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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

Wednesday 30 March 2016

Wed 30th March 2016 - Shade Makers, Castle Works, Wroxall. GG # 628.

Mark's Photographs.

Clearing the platform by the mobile unit.

The area we cleared along the western fencing.

The roadway - after the tidy-up.

Transporting the cuttings to the composting area.

Considering the awful weather we had over the Easter Holidays (Storm Katie!), just a couple of days ago, Wednesday morning dawned fine for our GG session. Could it really be last August when we had our first visit to this venue? (See this link Wed 5th Aug 2015 - Shade Makers, Castleworks, Wrox…) Walking over the old railway bridge, on the way from the car park, showed us that all the hard work we had put in last time seemed to be paying off. The platform area was still looking clear of weeds and bramble and the huge pile of rubbish, that we had collected, had all been cleared away. A good start..! This time we were given several areas to work on - the western fence line, an area near to a mobile home to clear plus the usual tidy and litter pick. The wire link fence that ran parallel to the building had become VERY overgrown, restricting the size of vehicles that could transit. As they will soon be taking delivery of a double decker bus, it was important that we cleared this whole area ASAP. In true GG tradition, we were soon spaced out along the entire length - hacking everything down and transporting the cuttings to a composting area. Other members of the team started work on clearing the next section of platform and levelling an area ready for gravel to be applied. A few people decided to give the approach road (from under the bridge) a trim and makeover. It was nice to see that the potholes we filled on our first visit had held up well over the winter period.
Come tea break, we were treated to numerous variations of home made cake and as much tea and coffee as we could drink….. so a big THANK YOU to the ladies that made it all possible. Your home made cakes have attained legendary status with Team GG…! Those who missed the guided tour on our last visit were shown around all the creative items they produce in the workshops. Well worth a look!
After tea break it was decided to tackle another overgrown area - to rear of the building. Once again the bramble and buddleia  had become rather overgrown so was all treated to a good trim back. We had a very good attendance for this session, perhaps due to the delicious cakes supplied at tea break.?????

Photographs were from Mark this week. He apologises for not taking any before shots…!

Wednesday 23 March 2016

Wed 23rd March 2016 - Newport CE Primary School. GG # 627.

Terry's Photographs.

Opening up the Plastic Pig boxed kit.

A rather overgrown "flower" bed.

and another..!

Building "Percy" gets underway.

A makeover for the raised planters.

Cutting back brambles by the main entrance.

installing Percy's internals...

At long last…a cuppa tea.

Percy completed..!

Just some of the rather complex build instructions.

Wow - don't those flower beds look transformed.

Sorting out the pond area.

It was "back to school" for Team GG this week - bringing back memories of chalk and short trousers for some of us…! Mark mentioned that this was our forth visit to this school but we hadn't been back there for a while. Having all met up at the main gates and getting the necessary passes issued, it was off to all four corners (and the middle) of the school site to start work. Some of us were tasked to give the quadrangle a makeover and…. a first for GG…. to build a Plastic Pig composting bin. Perhaps it will be better if you look at the photographs to see Percy the Pig as it is rather difficult to describe. The flower bed were weeded, the shrubs given a good pruning back and the whole area a good horticultural "spring clean". Other team members were working on the rather overgrown area of bramble by the main entrance, digging over the raised flower / vegetable beds and helping some of the children plant saplings. Mark was kept very busy escorting us from work place to work place, ensuring that we didn't cross paths with the children. Many thanks to the school's catering staff who supplied us with tea and coffee, plus…. some of the team remained after the session for a baguette lunch. After tea break we finished tidying up the various work areas then all met up at the pond to give it a quick "de-bramble" and trim. As per usual, all areas we worked on were given a really good litter pick. The weather was sunny and spring-like and there was a good turnout of GGmers (see the tea break photo above!)

Many thanks to Terry for taking the photographs this week.

Wednesday 16 March 2016

Wed 16th March 2016 - Hill House, Totland. GG # 626.

Unpacking the trailer, in the car park.

Setting the scene...

Work starts on the new flower bed.

Down in the jungle… work commences.

Looking down towards the bottom of the site.

Two, of the three, phones that we found.

The flower bed work progresses.

Just a part of the litter we collected!

Some of the new fruit trees that we planted.

Clearance work continues...

The jungle - after it's makeover.

The new plants go in...

"Pruning" some of the larger trees.

A final watering of the new plants before we depart.

