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Isle of Wight Green Gym - Official Blog.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wed 10th Feb 2016 - Bouldnor Forest, Yarmouth. GG # 621.

Sue's Photographs.

The route march to get there...

Thank goodness for the quad, it made easy work
of getting the tools and tea equipment on site!

No shortage of gorse bushes to cut.

"Ladies and gentlemen….select your tools"

A nice view over Yarmouth.

The "enemy" so pretty but SO prolific.

One way of dealing with it.

Tea break time.

With all that smoke our clothes will never get moths…lol.

Well heather - now it's down to you…!!

Can it really be almost four years ago since we last visited this venue? For those who have short memories, then have a look at this link - to bring back recollections of the (in)famous "as dug" incident..!
Wed 6th June 2012 - Bouldnor Forest.
We mustered in the car park, eyes scanning to ensure that there wasn't a pile of the dreaded lurking anywhere… phew, all clear! With storm Imogen having blown through earlier in the week (96 mph winds at the Needles) the weather was really agreeable. A cool breeze blowing but the occasional patch of blue sky was letting the sun through - all the better for appreciating the stunning views, over the Solent, from our worksite of the day. We had climbed the rather steep, muddy hill from the car park area, up to an open field covered in gorse bushes. Our brief was very simple…. cut as much gorse as possible, drag it back to the bonfire and burn it…! This sort of task is music to the ears of a GGmer, the exact mission that we all excel at.
As shown in the photographs, the whole team were soon spread out along the track, hacking their way through the plentiful gorse. The plan is to give the heather, growing copiously under the gorse, a chance to become dominant and let the area return as it was previously - open meadow. Hopefully, cattle will be introduced to keep the undergrowth down in the future. Gorse is a difficult thing to deal with as it can be regarded as "nature's barbed wire" but we managed to clear a considerable area by the end of the session - so a pat on the back for all who attended.

Photographs were taken by Sue - thank you Sue.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wed 3rd Feb 2016 - Moor Wood (Sandpit Copse), Wootton. GG # 620.

Sue's Photographs.

The long trek….

Just some of the mud.

Hard at work.

Some of Team GG crossing "The Swamp"!

So many people…..

Just one of the many piles.

More mud.

Looking south and...

….then looking North - a good morning's work.

Mark's Photographs.

Having endured a somewhat bouncy ride down Knight's Cross lane and then found somewhere to park, it was a reasonably long "yomp" over fields and through woodlands to the work site at Moor Wood. The local wildlife must have been very amused to see us all trooping along, loaded with tools, tea-break supplies etc while climbing numerous stiles and trying to stop our wellies being sucked into the mud…! Our brief was to cut and pile as much of the willow and bramble as possible so, at a later date, cattle might be introduced to graze the whole area. This should keep further undergrowth to a minimum, thereby encouraging the woodland flowers to bloom. From our experience with the mud today, I hope the cattle are either water buffalo or regular cows with snow shoes…! Considering just how far we were off the beaten track, we had a really good turnout and there were many stacks of cuttings across the whole site by the end of the session. The weather was a vast improvement over last week's session (not difficult!) with sun and blue skies but a rather cutting North Westerly blowing - still very good for February. The trek back to the car parking area was "interesting" with various groups navigating their way back through the fields and woodland. Hopefully….. everyone made it back safe and sound???

Have a look at the GG Twitter site for photographs of the fungi that we found during this session.

For those who do not Tweet on Twitter (or whatever you say…!) here is a screen shot..

Many thanks to Sue and Mark for the photographs this week.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Mon 1st Feb 2016 - This might be of interest to GGmers….????

This was re-tweeted (re-blogged…?) from the Island Echo Twitter pages and is for general information only! Some of the listed areas may change… so watch this space.

