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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

Thursday 27 January 2011

Wed 26th Jan 2011 - Afton March, Freshwater.

Eddie's Photographs.

Carrie's Photographs.

This week's GG meeting was held out at Afton March - a site that we have visted a few times in the past. We were working with the Rangers on the "middle area" of the footpath that runs through from the garden centre to the car park by the lifeboat station. The task was to continue with the cutting back of the willow that grows so prolific in this area, burning as much as possible and stacking the remainder (for future burning). The area around an old fire site was opened out to ensure that the fire could be lit safely then it was all hands on the loppers and saws to clear as much as possible in the given time. Lighting a fire in the middle of a marsh is an "interesting" task but eventually the heat was such that the new cut material could be added - considerably reducing the pile that had been pre-cut. One of the problems of working in this area is the nature of the ground - what starts off as being reasonably firm soon becomes a boot stealing bog after being transited just a few times...! The stumps are left proud of the ground level so that further treatment can be applied that will kill off the roots. Excellent progress was made at cutting into this thicket - it is always amazing to see just how much can be achieved in just a few hours - well done to all...!!!

Mark and the rangers spent some time demonstrating hedge laying techniques to those who may be interested in entering the IoW Hedge Laying Competition. This year it will be held at Calbourne Mill on the last Saturday in February. See the website below for details further :-

Carrie’s Nature Lesson

A very colourful fungi was this week’s find - Velvet Shank (Flammulina Velutipes) one of the few fungi which grows in winter, and seeing them sprinkled with snow on a crisp winter’s morning makes a walk in the cold air really worthwhile. The cap is approximately 2cm to 6cm in diameter and is found through the UK from September to March. On standing dead trees the clusters are usually tiered, which makes the caps more regular. It is particularly common on dead elm trees, but also occurs on oak, beech and other kinds of hardwood. The cap is an orange-brown colour and the gills underneath are creamy orange, the stem is dark brown to black, and distinctly velvety to the touch (hence the name) with no ring on the stem.

The fungi is edible, although it could easily be confused with similar looking species, so an expert opinion before eating is a good idea. They are now grown commercially in Japan, where they are known as ‘Enoko-take’.

Many thanks to Carrie for the photographs and Nature Lesson and to Eddie for his photos.

Thursday 20 January 2011

Wed 19th Jan 2011 - Naturezones, Blackwater.

Eddie's Photographs.

Carrie's Photographs.

As can be seen in the photographs above, this week's GG session was held in bright sunshine which helped to thaw the heavy overnight frost. We were back at the Naturezones venue where the jobs were both numerous and varied. The team split into various groups that tackled clearing part of the meadow (shown above), repairing wire fencing, clearing woodland, digging out part of a newt pond plus a couple of other jobs..! It was a good that we fielded a full team and most of the tasks were completed before the end of the session. Tea break was accompanied by large slices of cake and those who could stay after the work was completed were treated to homemade leak & potato soup with crusty bread and stilton cheese - a huge THANK YOU for taking care of us so well.

For those who were unable to attend on the day, have a look at the Naturezones website at - it is well worth a look.

Many thanks to Carrie & Eddie for snapping the above photographs.

Thursday 13 January 2011

Wed 12th Jan 2011 - Golden Hill Fort.

Wednesday morning was one of those grey damp days when it isn't quite raining but not far off. The car park at Golden Hill looked a little empty at 9:55 am but suddenly GG people appeared from all directions ensuring that we had a full team to tackle the job in hand. Our friendly Rangers had already started cutting a new pathway through one of the very overgrown areas - our task was to make the pathway wider and to establish several clearings. As can be seen from the photographs, good progress was made in clearing away the tangled undergrowth and brambles - the larger items were sawn up and used to make nature heaps with the remainder being burned on the two bonfires we had started. The reason for opening up areas such as this is to allow the sunlight in which will encourage more ground level plants to thrive. Removing the bramble and overgrown hazel also allows the more mature trees to grow better. Fortunately, the rain held off until around 12:30 so we were only damp (rather than soaked!) by going home time.

Many thanks to Carrie for taking the photographs this week.

Thursday 6 January 2011

Wed 5th Jan 2011 - Mundsley Bog, Godshill

And so we start another Green Gym year....! The GG team were back out at Mundsley Bog for the first meeting of 2011 and had several tasks to achieve. We continued the previous work with cutting back the bracken and willow, this has now been piled up and the whole area is looking much better for the "haircut". Another team worked at building two dams across the trickle of a stream that crosses this site - the idea being that this will raise the water table in the surrounding area and introduce more bog. A third team were tasked at cleaning out the ditch which takes the runoff water from the pond. The weather was kind to us (again!) and the predicted rain didn't start until after 1 pm.......phew...! There was an excellent turnout for this meeting, perhaps a few guilty people needing to burn off a few calories after the holiday period...???

Many thanks to Carrie for the photographs this week.