Total Page-views

Blog Archive

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 29 September 2016

Wed 28th Sept 2016 - Birchmore Pond, Blackwater. GG # 654.

Sue's Photographs.

The signpost points the way….

Oh Dear! This isn't how we left it last time.

Shall we start here then?

SPLASH….the first one in the pond.

The "northern" working party.

And the "southern" one.

AND….those IN the pond…!!

Hacking into the undergrowth.

Removing some of the reeds that were clogging 
everything up.

Above and below - letting light in from the south.

Just one of the cleared areas.

Something had a good meal from this leaf..!

Above and below….more areas that were cleared.

I think it is fair to say that Birchmore Pond is well up the Green Gym list of favourite work sites, even if the weather has been less than kind to us on some of our previous visits! No worries about rain this time though, a bright,warm, sunny day with just enough breeze to cool down the workers - perfect! Initial inspection of the site was daunting due to the considerable summer growth where we had previously cleared away. Oh well, all we could do was to pick a spot and do our very best in the time we had. It will be seen from Sue's excellent photographs above that we basically split into two working parties - one to the north and one to the south of the pond (with two brave souls actually IN the pond!). All cut material was removed to designated areas which opened up the pond area considerably. Because this is such a popular site, we had an excellent attendance of GGmers and the photographs show admirably just how much was accomplished in one morning. An extra special Well Done to all those who attended (especially to those who worked in the pond!)

Many thanks to Sue for taking the photographs this week. Sorry the blog is a bit late this week, down to email issues trying to reset BT/Yahoo password…!

Wednesday 21 September 2016

Wed 21st Sept 2016 - Sandown Meadows, Lake. GG # 653.

Terry's Photographs.

The "hairy lawn mowers" in an adjacent field.

Awaiting the session brief.

Off into the jungle.

Willow cutting gets underway.

Draging the cut material away….

…and disposing of it on the fire.

This week's GG competition, "Spot the Frog".

Just part of one of the (many!) willow thickets we tackled.

More for the fire.

A pile of cut willow.

Just one of the areas we cleared.

It has been some time since we last visited this venue but everyone seemed to remember where it was located and arrived without incident. Although the parking is some distance from the work site, we were able to load the tools and tea making gear into the back of a pick-up truck which made transporting things easier! The instruction was simple - decimate any willow that you come across! It was to be cut down and transported to one of several fire sites around the area for disposal. Had the clumps of willow been stood in a grass field then that would have been easy but we had to hack our way through head high reeds and nettles, avoid falling in the steams and boggy areas before we could even start the willow cutting. Although overcast, the temperature was still above average for September, with some GGmers still wearing shorts (see photos above). Not an easy GG session but excellent progress was made at reducing the willow so WELL DONE to all those who attended.

Many thanks to Terry for taking the photographs this week.

Wednesday 14 September 2016

Wed 14th Sept 2016 - Cockleton Meadow, Gurnard. GG # 652.

Alison's Photographs.

This was our 3rd visit (see 24th Feb and 4th May) to Cockleton Meadows and again the sun was shining upon us.  25 of us turned up to be greeted by a long list of tasks.  The first item on the agenda was to make compost bins using pallets.  We then raked the meadow of the mown grass and this was piled into the compost bins. Meanwhile, others were planting trees, and clearing dead wood from the orchard area.  Tea was taken in the shade of the walnut tree.

After tea break, the raking continued……  the compost bins were filled up and covered with tarpaulin. Once the hay was raked off yellow rattle seeds were sown to help reduce the vigour of the grasses and thereby encourage wild flowers to grow. The boundary hedge to the west of the site was given a tidy and the risings were added to the bonfire. 

We were lucky enough to spot a small toad crawling through the grass – he was rescued and moved out of harm’s way.  Butterflies were in abundance with red admirals in the orchard feeding on fallen apples and a small copper found on the meadow.  The hedges were full of rosehips and sloes; the trees in the orchard are now in full production with apples, crab apples and walnuts.  It is not surprising this site is becoming one of our favourites!

Many thanks to Alison for the photographs and editorial this week. (Well done!)

Wednesday 7 September 2016

Wed 7th Sept 2016 - Seagrove Dell, Nettlestone. GG # 651.

Terry's Photographs.

Above and below… there is a pond under there SOMEWHERE..!

Where do we start..????

Common green shield bug.

How different from just a few hours earlier.
All ready for those winter rains.

It has been a while, 5 years in fact, since our previous session clearing vegetation from this... 'pond'.  I hesitate to describe it as a pond as it was dry when we worked there today and has been for most of the summer.  It is a balancing pond, it takes water and stores it before more gently the water soaks away into nearby ditches.  This performs a valuable role in preventing flooding and of course provides habitat for wildlife.  Its ephemeral nature means that it wouldn't be a place to find some pond species such as dragonflies, which need several years of water to be present to go through their life cycle.  But would still be valuable habitat for many other species of wildlife which I'm sure call this Dell home at some point during the year.   

We were asked to gather today to remove some of the more rampant vegetation which might, if left, have hampered the flow and created issues.  You will see from the photos that the pond is now clear, apart from some habitat left for shelter and as a home for overwintering amphibians within the pond.

Well done everyone for finding the site and for a brilliant morning's work.

We would like to thank the IW branch of CPRE for once again supporting us and awarding us the certificate in their Anti Litter Campaign.  We aim to leave each week our particular sites litter free and collect many bags of material over the year.  

Many thanks to Terry for the super photographs and Mark for the editorial.