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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 :-

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Wed 1st June 2011 - Brading Downs.

Terry's Photographs.

Carrie's Photographs.

This week the GG meeting was part of a much bigger event called Bioblitz. It allows lots of the groups associated with nature to come together and also have a "nature day" collecting data on a given area. Brading Down has recently achieved Local Nature Reserve status so it will be interesting to see what is growing and living in this area of rich biodiversity. We were tasked with several jobs this week, extreme pathway building (see below), ragwort pulling and general trimming of the undergrowth along the numerous pathways on this site. It was an excellent turnout and good progress was made on the given tasks. At tea break we were treated to delicious cake, the occasion being farewell to one of our long term ranger friends, Rick. Good luck in whatever you decide to do next......!

Definition of extreme pathway building - take a pile of about 5 tons of stone chippings - get as many wheelbarrows as you can muster (complete with athletes to push them!) - find the steepest path around (at LEAST a 30 degree slope) then barrow the chippings from the top to the bottom...!!! To make it even more interesting, make sure the slope is south facing and organise the event on a really hot day. You soon become very aware of where your leg muscles are.....

Green Gym had a stand up in the car park area and members of the public seemed very interested in the work we do across the Island.

Carrie’s Nature Lesson

This week we found a Great Mullein, (Verbascum Thapsus), also known as Aaron’s Rod. As well as growing in disturbed areas such as fields and ditches, it is also easy to grow in the garden. A multi-purpose herb it is a lovely addition to your landscaping, with a stalk growing some 6ft high and leaves up to 2ft across. The leaves are spirally arranged, often densely hairy with flowers having five symmetrical petals in colours including yellow (most common), orange, red-brown, purple, blue or white. The Puritans used it as a medicinal herb, with teas and ointments made form the leaves of the plant used for many years to alleviate lung diseases, rheumatism, burns, rashes and earaches. In your garden a good specimen is excellent for attracting bees who enjoy the blossoms, while birds can also eat the seeds.

The other picture shows some of the "beasties" that was found on the day.....!!!!

Many thanks to Terry & Carrie for the photographs and Carrie for the nature lesson.

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