Total Page-views

Blog Archive

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

Friday 25 November 2011

Wed 23rd Nov 2011 - One Horse Field, Totland.

Mark's Photographs.

'Mark jokes that here we have the two Janets '.... tis a little joke the ladies will understand....???

Carrie's Photographs.

Once again Team GG found themselves heading west on Wednesday morning - this time all the way to One Horse Field in Totland. We have visited the site many times in the past and it is always interesting to see the outcome of our previous tasks. The jobs this time included the refitting of a repaired wooden bench, the planting of five new trees, raking up more of the previously cut bracken and planting cuttings to "fill in" existing hedge rows. With a good attendance and unseasonably warm weather, the workforce were soon spread around the field working hard and enjoying being out in the fresh air. The pictures above show the infill planting team hard at work.

Many thanks to Carrie & Mark for the photographs this week.

Friday 18 November 2011

Wed 16th Nov 2011 - The Pond, Bonchurch.

Once again Team GG found themselves at another new venue for our Wednesday Workout! If you had to choose just one letter to sum up this week then it would have to be "B" - standing for Bonchurch, Buddleia, Bramble, Bamboo & Bracken. Once we had managed to find somewhere to park then it was off for a walkthrough this beautiful area so the various tasks could be pointed out. The team were basically split into two working groups - some working alongside the roadside wall and the others over the far side of the pond. It soon became apparent that had we worked there every day for a week then there would still be plenty left to do! Having said that, many of the "locals" that passed by seemed to think that we were doing a grand job and the edge of the pond looked far more defined by the end of the session. One of the most difficult problems tackled was a huge clump of bamboo that was blocking out views of the pond from the road. Some was taken down to ground level but the remainder had to be trimmed down to size, so perhaps this work could be continued if we return there. The "shoreside" team were busy cutting back the overhanging foliage to reduce the amount of water pollution and to give access for sunlight. The team working along the roadside had to contend with dragging all the cut material some considerable distance so it could be piled on a composting area. The weather is still amazingly mild for the time of year and we had a great turnout to work at this wonderful site.

Carrie's Nature Lesson.

This week's find was a Field Mushroom (Agaricus campestris), a widely eaten gilled mushroom closely related to the cultivated button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus). The cap is white, may have fine scales, and is 5 to 10 centimetres (2.0 to 3.9 in) in diameter; it is first hemispherical in shape before flattening out with maturity. The gills are initially pink, then red-brown and finally a dark brown, as is the spore print. It is common in fields and grassy areas after rain from late summer onwards worldwide, and is often found on lawns in suburban areas appearing in small groups, in fairy rings or solitary. Owing to the demise of horse drawn vehicles and the subsequent decrease in the number of horses on pasture, the old 'white outs' of years gone by are becoming rare events. The fact that we found this species in woodland is unusual, and the species is rarely found here.

Many thanks to Carrie for the photographs and nature lesson.

Thursday 10 November 2011

Wed 9th Nov 2011 - Afton Marsh, Freshwater.

Team GG were back in West Wight this week and at a site we have visited many times in the past, the wonderful wetland walk at Afton. Past experience has shown that wellies are the preferred footwear for this venue and that was certainly the case this week! The group split into three working parties, the first tackling a ditching and hedge cutting job and the other two groups working on cutting / stacking trees and undergrowth. As we were working with the ranger, it wasn't long before we had a fire going and much of the bramble etc was soon reduced to organic ashes. The larger pieces were stacked neatly to form habitat piles for the local wildlife to enjoy. Once again the weather held good for us, the low cloud at the start of the session soon lifted to allow the sun to show through. With mid day temperatures around 15/16 C who would think it is almost mid November.....?

Carrie's Nature Lesson

This week's find was a beautiful Fly Agaric (Latin Name Amanita Muscaria), which is often found in pine woodlands, and also around the base of birch trees. It is found throughout the UK from September to November, and has a cap which measures up to 25cms across. It has tiny, hair-like roots which attach to tree roots, and in this way the toadstool can siphon off some of the nutrients from the tree, although this does not seem to damage the tree in any way. The caps are round when young and become flat as they nature, the white spots drop off with age. The fly agaric is poisonous and is known to cause hallucinations, violent stomach upsets, uncontrollable muscle spasms and could be fatal. It has been used as a fly killer - hence the name - where small pieces of the fungi were added to saucers of milk and when the flies came to feed they died.

Did you know? that the toadstool did not get its name from being a piece of amphibian furniture, but is from 'toad-stuhl' a German name, which means seat of death.

Many thanks to Carrie for the photographs and nature lesson.

Thursday 3 November 2011

Wed 2nd Nov 2011 - Granny’s Meade, Freshwater.

Carrie's Photographs.

Eddie's Photographs.

Yes, another new venue for GG members to spend their Wednesday mornings working on. It was out to West Wight (again!) on a bright and warm Wednesday morning to work on this meadow site. We were expecting to do quite a lot of tree and hedge planting on this session but due to the warm weather, it was decided to put this back a couple of weeks to give the new trees & shrubs a better start in life. The field had recently had the hedgerows cut back with a mechanical flail type machine which had left a considerable amount of debris across the grass. One team set about raking this aside and sowing grass seed to cover the exposed areas and another started preparing the ground for the hedge planting that will take place later. Part of the meadow is to be planted with more mature trees so to give them a good start in life we erected some 30 - 40 metres of chestnut fencing complete with the supporting posts. Three trees were planted up with the remainder to follow at a later date. This session was also attended by people from the local area and it is hoped that a "Friends of Granny's Meade Group" can be set up to deal with the day to day running of the site. During the morning lots of wild flower seeds were placed around the field so by next summer it should be looking like a "proper" English meadow. We look forward to returning when everything has become established.
Many thanks to Carrie & Eddie for the pictures this week.
P.S. There is a nice group shot of some of the GGmers (page 25) and a mention of our work at St Mary's, Ryde (page 28) in IoW County Press dated Nov 4th 2011.