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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, December 31, 2009

Wed 16th Dec 2009 - Shide Quarry, Christmas Bash.



Our last Green Gym of the year in our usual venue at Shide Chalk Pit, helping the rangers Nick and Richard with scrub removal, to help restore the area’s natural chalk grassland. Nick built us a nice bonfire to burn all the scrub, and Richard’s countryside skills were in use building a cooking fire for us to have a open air vegetable stew using ingredients brought along by volunteers, together with lots of other Xmas goodies – the stew was certainly delicious, and very warming on what was a very frosty but bright day.

Shide Chalk pit is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with a chalk grassland flora and a shaded stream, which has a good variety of mosses and liverworts growing by it. Since quarrying ceased in the middle of the 20th century, vegetation has been colonising the floor and sides of the pit. The quarry floor supports good quality, short tussocky chalk grassland, dominated by Sheep’s Fescue, with other species including Horseshoe Vetch, Salad Burnet, Thyme and Autumn Gentian. It also has populations of Bee, Pyramidal and Southern Marsh Orchid, and rabbits are a major influence in keeping the turf short, while adders and common lizards are known to occur. There are a good variety of butterflies in the area including brimstone, orange tip, holly blue, dingy skipper, green hairstreak and comma. The woodland is dominated by Sycamore and Ash, while hawthorn and ivy cover much of the woodland floor. The northern slope includes exotic shrubs such as Holm Oak and Sweet Bay, while the south-west corner contains more native woodland species like Wild Cherry, Field Maple and Spindle. Many common birds also nest within the site including great tit, wood pigeon, blue tit, chaffinch and jackdaw; other species seen in the area are the little owl, green woodpecker, chiffchaff, blackcap, goldcrest and long tailed tits”.

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