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Friday, 2 May 2014

Press Release - Commemorating Ten Years of IOW Green Gyming.

News Release:   1st May 2014

For immediate release

Commemorating 10 Years of Green Gyming!

The Island’s countryside has been benefitting for ten years from the efforts of a band of hardy volunteers; and they are a force to be reckoned with, a group who get things done! 

The IW Green Gym is a community group of people who love our Island’s countryside and the wildlife which lives within it.  Each week they donate lots of their time and effort to help maintain it when working at various sites around the Island, over 140 locations at the last count. 

Last September, on their 10th anniversary, they installed a new gate at the IW Council’s Fort Victoria Country Park to mark that occasion.  This week three rare Black Poplar trees have been planted at Gift to Nature’s Pan Mill Meadows in Newport, to commemorate the landmark further within the year.

Why Black Poplar?  This species of tree is Britain’s rarest timber tree with only 3 specimens on the Island.  The group worked with Ventnor Enhancement earlier this year at Flowers Brook in Ventnor where a specimen of Black Poplar can be found.  These trees are dioecious – where male and female flowers are on separate trees - this means that on the Island fertilisation is most likely to only be from other Poplar species creating hybrids, hence the lack of new trees.  Thankfully therefore the 3 trees planted by the group in Newport were propagated from cuttings by Paul Coleman at the IW College.

Mark Russell from IW Green Gym commented “We wanted to plant something special to mark our 10 years and being able to, on Pan Mill Meadows, where we have worked since 2006, means a lot to us.  It is a good Island story; ensuring that local provenanced trees are used in propagation is key to heighten their chances as they are already known to prefer the Island’s climate.  Many thanks to everyone who volunteers with us and for all the other parties involved in making this happen”.

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