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Blog Archive

IoW GG links

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

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Wed 20th Feb 2019. Afton Marsh LNR (North). GG # 773.

Terry's Photographs.

Lots of standing willow to "process".

He must be an Aquarian...."the water carrier"..!

The fire gets underway.

Plenty of material to feed that fire with.


So many people, all hard at work.

Looking clearer already.

Yes, you've guessed it..tea break.

Getting seriously muddy by now.

Wow, did we clear ALL that..?

Mark's Photographs.

Looking at Mark's notes, it has been FOUR years since we visited Afton Marsh...seems like only a few months ago! Obviously the ground here is very boggy which means that willow adores it - vast amounts of it springs up everywhere. The instructions were simple..."Cut it down" which is music to the ears of a GGmer, so we were soon all busy hacking away. Those with the hardest job were the ones who were transporting the cut material to the fire... as the ground is difficult to traverse. Not unusual for you to move forward but a boot to stay fixed firmly in the swampy mud 😏 Once again, the weather was very kind to us, pleasantly warm with long sunny periods - perfect. The light trimmings were disposed of on the fire with the thicker trunks piled up to make habitats for the wildlife. Perhaps we will get back here again, before another 4 years pass us by..?

Many thanks to Terry & Mark for the photographs.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Wed 13th Feb 2019 - St Helens Primary School. GG # 772.

Mark's Photographs.

Terry's Photographs.

"And today's tasks will be..." Mark reads from the job list.

Work gets underway..Team GG divided by a fence.

Time for tea.

Planting new whips at the top of the sports field.

A rather curious onlooker..!

The "pond" side of the fence almost complete..

...and "t'other" side - both looking very neat and tidy.

Time for a break after the back-breaking work.

As with many of our GG sessions, the first task of the day was to negotiate the numerous road works and diversions cunningly set up by Island Roads. This was then followed by "hunt the car parking space" around the village green 😏 Eventually we all found somewhere to park and headed on up the cul-de-sac to the school. It must have been around 10 years ago that we had our last visit here, when we put in a pond and constructed some planters - all of which have survived..! Have a look at this link....

The pond had unfortunately developed a leak and due to our old friend H&S, was deemed unsafe for little ones to be around. This was emptied of the rotting vegetation and then back filled with a mixture of new soil and compost so it might live on, now as a super safe bog garden. The two main working sites were somewhat overgrown (see the first photos above) and benefited from a good cut back and tidy-up. Where possible, any live plants and shrubs were retained and replanted. Several other smaller tasks were undertaken around the school including the planting of new whips along the top boundary of the playing field.
The weather was a bright sunny day, almost spring like, and we had a very good turn-out. Well done everyone who attended, let's hope that it won't be another 10 years before we get to work here again..!

A message from the Headmaster.

What a great job. 
We will add a couple of photos to our newsletter this week to celebrate the fantastic improvements.
I'm hoping it will be nearer to 10 weeks rather than 10 years before our next collaboration. 

Please send out gratitude to all the wonderful volunteers.



Many thanks to Mark & Terry for taking the excellent photographs.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Very sad news regarding Carole Walker.

Hello Everyone,

It is with great sadness that I need to tell you that our Carole passed away at 3.00 pm this afternoon (24th Jan). 
Carole had recently suffered a major stroke and was immediately taken to Southampton General where she had remained, I believe, in an unconscious state until today when she slipped away. I have extended this email to many people who knew her but who may not have known of her recent stroke, so I do apologise if this has come as a shock.

I know I'm not just speaking for myself when I say that Carole will be greatly missed by everyone who knew or worked with her. Carole's energy and compassion for her community, the environment, young people and old, the Church and many other causes meant that she knew a great number of people. She was a wonderful kind person and has had, since her retirement from being a Head teacher, so many roles in so many of the Island's voluntary organisations.

I have attached here a few photos of some memories I have of Carole, of the fun we had, and of her great help to IWGG as a former committee member of our group.

Kind regards

Hi Everyone,
I'm forwarding on to you all an email from Neil, thanking us for our thoughts and wishes and with a date for a Celebration of Life service on the 2nd March. Please see below...
There is also attached 2 more lovely photos which Sue has found which catch Carole's sense of fun brilliantly.

best wishes

Dear Mark

Thank you for your very kind e-mail and wonderful photo attachments. Green Gym played a major part in Carole's life; please thank them for all their thoughts and wishes; she so enjoyed the outdoors, the conservation and the team. You were a very dear friend of hers and held in very high regard, as one of her family.
I am more than happy for you to post something in memory of Carole on your blog site.
There is to be a Celebration of Life service at Christ Church, Totland Bay at 2pm on Saturday 2nd March to which everyone will be welcome.

Best regards

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Wed 6th Feb 2019 - Morton Marsh, Sandown. GG # 771.

Terry's Photographs.

Lopers and bow saws being handed out to all.

Once across that bridge, there is no going back...!

Try and memorise what this tree looks like...


The very welcome break for tea..

Mark, explaining the finer points of something..!

Remember that photo of that tree (above)...
This is what it looked like after coppicing.

Eventually, the bonfire really got started.

This week it was back to a venue that we seem to be visiting with increasing frequency... Morton Marsh. In spite of the recent snow and rain, the water table hadn't risen significantly so it was wellington boots rather than waders(thank goodness!). The task was easily defined as "coppice that willow" - it can't get much simpler than that, can it? Anyone who has a willow tree in their garden will know just how prolific it can become in a VERY short time, all it needs is damp soil and away it grows. We were instructed to only thin certain areas this time around as this work is on a rotation ensuring that there is still plenty of cover left for the local wildlife. Once again, the photographs shows the scope of the work that was achieved in those few, short, hours - certainly some of the larger willow areas were reduced in size...considerably...!
Although the forecasted weather was for rain, it held off for the duration of the session and, once again, we were back to the unseasonably warm weather that seems to be predominant this winter.

Many thanks to Terry for taking this week's photographs.