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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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Wednesday 27 August 2008

Wed 27th Aug 2008 - Play Lane Millennium Green Ryde.

Each week, on a Wednesday morning, I get ready for the Green Gym - protective footwear, gloves etc...... but the one thing I haven't needed much this SUN HAT...!!!!! This week was the same - no sun, but at least it was warm and most importantly - dry. The GGymers met up at the site and were given a tour of the trees that had been felled by some morons with a chain saw. I would be pleased if someone could explain to me what possible pleasure they get from carrying outs such acts - a classic case of the majority having to suffer for the actions of a mindless few. Some of the team soon set to work and cut up the downed trees to allow the smaller trees in the area to grow and hopefully allowing the cut-off stumps to shoot again. Part of the team worked on a section of woven fencing, others made good progress at giving some of the more overgrown areas a "hair cut" and the pond area was treated to a clean-up. There was a really good turnout this week and this venue is becoming a very popular one for the Green Team.
The top two pictures show " before and after" shots of a cleared area (thanks to Eddie) and the others show some of various tasks that were tackled (thanks to Carrie).
NEWSFLASH. Remember the beach clean-up we did at Water Shoot Bay? Have a look at this link to the County Press web page - we are famous once again!

Wednesday 20 August 2008

Wed 20th Aug 2008 - Kitbridge Farm.

This week the GGymers were back at one of our "regular" venues - Kitbridge Farm. Mark had decided that with the Olympics happening at this time, he would give us a job FENCING.....(oh what a BAD, OLD joke...!) The "before and after" pictures above will show what was involved - cutting back the undergrowth to strip-out the damaged old fencing, resite & drive in new (stronger) fence posts and then re-errect the original fencing. Other GG members helped with various land management tasks that included ragwort pulling and the planting of new shrubs. We had an excellent turnout and the weather gods smiled on us - the rain held off until just after 1 pm...!
Nature Lesson - Robin's Pin Cushion Galls.
The team that were working on the ragwort pulling noticed this unusual "plant". Many thanks to Carrie for this week's nature lesson.........

Robin’s Pin Cushion Galls appear in late summer and autumn on wild rose bushes, and these spectacular scarlet galls are created by the tiny wasp “Diplolepis Rosae”. It lays its eggs in either the leaves or stem of the dog rose, and one gall may contain several grubs each in an individual chamber. These feed on the plant through the winter and emerge in Spring. The cushion provides a home to many other tiny creatures, and is sometimes called the Bedeguar Gall.
Many thanks to Eddie & Carrie for the pictures this week.

Thursday 14 August 2008

Wed 13th Aug 2008 - Alverstone Mead.

Our visit to Alverstone Mead this week saw us pulling the dreaded ragwort yet again (we must be world experts at this by now). We worked in several fields where cattle regularly graze, and there was an excellent turnout despite the poor weather forecast. We did experience a few drops of rain but our main difficulty was extremely strong winds, which threatened to take us off our feet at times.

The ragwort on the Mead is not the same as that on Brading Down but is known as Marsh Ragwort (Senecio Aquaticus), and often has a rather unkempt appearance. It is shorter, more widely branched and less stiff than common ragwort, with glossier leaves mostly with a large end lobe and much smaller forward-pointing side-lobes, with oval root-leaves which are often undivided. The flowers are much less densely clustered than those of other members of the ragwort family, and the petals are relatively long compared to common ragwort. It is found mainly in marshes, ditches and on damp shaded riverbanks, flowering in July and August.
Ragwort contains alkaloids that are toxic to cattle, deer, pigs, horses, and goats. Sheep appear to be less affected, and can consume great quantities without apparent injury. In susceptible animals, the alkaloids cause degradation of liver function, with lethal results in one to two days when the animal ingests three to seven percent of its body weight in Ragwort. However, such acute poisonings seldom occur because the low palatability of the plant usually results in only small quantities being consumed per day. Chronic effects result from a gradual loss of liver function that eventually develops into a cirrhosis-like condition, eventually leading to death.

This week the photographs were from Eddie & Carrie and Carrie wrote the text (inluding the "nature lesson"!) Many thanks.

Wednesday 6 August 2008

Wed 06th Aug 2008 - Watershoot Bay.

I thought that I knew most of the place names on the Island - but this week's GG had me looking for the OS map...! Watershoot Bay is to the west of St Catherine's Lighthouse - just beyond the farm buildings - then follow the footpath. If you wish to visit, (and it is well worth it) I suggest you park the car back on the top road and walk down the lane towards the lighthouse as there is no parking at the bottom.
So........having got there - what were we tasked to do? Quite simple really, grab a black plastic rubbish sack and a litter picker then walk along the beach and collect anything that shouldn't be there. The task was complicated a little as we had to list the type of rubbish as we collected it - just goes to show that even the simplist job needs PAPERWORK. There certainly wasn't any shortage of things to collect, everything from plastic bottles to huge fishing nets. We even found a 30 foot length of rope that was thicker than my two arms put together. To make things a little more interesting, a lot of the items were coated in a thick layer of black oil - just what the local wildlife needs. Good progress was made at collecting the rubbish and the black bags were soon making an impressive pile at the collection point. The weather was hot, humid with the sun breaking through and we had a good turnout (perhaps to see the impressive views?).
This week we have Hilary, Carrie & Eddie to thank for the above photographs.