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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.

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