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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 :-

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Thursday 28 February 2008

Wed 27th Feb 2008 - Sandown Primary School.

“This week saw our second visit to Sandown Primary School to continue our work in the sensory garden. It’s a good job the garden is in two separate sections, as numbers attending were at least 25 if not more. Our many tasks included digging over and weeding sections for planting, raising and relaying some slabs so there was no opportunity for trips or falls, bulb planting, spreading bark chips, spreading gravel and hanging a ladybird box - phew! We were following a lovely garden design very kindly done by Alice from Thompson Garden Centre, the County Press were there, and they hope to persuade a local celebrity to officially open the garden when it is finished. We also celebrated Peter’s birthday with a very nice cake brought by Sharon, and all the children sang Happy Birthday!”

The editorial this week was compiled by Carrie - Bob the Blog was absent with a cold. Due to equipment failure, we do not have any photographs of the work completed. The school has promised to send some on to us - these will be added to this blog when they arrive.
UPDATE. As you can see above, the pictures did arrive - many thanks Colin. Extra pictures this time to show just how much has been achieved with this job.....everyone concerned deserves a big pat on the back......well done. Did you see the picture in the County Press?

Thursday 21 February 2008

Wed 20th Feb 2008 - Mill Copse Yarmouth & BBC Film Crew! What is this to do with the Green Gym you might ask...???? Well, this week our GG session was filmed by a BBC film crew for the One at long last...!!!

Our task was working with the rangers out at Mill Copse, Yarmouth whilst being filmed to show what the GG is all about. The programme will be screened as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations that will be coming up in March. A record (?) number of people attended - Mark estimated it as around 42 - all helping to clear a large area of woodland. It was a cold start due to the heavy frost so a "warm up" was the order of the day (see pictures) along with a famous "ranger's bonfire"! The Green Gymers set to work with the camera man / sound engineer / presenter popping up everywhere to record the action. Several members were singled out for one to one interviews so we might have rising stars amongst our numbers (the Oscars are out next week - better leave that night free Carrie..!)

As can been seen from the pictures, we were presented with a stunning cake. Mark made short work of cutting it up with the help of a bow saw.... I am sure it was a new blade....wasn't it Mark? The proceedings all appeared to go off very well and the rangers were even impressed with the area we managed to get cleared. So a huge WELL DONE is in order for all those who attended.
The actual night the piece will be shown isn't known at the moment although the 13th March was mentioned. Best thing to do is to keep an eye on the One Show in case they screen it earlier. If I get any further details then I will publish them on this blog.
The credits for the photographs goes to June and Carrie......many thanks to you both.

Wednesday 13 February 2008

Wed 13th Feb 2008 - Mundsley Bog Godshill.

This week the Green Gymers were back at the Godshill Bog site - continuing the job of clearing this very overgrown area. We were lucky to have a glorious sunny day and it wasn't long before the jackets were off and the brambles, willow, shrubs etc were being cut down - then piled at various places around the bog. We have finally cut through to the northern boundry fence and that area is looking really good - although there is still work to be done on the area to the south of the raised walkway. This whole area has been transformed since our early visits there, let's hope that we will be asked to go back to keep up the good work and a big "well done" to all those who have been involved. It is worth having a look at the previous blogs for Mundsley - 9th & 24th Oct 2007 and the 23rd Jan 2008 - to look at the progress to date.
I hope that Carrie will get this week's pictures to me early next week - so watch this space......!

Thursday 7 February 2008

Wed 6th Feb 2008 - Afton Marsh.

As usual it was a gloriously sunny day for this week’s Green Gym, and it wasn’t long before most of us were working in short sleeves! This week’s task was helping the Rangers at Afton Marsh, by clearing some young willow trees to prevent them taking over this particular area. We then stacked the cut portions in neat piles, and the ubiquitous bonfire was soon burning merrily. As some of the cut branches were just the right size, we also cut some stakes for the Rangers to use for hedge laying practice at Pan.

Willows are mostly found near river banks, and have the ability to quickly re-grow several feet in one season merely by pushing a healthy branch cutting into the soil - even upside down! Country folk have been familiar with the healing properties of willow for a long time. They made an infusion from the bitter bark as a cold and fever remedy, and young willow twigs were also chewed to relieve pain. The isolation of the active ingredient for such pain relief - salicyclic acid - was later developed and marketed as Aspirin.

Uses for willow included coracle frames and charcoal manufacture, and its ability to absorb shock without splintering is still utilised in the making of cricket bats and stumps, while the Dutch traditionally make their clogs from willow wood. The Celts used it for the spokes of their chariot wheels, gypsies for their clothes pegs and the bark was used as fodder for livestock and a dye for tanning leather.
This week both the pictures and editorial are down to our cub reporter......nice one Carrie...!!!!