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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wed 29th May 2013 - Eastern Yar, Alverstone.

Mark's Photographs.

Carrie's Photographs.

Tony's Photograph.

The Green Gym session this week was a return visit to the Eastern Yar river, between Newchurch and Alverstone. Himalayan Balsam has become something of a problem here so we were pulling up as much as possible in the designated area. Due to the cold spring and our visit being a little earlier in the year this time, the balsam wasn't anywhere near as high which caused a bit of a problem as it was in-between the stinging nettles!

For the readers who are not familiar with this fast growing plant, please see have a look at the following link - then enter " himalayan balsam" into the search box.

Good progress was made at clearing the area between the river and the cycle path, hopefully we have reduced the problem for another year. Each plant that flowers can produce upwards of 800 seeds which it "throws" up to a 6 metre every plant pulled really does help!

It was amazing to see just how many members of the public use this footpath either walking, horse riding or cycling (we even saw a tandem!). During the session a cuckoo was hear several times from the nearby woods. The weather was warm and dry which encouraged a good turnout of GG members.

Carrie's Nature Lesson.

During our removal of Himalayan Balsam, we found several comfrey (Symphytum officinale) plants - this is a perennial herb of the family Boraginaceae with a black, turnip-like root and large, hairy broad leaves that bear small bell-shaped flowers of various colours, typically cream or purplish, which may be striped. It is native to Europe growing in damp, grassy places, and is locally frequent throughout Ireland and Britain on river banks and ditches. One of the country names for comfrey was 'knitbone', a reminder of its traditional use in healing bone fractures. The allantoin contained in the plant is thought to help replace and thus repair cells in the body through its proliferant properties. Comfrey was used in an attempt to treat a wide variety of ailments ranging from bronchial problems, broken bones, sprains, arthritis, gastric and varicose ulcers, severe burns, acne and other skin conditions. It was reputed to have bone and teeth building properties in children, and have value in treating "many female disorders".

Photographs supplied by Carrie, Mark and Tony, Nature Lesson from Carrie - many thanks....!

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