out work at the reserve, adding: “They have been a tremendous help with our conservation work and making the reserve more accessible to visitors.”

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