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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

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wed 1stJuly 2009 - Brading Down.





A beautiful sunny day with a nice light breeze on top of Brading Down, was this week’s venue for the Green Gym, helping Bob Edney from the Rangers with some clearance work. Our enthusiastic group went to work in quite a large area, digging up and bagging ragwort, removing a large number of large thistles, and clearing a big patch of weeds before they can re-seed and spread further across the Down. An extensive amount was cleared, as can be seen from the very full trailer in the picture.

Carrie’s Nature Lesson


Clearing ragwort inevitably means finding Cinnabar moths and caterpillars; Cinnabar moths (Tyria Jacobaeae) resemble no other British species, except perhaps the burnets, and are fairly common in much of Britain. It is generally nocturnal, but is quite often disturbed during the day from long grass, low herbage etc. The distinctive larvae, with their yellow and black hoops, generally feed gregariously on ragwort (Senecio Jacobaea) and other related plants. We also came across some Burdock (Arctium minus), which grows wild throughout most of North American, Europe and Asia. They are most noticeable from their leaves which are dark green, growing up to 45cm in length with a woolly underneath and prickly seed heads. As a plant, the taproot of young burdock plants (which are black) can be harvested and eaten as a root vegetable.

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