island2000Popular beauty spots such as Brading Down and Golden Hill have been secured for the future following a deal between the Isle of Wight Council and local charity Island 2000.
As part of its continued efforts to reduce spending, in 2014 the council agreed to cease its countryside management service.  However, local organisation the Island 2000 Trust, as part of the charity’s ‘Gift to Nature’ project, will be taking over management of the service from today (Monday 1st February).
Councillor Paul Fuller, Executive Member for Public Realm, said:
“This is fantastic news for the Island. The future of our extensive countryside estate is now assured through the partnership agreement with Island 2000 and the ‘Gift to Nature’ project.
“This enables our council to not only reduce its spending,  but at the same time ensure our countryside is safeguarded for public use.  The opportunities available to the charity will significantly improve in terms of seeking funding for enhancing access, and I look forward in seeing the prospect of future projects coming to fruition”.
The council will retain ownership of its 170 hectare countryside estate.  Island 2000 will undertake management of the estate through a partnership agreement.  No job losses have occurred as part of the transfer of services.
The Isle of Wight Council’s Countryside Manager, Matthew Chatfield, is one of the staff due to be transferred. He explained:
“This is great news for anyone who loves the Island’s countryside – we’ve got a big job ahead of us but I’m glad to report that we will be keeping our wonderful nature reserves and country parks open for everyone. We’re excited and optimistic about the future of the new, bigger and more dynamic Gift to Nature – and proud to be building on the strong support that Island people have shown for Gift to Nature in the past.”
Graham Biss from Island 2000 said:
“Over the last few months we have been working hard with the council to find a way forward for their Countryside Service and I am delighted we have been able to put together this partnership arrangement.
“We care passionately about the Island’s natural environment and ensuring it is readily available to everyone to enjoy. However this is only the start and if we are going to be successful we will need everyone to support us to help preserve these important assets.
“I am delighted to welcome Matthew Chatfield and Nick Webb to the Gift to Nature team.”
Areas now managed by Gift to Nature are thought to include:
• Afton Marsh
• Medina Riverside Park
• Dodnor Creek and Dickson’s Copse
• Golden Hill Country Park
• Brading Down
• Shide Chalk Pit
• Rew Down
• Nansen Hill Bonchurch
• Haylands Wood
• Binstead Wood (Dame Anthony’s Common)
• Millennium Wood, Seaclose
• Sibden Hill & Batt’s Copse, Shanklin
• Sandown Levels
• The Landslip Bonchurch
• Blackgang Viewpoint
• Rosemary Lane / Swanmore Meadows
• Merstone Station
• Land at Connie’s Way, Newport
• Pan Mill Meadows
• Castle Copse
• One Horse Field
• Munsley Bog
• Sandown wetland walk and community orchard
• Bohemia Bog

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wed 27th Jan 2016 - Castle Copse, East Cowes. GG # 619.

Sue's Photographs.

A selection of the items found on the litter-pick.
(The watering can and mooring buoy might have
been particularly handy for today's weather!)

This is part of the path we constructed - with the 
white water rapids running alongside.

Just one of the areas cleared.

Children! As if we weren't wet enough already.

Mark's Photographs.

Tending the shrubs we planted last year.

The path before….

and after we had started laying the crushed limestone.

Want a bit of advice for free…..? If you read a weather warning, like the one below, then DO NOT decide to ignore it and go along to a GG session anyway - you will get VERY WET…!!! Just ask the 15 of us who decided to do exactly that on this Wednesday morning.


Met Office Warnings Issued For:Isle of Wight 

  1. Yellow warning of rain 

    1000 on Wed 27 January
    1800 on Wed 27 January
    Updated  2 hours ago Active
    An area of rain will move southeastwards across southern England during Wednesday. Some locally heavy rainfall is possible and with this falling on saturated ground some localised flooding may occur. Southwesterly gales are likely along south coasts for a time.

    The day had started so well… with the programmed session at One Horse Field being cancelled (again!) we were diverted to Castle Copse in East Cowes. The above mentioned weather warning, plus having the car wipers on high speed, should have alerted us for what was coming next. In a nutshell, it just tipped it down from before we arrived and continued long after we finally gave up and went home.  We did managed to wheelbarrow two tonnes of limestone chippings, some distance up a muddy hill to repair the pathway, cut back some sycamore saplings, attack some bramble and do a litter pick before we gave in. Not bad at all - considering! At one stage, the water running down the hill was almost enough for us to float the empty barrows back down again ( well, a slight exaggeration there - but see the photographs above). 

    An extra special WELL DONE to all those who attended this weeks session!

    A quick message from Mark….

    These sessions which are challenging are always the most memorable aren't they.  It did sort of make one feel alive anyway. lol.  That's me looking on the bright side.  Well done to everyone though.  :-)

    Thanks for the photographs Sue and Mark, I hope the cameras survived?