This was a new venue for the Green Gym - at the site of the old (now dismantled) railway station at Merstone. The task was to remove the weeds, brambles etc from the remains of the platform structure, sow bags full of wild flower seeds for the spring/summer and to build a "grass settee"....certainly something new for Green Gymers...!
Although Merstone is a small village, the railway station and sidings were of considerable size as this was a junction of two lines. The only remains of this former glory is the brick built platform area....which is to the north of the present day carpark.
The platform is of considerable length so a lot of work was required to attack the undergrowth and brambles. The whole of the structure can now be clearly seen, rather than just bits of it poking out of the scrub! The surrounding grass areas had been recently cut, so the cuttings were raked up and used to form a nature pile for wildlife. The whole area was then sown with wild flower seeds which should look a picture later in the year.
The Grass Settee was formed by using a timber frame in the shape of the finished item - this was then filled with compacted soil. The framework was then removed and the whole thing covered with precut turf. Sounds simple....? It is amazing just how many wheel barrows full of soil are used to make a four seater settee...! All the turf panels had to be attached to the soil using wooden pegs and chicken wire was used to reinforce the arm and the back areas. Hopefully there will be some pictures of this on the blog site at a later date.
The weather was still unseasonable mild and a little rain at the start soon cleared into a bright, warm day. We look forward to returning to this site for further work sessions as the area is being developed into a wildlife park and picnic area.
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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.