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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

Monday 27 February 2012

Sat 26th Feb 2012 - Isle of Wight Hedgelaying Competition.

Alison's Photographs. (Before)

Terry's Photographs. (During)

Mark's Photographs. (After)

This year's event was held at New Barn Farm, Calbourne.

Saturday the 25th was an extremely fine and bright February day, the best weather I've experienced for the Isle of Wight Hedgelaying Competition.

We again entered two teams, just as we have done on three previous occasions 2011, 2010, 2007. Each rememberable for their particular peculiarities, click on the links to go to each year to see what I mean.

The hedge this year was unusual, mind you no two hedges are alike of course, in that it had actually been layered sometime in the not too distant past and so posed some interesting technical questions about how and what to pleach to make best use of the available material. There are for instance 20 points available to maintain stock proofing; this method of maintaining hedges was traditionally all about keeping boundaries secure for your animals. Nevertheless both teams finished on time - 5 hours pass very quickly when hedgelaying - hard work but as I hope you can see from the photos we all enjoyed ourselves.

The teams this year were, Green Gym 1: Viv, Kevin, Bob R and Carrie who did extremely well and were placed in 3rd position. While Green Gym 2: Gill, Alison, Steve R and myself were placed in 5th position another great result. There were 7 competing in the teams event. Well done to everyone who took part and a big thank you to the organisers and sponsors of the event.

Mark Russell

Many thanks to Alison,Terry & Mark for the above photographs.

Thursday 23 February 2012

Wed 22nd Feb 2012 - Corf Camp, Shalfleet.

Terry's Photographs.

Carrie's Photographs.

Come Wednesday morning, team GG found themselves back out at Corf Camp. As the tasks were discussed, it seemed as though the main one was to be working at improving the surface of the camp access road. With barrows and shovels at the ready, the team eagerly awaited the arrival of a truck load of recycled road chippings. The truck soon arrived but could only deliver loads of either one and a half tonnes or EIGHTEEN tonnes...! The first load of one and a half tonnes took only minutes for the well practiced team (lots of past experience with path laying!) to have all in place. Further loads were unavailable for delivery that day so maybe the next time we go here the larger load would be more suited?
The good thing about GG is that Mark always has some "extra" work up his sleeve so the road repair team were soon deployed at various locations across the site. Some were removing hedging whilst others were rebuilding barriers and numerous other small tasks were tackled. Never a dull time on a Wednesday morning GG session...!
Although overcast and a cool wind, the weather held good for the session (rain later) and we had a good turnout.
This week is is thanks to Carrie and Terry for the photographs.

Friday 17 February 2012

Wed 15th Feb 2012 - Mundsley Bog, Godshill.

Well a big change at this week's Green Gym venue, which was Mundsley Bog in Godshill. The sun shone and overall it was a very balmy 12 degrees!!!!. At least this meant we could forgo the ubiquitous bonfire. Our tasks this week were threefold. One group set too to rebuild the steps which lead down into the bog, as these have become very diffcult and slippery to negotiate. Group two were repairing the boardwalks with new chicken wire to make access safer. Group three - the largest one - were working on the part of the site nearest the steps to clear the area around the trees and the bank up to the boundary fence, where we uncovered several groups of daffodils, which will have a better chance of survival now we have cleared the ground and opened it up to more light and warmth. As an added bonus, Mark and Steve spotted the first butterfly we have seen this year, a very beautiful peacock - see told you it was warm!!

Many thanks to Carrie for the editorial and photographs.

Saturday 11 February 2012

Monday 6th Feb 2012 - Hedge Laying Notice.

With the 20th annual IW Hedgelaying Competition due to be held on the 25th of this month, and with our teams hopefully competing for the 4th year we thought a bit of practise was in order. So the billhooks were dusted off for action, the techniques for heathering discussed and low and behold a newly laid section of hedge the result. To see the hedge go to the Wetland Walk in Lake. Also for details of the hedge laying competition click here.

Information and photographs from Mark.

Thursday 9 February 2012

Wed 8th Feb 2012 - Ashknowle Cemetery, Whitwell.

Mark's Photographs.

Carrie's Photographs.

It is never a good sign when the car outside temperature ice alert keeps "beeping" at you as you are driving to a GG session. This week the air temp was around freezing and there was a stiff NE wind blowing - so a day to remember the extra warm clothing......

Never mind the weather, GG was off to a new venue and that is always exciting. We all assembled at the entrance to Ashknowle Cemetery and were briefed on the tasks. These included bramble clearance, digging out tree roots, hedge laying and a few "tidy up" jobs. We certainly had enough work to keep is warm over the next 3 hours! About one third of this cemetery has graves and the remaining area has been somewhat neglected over the years. Work had already been started to clear some of it by cutting down trees that had grown from suckers but the roots still remained. Lifting the roots and all the feeders from the frozen soil was challenging but a team armed with mattocks soon were digging in. Some of the boundary hedging needed attention so the GG members who have had hedge laying experience were tasked to use their skills. Others set about cutting back the huge areas of bramble and trimming back some of the bushes in the grave area.
With that cold wind blowing straight up the hill we were working on, tea break was particularly enjoyable - what better than a warm drink, a biscuit and a warm by the bonfire. It was noticed that tea break was shorter than normal with people wanting to get back to work and stay warm! As the session came to a close, wintery showers started to blow in so once again GG avoided to worst of the weather. The site looked a whole lot better after we had finished and hopefully the areas we cleared will benefit the wild flowers and animals come spring & summer. Well done to all those hard working GG members who turned up on such a cold day.

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

Thursday 2 February 2012

Wed 1st Feb 2012 - Fort Victoria, Yarmouth.

With the air temperature at around 2C and a brisk NE wind dropping the windchill to around -4C, it took an awful lot of effort to climb out of the warm car for this week's GG session! Everyone was very keen to get started on the tasks so that they started getting warm again. The rangers have been overseeing the removal of some of the bigger trees that have become diseased and we were tasked to clear the fallen timber from a large clearing. This was collected up, sawn into manageable piles and as much as possible burnt up on a bonfire. Strangely enough, lots of people found work in the area of the roaring fire - I wonder why...? The second task was to plant up new sapling which were staked with timber cut locally. A cup of hot tea / coffee was especially welcome at tea break and people were soon back working to avoid the cold wind. The session was well attended so a big thank you to all those who turned out on what has to have been one of the coldest GG sessions to date.

Many thanks to Carrie for the photographs.