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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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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Wed 6th July 2011 - The Duver, St Helens.

Yes it's that time of the year again when the Green Gym take up their
litter pickers, black bags and ragforks, to help the National Trust wardens
keep their land and beach at St Helens shipshape and Bristol fashion. About
40 of us set to on a somewhat changeable day with a couple of light showers,
but dry on the whole. The ragwort was certainly plentiful and the beach
clean yielded the usual crop of all sorts of plastic, cans and bottles
together with other detritus (including smelly things in black bags)
obviously some dog owners have trouble seeing the bright red bins that you
actually put the bags in!!!!

Carrie's Nature Lesson

This week we came across one of the best-known flowers of the countryside,
Foxgloves (Digitalis Purpurea). This tall familiar herb produces 20-80
nodding flowers on a long spike, known as a raceme. The tube-like flowers
are pinkish-purple in colour, with an area of white inside the tube
featuring darker purple spots and a few hairs. The greyish stem is woolly,
and the green oval or lance-shaped leaves have downy upper surfaces, but are
woolly below. The common name derives from the Anglo-Saxon 'foxes glofa'
meaning foxes gloves, and refers to the tubular flowers which are suggestive
of the gloves of a small animal. The flowers were also known as 'witches'
thimbles' by Medieval herbalists. This species thrives in acidic soils in a
range of habitats including open woods, woodland clearings, moorland, heath
margins, hedge banks, sea-cliffs, waste land, rocky mountain slopes and
hedgebanks. The active agents in foxglove, known as digitoxin and digoxin,
are still used in modern medicine to control heart rate.

Many thanks to Carrie and Mark for the pictures and to Carrie for the editorial.

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