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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 15 December 2011

Wed 14th Dec 2011 - Shide Quarry, Newport.

Mark's Photographs.

Carrie's Photographs.

It now seems to have become a tradition for Green Gym that our last meeting of the year is held at Shide Quarry, so that was where we all met up on this Wednesday morning. Considerable planning is needed to ensure that everyone brings along all that is required then man handling everything from the road down into the quarry. Just to add to the Christmas "feeling" - this year we had a heavy hail storm just as the fire was about to be lit but it would take more than that to spoil the Christmas Bash...! The working party were soon attacking the overgrown area to the east of the site and while the cooks were working their magic on the hot soup and another fire was lit to deal with the cut material. Although the sun shone through later, it was noted that warming oneself by the bonfire was a popular pastime. After a shorter than usual tea break, it was back to work whilst the soup finished cooking on the open fire. Everyone seemed to be more than happy once the bowls of hot soup were handed around accompanied by all the usual trimmings of crusty bread, sausage rolls, cookies, mince pies etc, etc. The numbers attending were down a little on previous years (perhaps the weather?) but a quick head count showed around 25 Green Gymers were there - with many of them sporting Yuletide head ware.

Carrie's Nature Lesson.

This week's find was an Oak apple, the common name for a large, round, vaguely apple-like gall commonly found on many species of oak. These range in size from 2-5cm, and are caused by chemicals injected by the larva of certain kinds of gall wasp in the family Cynipidae. The adult female wasp lays single eggs in developing leaf buds, and the larvae feed on the gall tissue resulting from their secretions. Oak galls have been used in the production of ink since at least the time of the Roman Empire, and from the Middle Ages to the early twentieth century iron gall ink was the main medium used for writing in the western world. In folklore it is said if a 'worm' is found inside the gall on Michelmas Day then the year will be pleasant and unexceptional; if a spider is found then it will be a bad year with shortages and ruined crops; if a fly is found then it will be a moderate season, and if nothing is found then serious diseases will occur all that year.
Oak Apple Day (or Royal Oak Day) is a former public holiday in England on 29 May, that commemorated the restoration of Charles II in 1660. The popular name refers to the event during the English Civil War when Charles hid in an oak tree. The commemoration persists in some areas today, although festivities have little to do with the Restoration.

Many thanks to Carrie for the photographs and nature lesson - not only for this week but all the other blog pages she has contributed to throughout the year.

All that is left to say is....

and we look forward to seeing you all in 2012......!

Friday 9 December 2011

Wed 7th Dec 2011 - Munsley Bog, Godshill.

Many thanks to Mark for the photographs.....!

I have just logged on to write up the blog for this week......but unfortunately I don'y have any material...! Your blog editor was suffering from the "dreaded lurgy" on Wednesday and didn't want to spread it around you all as it is NOT the best of Christmas pressies to give! If anyone has anything, pictures or editorial, then either e-mail it directly to me or forward via Mark.

PS Health is improving so should be along to the Christmas Bash next week.

Thursday 1 December 2011

Wed 30th Nov 2011 - Wetland Walk, Adgestone.

Mark's Photographs.

Carrie's Photographs.

A huge rainbow appeared just as we were going to this week's Green Gym but fortunately the weather held reasonably dry with just a light shower. As this is one of the sites that we visit on a regular basis everyone is aware of what needs to be done so Team GG were soon spread across the area and tackling the most important tasks. One area that needed particular attention was the hedging along the southern boundary as this had become very overgrown. To make the best of what was existing, it was decided that around 15m to 20m would be treated to hedge laying which would tidy it up and encourage new growth where needed. The area was cleared of bramble and weeds then the standing hedging was trimmed back prior to "pleaching" the trunks and branches. Pleaching is where the diameter at the base is cut back to allow the wood to be leaned over whilst still being attached to the base. Once the hedge has been laid in one direction then the excess branches are trimmed away and the hedge is held in place with stakes. To tidy the whole thing up a woven set of thinner branches (called "heathers") are used to bind the tops of the stakes together.

The above picture shows what the finished hedge should look like but I hasten to add that this is NOT the hedge we laid...! The stakes and heathers that we used were coppiced from over at Mill Copse as there is no suitable hazel available on site.

During the session other teams were working on undergrowth removal, hedge planting, tree planting, litter picking and trimming back overgrown areas along the pathways. Wow.....what a busy Team GG we were ......!

Many thanks to Carrie and Mark for the work in progress photographs.