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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

Friday 22 December 2006

News Flash

For all those who attended the Green Gym Christmas Bash at the Shide chalk pit.....have a look at the 22nd Dec edition of the County Press. On page 10 there is a nice group shot taken when Mark Earp was being presented with the giant cheque.

Tuesday 19 December 2006

Photo Shoot 3

I think we might give this photo shoot the title "Mad Hatters Tea Party"...! Once again..many thanks to our cub reporter/photographer Hilary for the photographs. Keep them coming in!

Wednesday 13 December 2006

Wed 13th Dec 2006 - Shide Quarry

The job this week was the continued brush clearance at Shide chalk quarry. Like Munn's at Brading, this had been allowed to become very overgrown and has needed a huge amount of effort to get it back to chalkland once again. This is also the venue for the Green Gym Christmas party - some of which can be seen in the adjacent picture. This year we decided to have a silly hat competition and the number of people turning up in their festive headgear was amazing... well done to all...! And a big thankyou to all those who supplied the excellent food and beverages.
This is the 3rd year that the GG have held the party here and it is astounding to think back to what this place was like at the first one. The whole of the bottom of the pit has now been cleared and the majority of the sides are now shrub & weed free. Hopefully in 2007 we will be able to stay on top of the yearly growth and continue to attack the remainder of the overgrown areas.
As the 2006 Green Gym working year draws to a close, I would like to wish everyone a

Monday 11 December 2006

Photo Shoot 2

These pictures were taken by Hilary at the Munn's chalk pit site.
All say "Ahhhhh" with the ones of Dougal.....Susie didn't stay still long enough to be caught on camera....! Once again....thanks for the pics Hilary.

Wednesday 6 December 2006

Photo Shoot

These two dubious characters were captured on film, vandalising trees in the grounds at Osborne House....When questioned - they claimed that they were "building a hedge"....likely story! Thanks for the pictures Hilary - nice one.

Wed 6th Dec 2006 - Munns Quarry Brading

This picture says it all " Cut & Burn".. exactly the sort of job that the Green Gym are becoming (in)famous for! The Munns chalk pit had become completely overgrown and was in need of a major hair cut. There had been a tractor-flail in before we got there - and we had the job of dealing with the remainder. Tractors can't deal with the big stuff or that which is 20 feet up a 45 degree slope...! The job went very well and good progress was made in clearing the sides of the pit, especially along the south side where the footpath is. This return to chalk grassland will encourage new plants, grasses, butterflies, birds etc and should look a picture by next summer. Once again the weather was extremely kind to us....bright sunshine and around 14C...excellent for the first week in December.

For those coming along to Shide Pit next week....don't forget the silly hat competition....!

Monday 4 December 2006

Winkle Street Hedge Laying...Monday 4th Dec 2006

On arriving at the Winkle Street site we were presented with a VERY overgrown hedge in a poor state of maintenance. In true Green Gym spirit, we split into two teams and attacked the job from the two ends, grubbing out all the dead wood, brambles etc. A couple of hours hard graft from the (guesstimated 7 in number) Green Gym contingent and other helpers - had a stripped out hedge and a roaring bonfire..! Oz was in fine form...dashing around giving advice (and frequently a helping hand!) whilst trying to demonstrate hedge laying techniques to the various visitors we had during the day. These included members of the Winkle Street committee, Andrew Turner (MP) and the County Press reporters/photographer (might be worth a look in the CP this week). Once cleared, we started the pleaching, staking and heathering - and soon there was something for everyone to look at..!! I apologise for the poor "after" picture posted above but by the time we were finished it was about 3:45pm (getting dark) and the rain was setting in. The Winkle Street residents seemed pleased with the work completed and will now be able to do the remainder of the work themselves. All in all - a good days work and hopefully good coverage for the IoW Green Gym - well done to all who attended.

Thursday 30 November 2006

Christmas Green Gym.

The last Green Gym before Christmas will be on Wednesday 13th December - at Shide Quarry, Newport.

This tends to be the "office party" for the Green Gymers so baked jacket potatoes, coleslaw and the "basics" will be available for the workers (supplied by the Green Gym). To ensure that there is enough to go around, please feel free to bring along any "spare" mince pies or other Christmas goodies that you may have. So Green Gymers - aprons on - flour at the ready - get out there in the kitchen to prepare some culinary delights for your fellow volunteers......!

