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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 :-

The link to Twitter is

If you would like to leave us any comments then please use this link

Friday, September 30, 2011

Wed 28th Sept 2011 - Heytesbury Road Recreation Ground, Yarmouth.

Almost every other week recently I seem to be starting this blog with "This week GG were at another new venue..." and this week is yet another one on the ever growing list! Perhaps it was the glorious weather (blue sky and temperatures in the mid 20's C) or the thought of the wonderful views across the marsh that encouraged around 40 GG members to turn out on Wednesday morning. As we walked through the beautifully cut grass on the recreation ground, you could almost hear the comments " Well, not much for us to get stuck into here" - how wrong we were! Mark soon pointed us in the direction of an area that seems to left to do it's own thing for ever and a day - so lopers, saws and slashers were the tools of the day. The plan was that we would reclaim the area around a drainage ditch from the brambles and undergrowth that had covered the whole area. The cut down items were stacked into nature piles and the team made steady progress at hacking into the "jungle". The sun was particularly hot so many thanks to the kind lady who came out with jugs of cold water to keep the troops happy.....!

Press release from Mark........(and also thanks to him for the photograph this week)

Island’s High Sheriff joins the Isle of Wight Green Gym

The Island’s Green Gym conservation group has had the pleasure recently of welcoming a special new member to their ranks. The Island’s High Sheriff, Susie Sheldon, joined them for a session to help with the clearing of scrub on some land in Yarmouth.

The IW Green Gym is an independent conservation group linked nationally to the BTCV. They work right across the Island with charities, schools, parishes and councils to help improve the environment. Yarmouth Town Council was the partner on this occasion and supported the group. This week’s task was on a site which acts almost as a buffer zone between the recreation ground and the far quieter environment of Rofford Marsh with its valuable habitat, with SSSI status, important for wildlife with specialist flora and fauna including wading birds such as Snipe and Little Ringed Plover. The IW Green Gym is almost always well attended with 41 volunteers all doing their bit this week to help with the management of scrub along the site’s boundary. It is important to occasionally clear some areas of scrub, both to maintain the habitat and to inspect such things as ditches and boundaries. The group got to work and succeeded in completing the project in hand, in spite of some vicious bramble which has a tendency to attempt to fight back! Many volunteers were cutting away the scrub whilst others including pupils from St Georges School and a group from OSEL were busy creating habitat piles for the benefit of invertebrates and small mammals. During the morning their special guest the High Sheriff, Susie Sheldon involved herself in the task as she learnt about the IW Green Gym and the work the dedicated volunteers do, week in and week out around the Island.

Susie commented “This is volunteering and community work at its best, with people of all different ages and abilities sharing in the hard work, physical exercise, and social interaction at the same time as learning about the rural environment. I really enjoyed meeting all the people involved and relished the work, even the brambles.

The IW Green Gym volunteers enjoyed meeting Susie and were taken by her willingness to get stuck in with the task in hand. In response the Group’s Chairman Mark Russell said

“Our group is of course very practical in our approach to things; it is quite clear that Susie is in tune with this attitude to life and I know this was appreciated by the other volunteers. All in all it was a fantastic session in what was tremendously hot weather, so I’d like to thank Susie very much for finding time to come along and support us this week.”

For details of the IW Green Gym’s Autumn 2011 programme visit or telephone 866459.

Contact Details:

Mark Russell – Chairman

The Isle of Wight Green Gym is an independent community group providing an opportunity for caring for the environment and at the same time improving your health through various conservation tasks. We are one of around 90 nationwide and are affiliated to the BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers).

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