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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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Wednesday 31 August 2016

Wed 31st Aug 2016 - Swanmore Meadows, Ryde. GG # 650.

Terry's Photographs.

Gentlemen…..start your barrows…!

Not exactly the "yellow brick road".

A Plume Moth.

Tea break.

"Island Roads" continues their mammoth task.

One of the many pathways we trimmed back.

The IoW Green Gym reached another milestone this week with our 650th session…! We were on a "return mission" to Swanmore Meadows, continuing the stirling work we started there a few weeks ago. As we all began to assemble, having parked in various areas, it was noticeable that the pile of chippings had grown somewhat since we left it last time. Mark informed us that we didn't have to spread the whole lot (phew…thank goodness!) as another group of volunteers was also helping to repair the pathways. We focused our efforts on the path that we worked on last time, the one running north/south between Rosemary Lane and Quarry Road and parallel to the railway line. This path has a passing loop arrangement so is almost twice as long as it needs to be. Although it was rather a cloudy day, the sun did break through occasionally and the humidity was rather high, which made the wheel-barrowing hard work. For the ones who didn't fancy shovelling or barrow pushing then there was still plenty to do with a massive litter pick and trimming the overgrown areas along the numerous pathways that crisscross the site. As much as we enjoy improving the area for the dog walkers it would be so much nicer if they would clear up after their dogs - rather than leaving it for us to do. Another very busy session so well done to all those who attended.

Many thanks to Terry for the photographs this week.

Wednesday 24 August 2016

Wed 24th Aug 2016 - Play Lane Millennium Green, Ryde.GG # 649.

Mark's Photographs.

Just a few of the GGmers attending the session.

Working in the Butterfly Meadow.

The boardwalk after the ditching work had been completed.

Above, a drainage pipe cleared and ready for the winter rains.

The 3 photos below…. the reason we all do this…!

It was back to one of our favourite sites this week, The Millennium Green at Ryde. It doesn't matter which way you decide to approach this venue, it is always a long stroll from where you park the car! We couldn't have chosen better weather though, lots of sun and a noonday temperature around the 30C mark….phew…! When we last visited here, in May this year, everyone got VERY wet - it tipped it down with rain. Mark gave us a very wide brief for the work in hand, everything from trimming back brambles to digging ditches. With plenty of hands to help, everyone was soon spread across the whole site to "make the magic happen". With the exception of the GGmers up in the butterfly meadow, the majority had the advantage of working in the shade under the trees - nice. Once again, we managed to disturb a wasps nest and the flying ants were everywhere (so perhaps we will get a thunderstorm later?) With all the pathways trimmed, the brambles cut back and the mud removed from the edges of the boardwalk the whole area looked very trim and proper by the time the session drew to a close.

Many thanks to mark for taking the photographs this week.

Wednesday 17 August 2016

Wed 17th Aug 2016 - The Riverside Centre, Newport. GG # 648.

Terry's Photographs.

Work on the container storage gets underway.

Above and below - the pre-session brief.

A rather rotten raised flower bed.

If you don't like spiders then look away NOW…!

The top soil being removed.

This little fellow was safely re-housed.

Off to "water in" the plants that had been moved.

The flower beds get a makeover.

Looking good….

Time to tidy-up.

A trailer full of plastic for re-cycling (see text below)

The emptied out flower bed.

A reorganised tool store.

A good job Lynn Bottom Tip has re-opened!

This week our GG session was held at the GG IoW Head Office…. namely the Riverside Centre at Newport. This is where we store all our equipment and from which Mark controls the day to day running of this mighty organisation..! Talking of storing equipment, one of the jobs tackled was to sort out the shipping container that houses all the tools. To enable easier access, it was decided that we would up-cycle some old wooden pallets to form a holding pen for the larger tools and reorganising the other items. There was plenty of other jobs to keep the numerous troops employed - from demolishing a rotting wooden raised flower bed in the quadrangle to giving the numerous flower beds a jolly good makeover. The rotting flower bed was one we had worked on some years ago when we had partially filled it with plastic drink bottles and polystyrene (to save on the compost usage and aid drainage). Have a look at this link for details
Once the compost had been removed then all the plastics had to be bagged for re-cycling - we had a trailer full by the end of the session! Out in the other flower beds the weeds were removed, soil dug over and the plants pruned as required. They certainly looked far more cared for having received all that attention. All this was accomplished on a hot, sunny day which made working in the steel shipping container (tool store) rather taxing..! Well done everyone!

Lots of photographs this week reflecting the amount of tasks undertaken. Thanks for being there with the camera Terry.

Wednesday 10 August 2016

Wed 10th Aug 2016 - Swanmore Meadows, Ryde. GG # 647.

Sue's Photographs.

Loading the barrows..

Above and below - off to repair the pot-holes.

Sitting IN the dried-up pond, for our tea break.

Another section completed...

but still some to done.

With the majority our summer GG sessions being taken up with pulling pesky plants, it was most enjoyable to be doing something different and at a completely new site! Mark gave us all extremely detailed instructions on how to get there - this resulted in people arriving from all four corners of the compass (but we all got there - eventually!). Swanmore Meadows is a large area of land, with it's boundaries including Alfred Street to the north, Monkton Mead brook (and the railway) to the east, Rosemary Lane to the south and Ashey Road to the west. Have a look at this link for further details of this site…. Swanmore Meadows | Gift to Nature.
Nick the ranger had pre-dumped a huge pile (about 5 cubic metres) of recycled road chippings so it was out with the shovels and wheelbarrows to start repairing the rather neglected pathways. Other GG members started trimming back all the overhanging obstructions to make access easier. Initially the loads had to be transported some considerable distance but as the piles diminished, the trips became shorter (thank goodness!) Although everyone worked VERY hard, we didn't quite get to the bottom of the chippings pile - oh well, I am sure we will have another visit here soon. Have just checked the programme and we are back here in two weeks time - hopefully we can finish off that huge pile of chip pings then?
During the session, we met a large number of dog walkers who were all complementary about our efforts - so nice to be appreciated and that the pathways are obviously well used by the locals.
The rather cloudy start to the session turned into bright sunshine and we had a really good turnout of GGmers.

Many thanks to Sue for taking the photographs this week.

Historical Note. As we walked around the site, we kept coming across pieces of architectural stonework. As a child I used to play in the area and could remember a large, partly demolished, house up in Ashey Road - which backed onto this area. A little searching on the internet came up with this link The Ghost of Hazelwood, Ashey Rd, Ryde, Isle of Wight. | Flickr Anyone see any ghosts today???

Wednesday 3 August 2016

Wed 3rd Aug 2016 - Wroxall Stream (opposite Barncourt Farm) GG # 646.

Sue's Photographs.

A hedge full of HB.

Yes…it does get that big!

We didn't really need an electric fence to keep us at work.

Above and below - about one hour's results.

A lone HB puller heads off into the "jungle".

Our GG session this week was a continuation of our visit here a couple of weeks ago - to try and tame the dreaded Himalayan Balsam (HB). Initially we focused our attention on a paddock to the north west of our main working area as there was a considerable amount of this pesky plant lurking in the hedge there. We did notice that in the adjacent field, an area we had worked last year, that there was very little HB to be seen….. Hooorrraayyy….some success! By the time we were due a cup of tea (11 o/c) we had all but cleared this area, leaving a pile of stalks for the farmer to dispose of (see photos above). After tea break we concentrated on the areas to the east and west of the upper stream - where we had worked previously. The numbers were down a little this week but the weather was kind to us with the overnight rain turning to a bright day.

Many thanks to Sue for the photographs and to the farmer for allowing us to park in his field.