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Isle of Wight Green Gym - Official Blog.

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IoW GG links

To look at the Isle of Wight Green Gym web page (contains details of sessions etc) please use the following link :- www.iwgreengym.org.uk.

The link to Twitter is https://twitter.com/iwgreengym

If you would like to leave us any comments then please use this link iwgreengym@gmail.com

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wed 27th July 2016 - Wetland Walk, Lake. GG # 645.

Terry's Photographs.

We were working in the area shown on the bottom
left of the map.


"And today we will be doing…."


"lots of raking…!"



"and trimming back the pathways"


"plus a bit of hay making"



Sweeping the stairs? (Apple and Pears - Cockney rhyming slang)



Above and below…. a job well done!



About this time of the year we have our annual visit to the Wetland Walk area at Lake, to give it a make-over ready for the children being on holiday. This delightful, tranquil, nature rich area is just the place to take the children for a nature walk or to have a picnic plus there are fruit and nut trees (but no chocolate!) to explore. In the past we have had to cut the grass prior to raking but this year Nick the ranger had been kind to us and cut it prior to our arrival (thanks Nick!). With around half the team engaged on raking, the others tackled a wide variety of jobs including, clearing the pathways and board-walk, clearing fallen trees, clearing around the trees. Nick had a go at trimming the hedge that boarders the road and it looked much better by the end of the session. 
Although we had had light rain overnight and it being a rather grey start to the day, it remained dry for the whole session and was pleasantly warm. There seemed to be a very good turnout this week, especially as it is the start of the annual holiday season.

Many thanks to Terry for taking the photographs this week.

News item. Have just seen this on the Island Echo site. Hope that all the hard work that we put in at this Wroxall venue hasn't gone up in flames….! LARGE BLAZE BREAKS OUT IN WROXALL

Mark has just sent me this photo showing the damage….. it doesn't look good for the Bacon Factory but the Carnival building looks intact. Let's hope that it scorched some of that bloody bramble…!


The Carnival building is bottom left and the yard we have worked in is the bottom centre and right.



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wed 20th July 2016 - Wroxall Stream (opposite Barncourt Farm) GG # 644.

Sue and Terrys' Photographs.



This is what happens if you miss a small HB plant earlier in the year!


A Plume Moth.



So much to pull and so little time.


Just in case you didn't recognise Himalayan Balsam
by now….


Just a few of the larger examples.


                      Ice creams all round at tea break - served in fine style from the Queen's 90th Birthday Patrons' Lunch hamper



Did I win the biggest HB plant of the day????


Banded Demoiselle (species of damselfly).



This week we returned to fight the great fight against the Himalayan Balsam.  This plant which as you can see from the photographs grows to considerable heights smothering, if given half a chance, our own flora in the process.  So we pulled hundreds of plants saving tens of thousands of seeds being shed across the Wroxall countryside and further downstream too.
It was a warm day, in fact so warm that I decided to bring along one of the picnic baskets Gill and I were given at the Patron’s Lunch but this time filled with ice creams.  Seemed to go down very well!
Well done everyone, another successful day!



Very many thanks to Sue and terry for the excellent photographs and to Mark for the editorial.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wed 13th July 2016 - Norton Spit and Yar Estuary, Yarmouth. GG # 643


Sue's Photographs.














Terry's Photographs.

Below - some of the litter pickings being delivered to the harbour office….



and some more at Norton Spit.



We’ve beach cleaned both of these areas before but this year the usual parking on the Green was scuppered by the funfair being in place.  But that won't stop us!  Instead we started at our old favourite, Fort Victoria – taking the opportunity of the free parking but as it were in return litter picking the beach at the Fort and it’s lovely surroundings.

Then it was off to Norton Spit.  This is one of only two sand dune habitats on the Island – the other being The Duver where we were working a couple of weeks ago.  Norton boasts several sand specialists growing well, Marram Grass and Sea Holly see the photos and description.  In the adjacent salt marsh Sea Lavender was in full bloom too!  We collected a lot of small material from here and set off after tea towards the Mill at Yarmouth.  Along the route litter picking bags more assorted detritus.

All in all, a lovely walk interspersed by the feel good and distracting beach cleaning activities.


Sue and Alisons' Nature Notes.



Few plants can live near the water's edge and those that do are well adapted to the conditions. The purple flowers of sea lavender brighten the saltmarsh in the summer, while in autumn its leaves provide perfect camouflage for migrating butterflies. If salt levels are too high, sea lavender can get rid of it through pores in its leaves.



Sea holly grows in the sand dunes, another difficult environment as the dunes are unstable and there is very little water. The plant has very deep roots, making it more stable and able to reach water. Sea holly is a member of the carrot family and can store water in its roots. It has thick leaves to prevent water loss, and beautiful blue flowers in the summer.

Many thanks to Sue, Alison and Terry for the photographs this week and to Mark for the editorial.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Wed 6th July 2016 - Copse Mead Nature Reserve, Lake. GG # 642.

Sue's Photographs.



"Planting" an information sign-post.


Tackling the rather invasive laurel hedging.



Taming the jungle...



Trimming back along the pathways.


Mending the boundary fencing.



"Would Sir like a short back and sides?"


What a difference by the end of the session!



Just some of the cut material.


And another busy GG sessions draws to a close.

Mark recently made the comment, " Even after 642 Green Gym sessions, I still come up with new sites for us to visit". This was certainly true for this Wednesday morning…. no only was it a new site but around half Team GG had trouble even finding the place! Copse Mead is sited right in the middle of Lake, adjacent to the cemetery (no jokes about "Corpse" Mead please!) and surrounded by housing on the other three sides. The site has been allowed to develop as an unimproved meadow since the 1950's and is now supported by a local residents group, along with Wight Nature Fund.
On arrival we were given an introductory talk followed by a quick tour of the site to point out the tasks. A wide variety of jobs were undertaken including cutting back overgrown areas, fencing repairs, installing an information sign and lots of boundary hedging trimming. Extreme care was taken to avoid disturbing any of the wide variety of native plants, butterflies, moths, insects and birds that inhabit this wonderful oasis. Unlike some recent GG sessions (rather damp) the weather was just about perfect - some cloud and sun but not too warm for work. A most enjoyable site to work on and now we all know exactly where it is, perhaps we could have a return visit???

You might wish to have a look at this link  Wight Nature Fund - Copse Mead

Many thanks to Sue for taking the photographs this week - they certain show the wide range of jobs that we tackled.