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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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Monday 28 May 2012

Wed 23rd May 2012 - Newport CoE Primary School.

Newport CE Primary School this week for a whole bunch of diverse goings-on from fence removal to conifer trimming and from weeding the bog garden, which we created the last time we were there, to applying a patch to the pond...

The litter from Victoria Recreation Ground has for some time blown into an area of no-mans-land along the school's boundary where access to clean it up was nigh on impossible.  We have remove a strip of chain-link fencing and cleaned up the area, improving the environment for the children and wildlife.  At the same time we spruced up the little nectar garden there outside their gate, this along with the aforementioned bog garden were habitats we created last year - both are now looking great!

Many thanks to Mark for the editorial, hopefully photographs to follow at some later date...!

Thursday 17 May 2012

Wed 16th May 2012 - Dimbola Lodge, Freshwater.

This week saw us back at one of our regular haunts, Dimbola Lodge in Freshwater.  On a gloriously sunny day (big change from last week) a large group of us set to with forks, spades and shears sprucing up the gardens of the Lodge.  All the gardens and pathways were throughly weeded, the front and side hedges were trimmed - after first checking for nesting birds.  We did find a nest in the front hedge with a baby blackbird, but the area was coned so that there was no disturbance.  The side hedge was only accessible from a stepladder and all the cut material was loaded into bags and stored round the back for disposal.  Our last task was to dig over one of the beds, so that different types of vegetables can be planted.

Many thanks to Carrie for the editorial and photographs above.

Mark's Photographs.

One from our dawn chorus walk along The Causeway in Freshwater.  It was a beautiful morning, this shot shows the sun on its way up, it was taken at 5.40 a.m.
We were thrilled to have such nice weather over what has been such an unsettled period and were equally pleased with the variety of bird species recorded, which included Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers and a Cetti's Warbler.

Many thanks to Mark for the above.

Thursday 10 May 2012

Wed 9th May 2012 - Bembridge Downs.

This week we were on Bembridge Down helping Dave, the National Trust warden.  Despite the (very) strong winds blowing off the sea and the driving rain, more than 20 of us turned up to get our bags and litter pickers to help clear up the rubbish left by people and blown in from the sea.  We filled several bags and also two very large containers full of all kinds of bottles.  Other finds included a metal pole, part of a washing machine and a large piece of wire in strands.

Carrie's Nature Lesson.

This week one of our finds was Glechoma Hederacea and aromatic perennial evergreen creeper of the mint family also known as ground ivy.  It also has other common names including Alehoof, Creeping Charlie, Catsfoot (from the size and shape of the leaf), Field Balm, Run-away-robin, Gill-over-the-ground, and Tunhoof.  The flowers are bilaterally symmetrical, funnel shaped, blue or bluish-violet to lavender, and grow in opposed clusters of 2 or 3 flowers in the leaf axils on the upper part of the stem or near the tip. It usually flowers in the spring, thrives in moist shaded areas, tolerates sun very well and is a common plant in grasslands and wooded areas or wasteland.

Our second find this week was an amazing fungi known as Calvatia, which is a genus of puffball mushrooms which includes the spectacular Calvatia Gigantea but has now been classified in the family Agaricaceae of the order Agaricales.  It is unusual to see at this time of year, and although most species in the genus Calvatia are edible when young, some are best avoided, such as Calvatia fumosa, which has a very pungent odour.  The name Calvatis derives from the Latin calvus meaning "bald" and calvaris, meaning "dome of the skull.

Many thanks to Carrie for the above this week. She apologises for the lack of action photographs but the camera was waterlogged by the rain! 10/10 for all the GG members who turned up.....

Thursday 3 May 2012

Wed 2nd May 2012 - Corf Camp, Shalfleet.



This week the GG was back out at Corf Camp, Shalfeet. Although the previous few days had been very wet, the weather held dry for us on Wednesday morning so we had a reasonable good turnout of GGmers. The major job was to continue with the access road repairs that we had started on a previous visit - this time we had some 10 tonnes of recycled road chippings to wheelbarrow around. The muddy areas were dug out and made level with the chippings which were raked level then "walked in" to try and compact them down. It was far smoother driving away from the session than when we arrived so we must have had some success....! After tea break we started work on some drainage projects around the site - this involved clearing out existing ditches, digging new ones and installing underground pipework to help keep the roadways clear. The water was diverted to a local pond so will, hopefully, stop it drying out through the summer months.

Many thanks to Colin for the above photographs.

Carrie's Nature Lesson.

This week's find was bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) a native British fern commonly found in woodland and heathland, which is tolerant of a wide range of soils and climates. Bracken is typically fern-like, producing triangular fronds, divided into three, that can reach over 1.5m (5ft) in height. In autumn the fronds turn reddish-brown and die back to ground level, with new fronds unfurling from the base in spring.  As you can see from the pic this example is just starting to unfurl.

Many thanks to Carrie for the photographs and nature lesson.