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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 17 December 2015

News Flash - The Shide Adder on TV…and in the IoW CP..!

Received the following email from Mark earlier this evening….

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: IW Green Gym <>
Date: 17 December 2015 at 12:50
Subject: FTO Alexis Green

Hello Alexis,

I'm emailing you the attached photo of an Adder as requested by the personal Twitter message from @BBCSouthTodayWeather.

It was taken during our conservation work session in Shide Quarry, Newport.  We are a community group working all over the Island.

If you are able to use it please do.

Many thanks

Watching the early evening local news I managed to quickly grab this (rather poor quality) photograph taken at the start of the local weather forecast.  

This is the original one, taken by Terry at the GG session yesterday…..

Well done to…..Steve for spotting it…..Terry for photographing it…. and to Mark for putting on the Twitter site. 

Also have a look in the IoW County Press - dated 24th Dec 2015, page 32 (Letters). Terry's photograph of "the Shide Adder" appears at the bottom of the page along with a brief mention of Green Gym. So much fame for one over active adder….!

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Wed 16th Dec 2015 - Shide Quarry, Newport. GG # 615.

The long trek...

If the wind gets up anymore there will be FOUR Mary Poppins...

The GG version of hanging socks up by the fireplace?

See….it wasn't ALL party time!

The cleared area - well done everyone!

Party time.

 Once again, our last GG session of the year was held at the old quarry, Shide. It has become something of a tradition that we have our Christmas bash there after we have finished the work for the day. After numerous trips up and down the steps to carry all the food, equipment, tools etc from the road to the bottom of the chalk pit it was time to get on with the assigned task. This time we were working on the floor of the quarry which is much easier than trying to scale the steep sides…! The instructions were simple, cut and burn everything you can in that area over there. With the team mobilised using lopers and bow saws we soon had the area around the fire cut back, the fire started and working our way through the undergrowth like a swarm of locusts. After the tea break it was time to try and get the various barbecues alight ready for cooking all the burgers, sausages, burgers etc. The venison burgers were "old friends" that had been in the freezer since our ill-fated summer BBQ (that was something of a washout!). This time the weather was cloudy but unseasonably warm at around 14 C, and even the drizzly rain that started around noon failed to stop the festivities. Many thanks to all those who brought along the wonderful food, charcoal, "easy start" (ha ha!) BBQ's etc and especially to our two chefs who did a magnificent job against all the odds….!

It is worth mentioning that, due to the very warm weather we have had so far this winter, we saw both an adder and field mice during the session. They would usually have long been tucked up for the duration of the winter so amazing to see them still out and about. Terry managed to get a photograph of the adder but the mice were too quick.

As 2015 draws to a close, all that is left to do is to wish you all a very…...

and we hope to see you all at GG in 2016. Enjoy the sprouts….!

An extra special thank you to Sue and Terry for all the great photographs they have taken throughout the year - they certainly make the blog page come alive!

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Wed 9th Dec 2015 - Munsley Bog, Godshill. GG # 614.

Look how high all that summer growth has reached...

Cut it, put it in piles, then carry it off to the dumping area.

Making some headway.

The lumberjacks at work.

Now…where is that golf ball..????

I have got a saw….where have all the trees gone?

The ones below…. what a change in just one morning.

Since around 2010 we have always visited this venue on the run-up to Christmas. This time was a bit different because we often have been working on semi-frozen ground but this year, due to the mild weather, it was just VERY wet! Most GGmers are aware of the boot sucking capabilities of this area and wellington boots were the "must have" fashion accessory of the day. Most of our attention was concentrated on the area to the south of the board-walk where we cut back the summer growth, paying particular attention to the ever sprouting willow. Other members of the team trimmed branches overhanging the footpath and also repaired the rotting support posts on the handrail. The session was very well attended (perhaps because of the lunch afterwards?) and the weather was mild with occasional sunny periods - nice.

Once all the hard work was completed the majority of the workers retired to the nearby Griffin Inn to partake in the annual GG Christmas lunch. I hope they all took their muddy wellies off before entering……!

Photographs this week were courtesy of Sue, thank you!

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Wed 2nd Dec 2015 - West Wight Sports and Community Centre, Freshwater. GG # 613.

And the work gets underway….

Rather overgrown?

I am a GGmer…Get me out of here…!

Let's just dump it all on the next bus that comes along..

A short back and sides for sir?

I need a wheelbarrow or two…NOW!

Looking better.

Look what we discovered beneath all that undergrowth.

WOW…is that really the same hedge?

Looking good.

Just some of the trimmings.

The following thoughts ran through my mind as I drove out to West Wight…. Green Gym today, Hooray - It is raining, Boo hoo - It is at the Sports Centre rather than One Horse Field, Hooray - but we have to pay to park there, Boo hoo (and Grrr!) As I pulled up and reluctantly paid my £2:00 for two hours, the rain stopped and it stayed dry for the remainder of the session. Considering this was a "stand in" venue there was more than enough work for us to tackle…! The enclosures along the front of the building had become very overgrown since our last visit so these were treated to a VERY heavy haircut. Another team tackled the overgrown holly (and bramble) hedge leading up towards the main doors while others sorted the flower beds in the car parking area along with the hedging to the side and rear of the building. It was a really long haul for all the cuttings - so the baggers and wheelbarrowers were kept exceptionally busy clearing everything away and dumping it on the composting pile at the rear of the site. The tea, coffee and biscuits were supplied by the catering staff - a big thank you to them for looking after us so well. By the time our car parking tickets ran out, the whole site was looking particularly spick and span - well done everyone!

Thanks for the photographs Sue.

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Wed 25th Nov 2015 - All Saints' Church, Freshwater. GG # 612.

Oh dear, not much of a vista through this lot...

The team at work in the lower field.

Tidying up some of the unattended graves.

So much material to be dragged up to the fire!

GG being artistic….nice one Bob..!

That looks a bit clearer.

Mark's Photographs.

What a view…!

For this week's session Team GG were back out West Wight and working in a churchyard (perhaps we should call these sessions "Tombstoning"…???) Although the tasks were numerous, it was basically to continue the scrub clearance we had worked on during our numerous previous visits. To get the bonfire started we collected a considerable amount of the fallen branches caused by recent storm damage. Then it was on to the more taxing job of cutting down the overgrowth in the area between the churchyard and the Western Yar river bank. Although the sawing down and lopping is quite strenuous, the hardest job is hauling it all back to the fire area….! Come tea break, we were treated to wonderful home made cakes and served the tea and coffee, many thanks to the church wardens who made it all possible. By the time the session closed, we had once again opened up the western boundary to allow those wonderful views across the estuary. The weather was a little cloudy with the occasional burst of sunshine and the forecasted rain held off until the afternoon.

PLEASE NOTE… Next week, we are NOT at One Horse Field, Totland but will be at the West Wight Health Clinic / Swimming Pool, Freshwater. We do not get parking concessions for the car park so either park in the surrounding streets or pay and display.

This week we had TWO photographers - many thanks to both Sue and Terry. (and Mark!)