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Thursday 16 December 2010

Wed 15th Dec 2010 - Shide Quarry, Newport.

This week Team GG were back at Shide Quarry for the Christmas "Bash". Over the years that GG has been running, it has been a tradition that the final GG meeting of the year is held at the quarry - so that once the work is completed - the party can begin....!!! Although the forecast was for rain, it held off for us and good time was had by all. The work this week was to continue the scrub clearance at the south end of the quarry, collect up all the cut material, then burn it on the controlled fires that were set by our friendly rangers. One of the fires was used to heat the various pots and pans containing all the vegetables that the team had donated. Once the work tasks were deemed complete, the veg soup was doled out to the assembled group. The scene may have resembled a soup kitchen but that hot soup and veg tasted absolutely wonderful....!!! This was followed up with home made cakes, mince pies, biscuits etc, etc - truly a banquet fit for a King. A huge thank you to June & Colin for the organisation and "pot stirring", to our friendly rangers for the heat source and to everyone who contributed to the vittles.

As blog master, I would like to thank (on behalf of the GG Team) all those who organise our Wednesday meetings. Without Mark and his team of "Santa's little helpers" it would be difficult to see how anything would ever get done.

As 2010 for the GG team draws to a close all that is left to do is wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and we look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.

Friday 10 December 2010

Wed 8th Dec 2010 - Mundsley Bog, Godshill.

"The cold winds blew in over the frost covered bracken....." No - not the start of some Sherlock Holmes mystery novel but what the GG Team were presented with last Wednesday morning! With the daytime temperature on (or below) freezing, walking around with your feet in freezing water takes some doing.... but do it we did. Considering the poor weather conditions we had a good turn out to attack the ever growing willow plantation. Frequent viewers of this blog will be well aware of how overgrown it was when we first visited here and the progress we have made in trying to clear the area on our many visits. This time the work focused around chopping out the new growth willow, gathering the dead bracken into piles and the modification of some of the drainage ditches. The tea break was particularly welcome this week, a cup of hot fluid has never tasted so good and also helped to thaw frozen hands..!! Well done to all those who turned out - the site looked a lot better when we left it.

Many thanks to Carrie for the photographs this week.

Thursday 2 December 2010

Wed 1st Dec2010 - Red Squirrel Dell, Ryde.

The bitterly cold weather conditions this week meant that it was quite an achievement even to get to the location. Ice and a little snow were one factor (one of the padlocks on the tool shed was frozen!) and a piercingly cold wind another. This understandably meant that numbers were reduced. Never-the-less a very good number, considering the elements, turned out to the 'Red Squirrel Dell', an important piece of wooded boundary for the recreation ground in Pell Lane, Ryde. This is a wildlife corridor linking gardens here to Play Street Lane and one of our favourites, The Millennium Green. We cleared a good area ready for the planting of native trees later in the season.

The site itself was thankfully, as the name suggests, in a dip in the landscape and we escaped the worst of the wind chill factor while we worked. I thought I would investigate, as this week I am the stand-in reporter, this phenomenon of 'wind chill' so often quoted in forecasts. It seems the rate that a surface looses heat depends upon the wind speed above it, so the faster the wind speed the more readily it cools. So if you take an inanimate object, it will reach the ambient temperature quicker if there is wind passing over it. However for biological organisms, like us, our physiological response is to try and maintain our surface temperature in an acceptable range so as to avoid adverse effects (frostbite etc). So that attempt to maintain the surface temperature when there is a faster heat loss from wind chill gives a perception of a lower temperature and a very real accelerated rate of heat loss from the body.

Many thanks to Mark for the pictures and editorial this week.