Another new site for Team GG to work on! This time we had to head all the way out to Totland - but thanks to Mark's excellent map, we all managed to find our way to Hill House. With car park passes issued, it was time to unload the trailer then head off to the area needing our attention. Hill House is owned by a housing trust and part of the complex is given over to gardens - that had become somewhat neglected. We were given a wide variety of tasks to complete, cutting back overgrown areas, litter picking, create a new flower bed, planting new fruit trees, plus giving the whole area a touch of that GG magic…! The weather was much better than we have experienced recently, sunny periods but with a crisp easterly wind blowing - just right to cool us down when working so hard. This was a very well attended session, perhaps because it was somewhere new to explore? I think the excellent photographs (thanks Sue!) show just how much was achieved on just one Wednesday morning. A big THANK YOU to the Woodland Trust who supplied all the tree "whips" that we planted in various locations around the site. They will help to make natural barriers around the boundary as well as creating screens for some of the less picturesque areas. 
A note to the residents of Hill House….. please remember to give the new plants and trees the occasional can of water - thank you.

Wednesday 9 March 2016

Wed 9th March 2016 - Golden Hill Fort, Yarmouth. GG # 625.

Terry's Photographs.

Still smiling - in spite of the weather.

A rather "damp" tea break.

Above and below - Cut & Tuck.

Just one of the many pathways that were cleared.

As the writer of this blog, I am very aware that many of the posts start with a description of the Wednesday morning weather…. well, this week follows that particular format. With weather alerts out for high winds and rain, roads flooded alerts, plus flood warnings for the Eastern Yar river - this week's GG session wasn't going to be the most pleasant! Perhaps GGmers just come from hardy stock (or never look at the weather forecasts?) but around 20 turned up in the Golden Hill car park. The brief from Mark was very simple, just give as many of the pathways as possible a "cut and tuck"(cut anything encroaching on the pathway and then tuck the cuttings neatly away). There must be several miles of interlinking pathways across this site so we were soon spread far and wide, working in small groups. As well as the new growth, several larger jobs were tackled when we came across either rotten or storm damaged branches. Everyone met up at the van for tea break but, unfortunately, the weather suddenly took a turn for the worst with very gusty winds and a abrupt heavy shower - yuck! Fortified by a cup of hot tea and a biscuit (or two!) it was back to the job in hand and by the time the session came to a close, many of the paths were looking much clearer. A sterling effort by those who decided to brave the elements - let's hope that our run on "challenging" weather conditions ends soon!

Just heard on the local TV news that winds in excess of 70 mph were recorded on the Island this morning and the Yarmouth/Lymington ferry was suspended for a while. Picture below shows the rainfall map at 12:45.

Many thanks to Terry for the photographs this week.

Saturday 5 March 2016

Little Jane's Quarry - Historical Photograph.

I have just received the following photograph from one of our GGmers, along with this comment…

"Take a look at the attached, Pretty sure this is our Quarry albeit Brading village looks very close."

I must admit that it could well be have been taken from the Downs - with the quarry below and with Brading in the distance. Obviously the sea came in a lot closer back then and judging by the dress of the people in the foreground, it might have been around the late 1800's - early 1900's..? I can't see any railway line (Ryde - Sandown) in the background and that was built around 1860 but then again cameras were not widely available until after that date.
Anyone got any thoughts…???

Wednesday 2 March 2016

Wed 2nd March - Sandpit Copse, Wootton. GG # 624.

Sue's Photographs.

A mouse box "slum".

and a new, luxury apartment..!
(Note the hail on the ground.)

A mouse yes, but not a Dormouse (it is a Wood mouse). 

Meanwhile - down in the woods, the clearance work continues.

Lots of wild daffodils in the clearings.
(The white patch is the remnants of the hail storm.)

Dormouse nesting balls.

The real thing - a dormouse, in a torpid state.
(being handled by a qualified warden)
 All say "Ahhhhh".

Searching for the box that got away!

It was just over one month ago that we last visited this venue. This time we were to continue the brush and bramble cutting at Moor Wood while also doing a dormouse nesting box survey (something we had done about this time last year - see this link  Wed 25th Feb 2015 - Sandpit Copse, Wootton.). Due to the wettest winter on record, the woods are somewhat waterlogged which makes getting around on foot rather "interesting". If anyone has come up with a pair of wellies that has "four wheel drive" plus floatation bags - please let us know ASAP…! With half the team working their way through the woods, trying to locate the dormouse boxes and the other half chopping down everything in sight, suddenly the heavens opened. After several deep rolls of thunder we experienced one of the heaviest hail storms most of us can remember. Within minutes the ground was covered with white ice, which gave the illusion of snow. Somehow we all managed to meet up, in the middle of a wood, for tea break - by which time we were back to blue sky but a rather strong NW wind. Excellent progress was made with the clearance task and the dormouse box survey seems to have  gone very well indeed. We will put the adverse weather conditions down as "character building"..!

Have a look at the following link to the Island Echo Twitter site - it refers to the hail storm and the truck crash was "just over the hedge" from where we were working!…

Photographs this week were from Sue and Terry - many thanks to both.