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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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Friday 22 January 2010

Wed 20th Jan 2010 - Mill Copse Yarmouth

Even our hardy group of Green Gymmers were unable to cope with the very bad weather for the first two weeks of 2010, so we finally got to make it to Mill Copse this week to help the Rangers Nick and Richard. Our tasks were to coppice two areas of hazel to allow light into the areas, one of which will be a lovely carpet of bluebells in the Spring. Hazel responds well to coppicing, and this system encourages hardy re-growth to provide regular wood products. The ubiquitous bonfire was in evidence, and we also cut some appropriate bits into stakes and heathers for the annual traditional Hedgelaying Competition, which this year is being held at Kings Manor Farm, Freshwater from 10.00 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday 27 February.

Carrie’s Nature Lesson

A great time of the year for fungi, and this week we found some Stereum Hirsutem (see picture). The variability of this fungus makes identification rather difficult at first; hirsute means hairy, and the upper surfaces of these irregularly-shaped tiered brackets is distinctly hairy (if you look closely you can see them in the picture). Individual brackets are 2-8 cms across, have irregular wavy edges, and colours which are zoned and generally paler towards the margin. These darken with age and vary considerably depending on their location, but yellow, orange and brown are most common, and there is no stem. The lower spore-bearing surface is smooth without pores, rather paler than the upper surface and the tough, tasteless and inedible flesh is 0.5 to 1 mm thick. It can be found throughout the year on dead hardwood trees and fallen branches, shedding its spores in the autumn.

Thursday 14 January 2010

January 2010 - General Note.

A Happy New Year to all our readers....!

The first two Green Gym meetings of 2010 had to be cancelled due to the snow here on the Island. They should have been at Munsley Bog, Godshill and at the Island Sailing Centre, Dodnor, Newport. It would have been dangerous to ask people to try and attend and most of the tasks that were programmed in would have been difficult (if not impossible) to undertake. As I write this blog, the snow is starting to melt - so, unless it gets very cold again or the melting snow causes flooding...... then we will keep our fingers crossed for next Wednesday morning. It takes something extreme weather wise to keep the GG Team indoors.....!

Those eagle eyed ones amongst you who read this blog will have noted that there were a couple of weeks missing when I wrote up the backlog. Mark has delved into his notes and come up with the following....

9th September Ventnor Botanic Gardens (I missed this one but this is what happened and a bit of follow up)

The garden's lower meadow has this year been planted with hop plants and this week our task was to pick the first year's harvest. Everyone enjoyed the unusual task. The varieties chosen here were First Gold and Boadicea and following our efforts the picked flowers have been sent to Fareham's for processing. Goddards, who are corporate friends of the Botanic Gardens hope to use these hops in an “All Island” beer this spring. Something to look out for in your local!

16th Sept - Niton Primary -pic attached of pond taken by me the day before during risk assessment visit, I unfortunately didn't get a chance to take any on the day - sorry.

This is another new site! The school's environmental area was the scene of much activity. The group set about cleaning out the overgrown pond, cutting back some of the taller vegetation shading it and pruning a very large Guelder Rose. While over on the other side of the grounds we cut and build a series of raised beds for the children to grow vegetables in next year. A very large turn out meant that a huge amount was completed.