Something a bit different this year - there will be a prize awarded to the person wearing the silliest hat / headgear on the day - let your imaginations run wild...!

Hedge Laying Certificates.

For all of you who have recently been on the hedge laying course....a message from Oz. If you become a member of the National Hedgelaying Society (see for details) - then he will be able to present you with a certificate for the one day course we did with him. Once you have joined then let Oz have your membership details and he will do the rest.....nice one Oz..! Membership of the NHS is £15 a year for us younger ones....or £10 a year for senior citizens. Could be well worth it especially if you are considering entering the Island hedge laying contest next year.
Please don't forget the Winkle Street event next Monday (4th Dec)....come along and be a Green Gym Hedge Hog....! Oz will be there if you have any questions about the certificates.

Wednesday 29 November 2006

Wed 29th Nov 2006 - Osborne House

This week the Green Team were back at Osborne House - the task being coppicing and hedge laying. We were working in the grounds close to the old mortuary (ominous!!!) - on a small wooded area that is bisected by a road. The plan is to coppice the whole area and to lay a hedge where the woodland boarders the road. As with lots of jobs, the majority of the work is in the preparation, so much of the time was taken up with clearing the areas surrounding the proposed hedge. As can been seen in the above photographs - work on the pleaching was well underway by the end of the session. Much of the cut material was salvaged and prepared for use during the hedge laying stage. The next time we are there we should see rapid progress in the actual laying of the hedges. Once again the weather was dry and unseasonably no complaints there...!!!!

Saturday 25 November 2006

Winkle Street - Country Skills Day.

The Green Gym is featured in the County Press - 24th November - page 11 - entitled "Open Day To Learn Old Skills". The event is to be held on the 4th December between 11am and 3 pm - Green Gym will be helping to demonstrate hedge laying and coppicing.

A quick word from Mark:- Please bring along the safety glasses you were given on the hedge laying course and can you please be there by 10:30am ready to meet and greet.....

So Gymers - don't forget to circle that day in your diaries....!

Wednesday 22 November 2006

The Osborne House Water Babes...

As promised in the Osborne House are the photos of Green Gymers wearing sexy, full length rubber boots....!

Many thanks to Terry for sending in the pictures - he wins the prize for being the first to send in something for publication.

Perhaps we should be running a caption competition for these photos?

Wed 22nd Nov 2006 - Nansen Hill

The task this week was to continue the scrub clearance at the Nansen Hill site on the outskirts of Ventnor. This area had become VERY overgrown with blackthorn and bramble which needed to be cleared in order to return it to the chalk downland that it originally was. There was an excellent turn out considering that the forecast was heavy rain - which held off until around 12:30 - so we didn't get too wet...!!!!

The "before and after" shots above show what can be achieved in just one hour using only people power with hand tools! By the time the session was over, considerable progress had been made in clearing the southern end of the site - one more visit should see the area bordering the road free of scrub. This is a difficult site to work on due to the steep slope - several Green Gymers were seen to be doing "Eddy the Eagle" impersonations as they tried to haul the wood to the fire.....!

General Note.
For anyone from the Green Gym who wishes to publish anything on this blogsite - please have a word with me next Wednesday. Those of you who are on the Green Gym "round robin" e-mail listing will have my e-mail address so can e-mail me any items for publication. I am happy to receive hard copy items - as long as I can read your handwriting!
Remember - this is YOUR blog site.....please contribute to it.

Wednesday 15 November 2006

Wed 15th Nov 2006 - Osborne House

This week we were back at Osborne house. The team were split into two groups - one to deal with the clearing of a pond (full of water weed) and the other to help clear flower beds in the walled garden. Once again we enjoyed good weather (the Green Gym has a reputation for picking the good days...!) - remarkably mild for mid November. Apparently there were some photographs taken at the pond watch this space for sexy shots of men in rubber waders.....!!!!

Tuesday 14 November 2006


This is the first entry on the Isle of Wight Green Gym blog site!

This is an "unofficial" site - run by Green Gymers - for their own use. The official site can be accessed on - then go to the Green Gym pages.

We hope to make this a diary of our work at the numerous sites we attend on the Isle of Wight. Any articles, pictures or almost anything can be forwarded to Bob the Blog - who will endevour to get them published on this site. So come on you guys....send in the information.....NOW..!