A Green Gym project begun in 2016, involves the creation and maintenance of flower and vegetable beds at Chipping Norton Health Centre. We are pleased to be cooperating with the Centre in enhancing the appearance of areas which greet users and staff, keeping fit as we work to help preserve increasingly threatened fauna and to encourage healthy eating.
A bumblebee-friendly flower bed
Of the two dozen types of bumblebee in the U.K., eight are commonly found here in Oxfordshire. Most of the UK species have declined greatly in recent years; two more have become extinct since the 1940s. At the end of the summer we filled an area with groups of eleven different plants that produce blooms attractive to the harmless, ecologically vital bumblebee and which together provide their nectar over an extended flowering period.
We look after all the planted areas at the Centre – the “slate bed” requires a lot of weeding!
We cleared ground and constructed raised beds to hold fruit bushes and vegetables. When produce is ready for all to pick (for free), this is advertised at the main entrance.
The crops have grown well and now fill much of the space allotted to them:
2021 saw the construction of two new planters designed to be accessible to those who find it difficult to stand for a long time, need a wheelchair, or cannot bend to ground level. They were inaugurated at a work session by Town Mayor Georgia Mazower, in the presence of Health Centre partner GP Dr Wendy Hall and a representative of Deeley Construction, who generously assisted with the materials.