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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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Wednesday 24 July 2013

Wed 24th July 2013 - Merstone Station.

Mark's Photographs.

Above - Maze as started.

Below - Maze completed.

Below - various other tasks undertaken.

Carrie's Photographs.

This week we were out at the old railway station at Merstone - now a beautiful nature area on the Newport - Sandown cycle track. This is one of our "regulars" and this visit was to give the area a quick makeover ready for the extra users that come with the school holidays. Several tasks were undertaken, including the repair of some of the fixed seating supports, teak oil the wooden items, re- chalk the maze and a general tidy up. The maze area had become very overgrown so the first job was to trim back the undergrowth to expose the original markings. New chalk was then applied and pounded down into place (see above photographs). The jokes were particularly awful this session..... everything from "Amazing" to "Dead end job"....! If you do decide to go out that and try the puzzle please note that you walk on the GRASS between the white lines.....NOT on the white lines (good luck).

The recent spell of hot summer weather continued which undoubtedly contributed to the large number of GGmers who attended.

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

Thursday 18 July 2013

Wed 17th July 2013 - St Helens Duver.

Ragwort Pullers

Litter Pickers

Litter Picker Results.

On what was widely being reported as the hottest day of the year (so far!) Team GG were off to the seaside for this week's Wednesday morning session. No buckets and spades for us, just black bin bags, litter pickers and ragwort forks - as it was the time of the year when we go down to the Duver and Priory Bay to give it a bit of a tidy up. Having met up in the National Trust car park, everyone was soon spread far and wide either litter picking or ragwort pulling. There was noticably less ragwort this year so hopefully our previous efforts are finally paying dividends (fingers crossed). Even the litter pickers remarked that there was less than usual but there is still a problem with some dog walkers not "picking up" so you have to be careful where you tread! Although we were all vigilant, no one saw any snakes but the number and variety of butterflies was astounding.

Needless to say, we had an excellent turnout (30 plus attending) - amazing what a trip to the seaside can do....!
And finally.....a picture from Carrie showing just how lush some of the grassy areas are....Note that it is RAGWORT free.

Many thanks to Mark for the other photographs this week.

Thursday 11 July 2013

Wed 10th July 2013 - The IoW Donkey Sanctuary ,Wroxall.

Banded Demoiselle

Golden Ringed Dragonfly.

Our GG session this week could have the headline...

Team GG goes out on the pull at the Donkey Sanctuary....! 

Yes, it was back to our favourite sport of PPP (Pesky Plant Pulling) along the banks of the stream that runs past the Donkey Sanctuary, then eventually feeds into the Eastern Yar. This time we were working further south, towards the source of the stream, trying to remove as much of the Himalayan Balsam as possible before it starts seeding. At this point the stream meanders through the meadow like fields and the HB seems to grow in large clumps - usually in between beds of nettles.....OUCH! The plants are much taller now so easier to identify but getting harder to pull from the ground without breaking them off. Some were already in flower so it will only be a short time before the seed pods form.

The session was well attended with wonderful sunny weather to keep spirits up. Everyone enjoyed watching the aerial antics of the Dragon and Damsel Flies that are everywhere along this section of the stream. Once again, many thanks to the Donkey Sanctuary staff for allowing us the use of the car park.

Photographs this week were supplied by Mark......many thanks...!

Thursday 4 July 2013

3rd July 2013 - Alverstone Mill Pond Footpath.

As you can see from the above photographs, GG have been out PPPing (Pesky Plant Pulling) yet again. This time our attention was focused on the footpath that runs to the north from Alverstone Mill Pond. For our readers who are unaware what the flowering of this plant looks like, I have included the picture with the Big Pull caption attached. The plants that we are pulling still haven't reached the flowering stage so it is safe to continue removing them. Once they do flower and subsequently seed, then it is time to stop pulling for this year. Any further removal will just cause the seed pods to "pop" spreading the seeds far and wide.

We had an excellent turnout of GGymers - no doubt encouraged by the warm weather and the chance to visit such a pretty, tranquil site. Excellent progress was made with the PPP - large piles of pulled plants were very abundant by the end of the session.

Carrie's Nature Lesson.

This week's find (by Steve) is a feather from a jay (Garrulus Glandarius). These are the most colourful members of the crow family, but are actually quite difficult to see as they are shy woodland birds and rarely move far from cover.   It is usually their screaming call which lets you know when one is on the move, so watch for a bird flying between the trees with its distinctive flash of white on the rump.  Jays are famous for their acorn feeding habits, and in the autumn you may see them burying acorns for retrieving later in the winter.  They are found across most of the UK, except northern Scotland, and live in both deciduous and coniferous woodland, parks and mature gardens.

Many thanks to Carrie for the photographs and nature lesson.