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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 26 May 2011

Wed 25th May 2011 - Northwood House, Cowes.

A new venue for the GG team this week, Northwood House at Cowes. As it was a new site, we were shown around the jobs by our mentor for the day and were soon hard at work at various places across the extensive grounds. Bushes along the main road were lightly clipped back (still nesting birds around) as were the hedges along some of the walkways. Parts of a dead tree were removed and a long flower / shrub area to the south of the site was given a make-over (see the pictures above). After the tea break we attacked a large pile of previously cut tree branches - these were snipped back and transported to the compost heap area. All in all a busy few hours but very enjoyable working in such a splendid location.

Mark & Alison's Nature Lesson.

This week we were lucky to see at Northwood Park a really very beautiful flowering Tulip tree Liriodendron tulipifera. This non-native tree only flowers after growing for at least 25 years. Introduced to the UK by the Tradescants - gardners to Charles I. Native Americans used to use it for canoe building as up to 20 people could be carried in a single hollowed out truck, this was due to the length (up to 50ft) of a trunk before it branches. Hurry along to Northwood to catch it at its best!

Many thanks to Eddie & Mark for the photographs this week and to Mark & Alison for the Nature Lesson.

Friday 20 May 2011

Wed 18th May 2011 - Dickson's Copse, Dodnor.

This week the team were working down in the woods just off the cycle track at Dodnor. We were greeted with the sight of two huge piles ( a total of 8 tons) of chippings surrounded by numerous wheelbarrows...!
The path builders were soon hard at work working from the central point of the path back to the pile of materials. Other GG members were tasked to give the edges of the footpath a light trim - nothing too heavy in case of nesting birds etc. Although there was a very light shower, the weather remained good and we had a reasonable turn-out. If you have the time when you are in the area, take a walk up through this copse - it is well worth a visit (and now has a nice new pathway..!)

Carrie’s Nature Lesson.

A really nice find this week - the Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza Fuchsii) which, as its name suggests, is probably the commonest and most familiar of our wild orchids. An attractive plant ranging from 15 to 60 cm in height, with a spire of flowers varying in colour from white to pale purple with purple spots, two lipped flowers, and narrow usually dark spotted leaves, it is unmistakeably an orchid. It is a perennial of calcareous to neutral soils, found in a broad range of habitats including chalk grassland, meadows, scrub, woodland, marshes and fens, dune-slacks and even mildly acidic heaths. Although often found in relatively unmanaged habitats it seems to do particularly well following disturbance, which explains why it can sometimes be found in high numbers on artificial habitats such as waste ground, quarries and railway embankments. It flowers from June to August (so this week’s find is earlier than usual), and some highly perfumed colonies are attractive to day-flying moths.

Many thanks to Carrie for the Pics and nature lesson.

Friday 13 May 2011

Wed 11th May 2011 - Ventnor Botanical Gardens.

Team GG were "down south" this week - back at one of our favourite venues - The Botanical Gardens. The pictures above do not reflect the good turnout and with the weather holding, our tasks in the hop gardens were soon well underway. The rows of hop plants on the frames had become very overgrown with weeds so it was all hands to the trowels to get the unwanted growth away and then tie and support the hop plants on to the climbing frames. Other GG members tackled some overgrown areas around the edges so the whole area was looking much more cared for by the time 1 pm came around. Some of the team took advantage of an offer for a guided tour of the gardens by one of the support staff - many thanks for showing them around. Please don't forget to invite us back at picking time and again when the hops have been brewed into ale....!!!!

This week it is a big thank you to Carrie for the photographs.

Saturday 7 May 2011

Wed 4th May 2011 - Freshwater Community Centre.

Eddie's Photographs.

We returned to Freshwater Community Centre for the GG this week. The main tasks were to tidy up the planters out the front, cut back a rather overgrown area to the rear and to have a general tidy up. The plants we had put in previously all seem to be doing pretty well and looked all the better for weeding and forking over the soil. Two of the team found a novel way to take the rubbish bags around to the composting site....see above pictures. Like everywhere on the Island at the moment, they could all do with a good downpour as it has been so dry for so long...! If the forecasted rain does arrive later in the week then the soil will be ready to receive it. We had a good attendance (in spite of the parking issues..!) and a lot of work was achieved before we left.
Well done to one and all.

Many thanks to Eddie for the photographs.