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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

Wednesday 25 January 2017

Wed 25th Jan 2017 - Quarr Abbey, Binstead. GG # 669.

Alison's Photographs.

Sings…"Hi ho - hi ho….it's off to work we go"!

Cutting a way into the undergrowth.

There is a ditch….somewhere here.

Work is well underway.

What a difference! The water starts to flow.

Didn't we do well?

Just look at that concentration...

Before Team GG starts work…

…and after they have finished.

With a Met Office yellow weather warning out for fog and ice, the drive to this week's GG session was interesting.! Come 10:00, and our time to start work, the sky started to clear a little and the temperature climbed above zero degrees - the GG good weather charm had worked once again. It was a pleasant stroll around the footpath that led down to the work site and the instructions were very simple - "Underneath all that undergrowth is a drainage ditch. Cut everything back to expose the ditch and 3 metres on either bank." Armed to the teeth with suitable tools, Team GG cut their way through the woodland, formed themselves into several working parties and attacked the undergrowth along the length of the ditch. This area must have been undisturbed for some considerable period of time as some of the bramble was almost like trees…! As things were cleared a couple of brave souls started hand digging the mud from the bottom of the ditch and using a drag hook to help clear things. By the time the session drew to a close there was a steady trickle of water starting to meander down to the sea - success..! I am sure that the pictures show just how much was achieved. This was a well attended session which ably accomplished the designated task. Well done everyone!

Many thanks to Alison for taking the photographs this week.

Wednesday 18 January 2017

Wed 18th Jan 2017 - Yarmouth Green. GG # 668.

Sue's Photographs.

Part of the pre-session brief.

The main work area….the hedge.

Yes, it was COLD..! Just look at the frost on the grass.

In the thick of it (or should that be thicket?)

It pays to advertise.

Trimming back and replanting around the seat.

Litter pick?

Some of the trimmings from the hedge.

I just knew that I was pushing our luck when, in the blogs for the last few sessions, I mentioned how unseasonably warm the weather had been…..! When I looked at the OAT gauge on the car before starting out to this week's GG session it was reading -4C…Brrrrrrr. On arrival at The Green in Yarmouth, there was still a heavy white frost covering the grass (see photos above). A quick chat from Mark to point out the areas for us to address and away we went. One team tackled a rather dilapidated wooden arch/bench seat with everyone else working at the main hedge site. It doesn't seem to matter how often we visit this venue, there is always plenty for us to work on with bramble and undergrowth crowding out the hedge plants. Excellent progress was made which could be judged by the huge piles of debris we left for subsequent collection. The seating area was cleared of brambles and weeds then planted up with willow whips. Hopefully they will shoot up - ready for us to weave into an archway at a later date. In spite of the rather chilly weather, we had a good turnout including two "new recruits" who joined us for a taster session. (Hope they enjoyed it?)

Many thanks to Sue for taking and submitting the photographs this week.

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Wed 11th Jan 2017 - Swanmore Meadows, Ryde. GG # 667.

Alison's Photographs.

Work starts on the new pathway.

Clearing the brook.

Giving the undergrowth a haircut!

In the summer we use this stone as a table
for our tea break…!

The litter-pickers hard at work.

The completed new pathway.

Tree trimming by the new wooden bridge.

I have only just typed the heading for this week's blog and already realise that I have made a mistake…! Apparently Swanmore Meadows has now been re-named Pig Leg Lane. This was the most popular name that was chosen by holding a public survey. (Piggy Mc Pigface did NOT win….lol). Have a look at the Gift to Nature web site for more details of the renaming.

Call it what you may, we were all there on Wednesday morning to tackle the numerous tasks that Nick and Mark had earmarked as being worthy of our attention. One major job was to cut a new pathway, through a very overgrown area, to allow the public greater access to this lovely site. The team split into two groups and started at either end - then worked towards each other. Rather than just cut a "motorway" directly from A to B, it was decided to make it meander through the undergrowth. During the session other team members tackled clearing out the Monkton Mead brook (this time we found the remains of a large, colour TV!), cutting back some larger tree branches by the recently installed wooden bridge, various "trim and tidy" jobs plus the ubiquitous litter pick. A very busy session that was very well attended. Once again, the weather was unseasonably mild although there is a weather warning out for SNOW, here on the Island, later this week….brrrrrr….!

Many thanks to Alison for taking the photographs this week.

Wednesday 4 January 2017

Wed 4th Jan 2017 - RSPCA Animal Centre, Godshill. GG # 666.

Sue's Photographs.

Right, who is doing what…????

Measuring out the spacing.

Then the digging gets underway.

Hedge one almost complete...

and then starting hedge two.

Looking good…!

Working in the Old Orchard.

All whips were staked with a cane and fitted with rabbit guards.

Well, that is Christmas / New Year 2016 all over and done with….! For some of us, the only exercise we have had over the holidays was walking to the fridge and vacuuming up the pine needles, so a GG session was very welcome. Our visits to this venue are always well attended, perhaps it is the chance to pet the dogs as they are exercised that attracts everyone? Mark explained that we were to plant a new 60 metre hedge to separate  the dog walking path from the exercise areas as some of the dogs prefer not to see others. This will be a more natural barrier than the green netting that is in place at the moment (see photographs above). The whips were courtesy of the Woodland Trust so… a BIG thank you to them! We were careful to mix and match the various plants so that, hopefully, the finished hedge will blend in with the existing foliage. Such was the progress on this job that after the tea break several other jobs were tackled including work in the Old Orchard and trimming back some bushes by the main building.
In spite of the ominous session number (666…!) the weather was kind to us, with a balmy noon temperature of around 8C.

Many thanks to Sue for taking the photographs and to the RSPCA staff for supplying the tea/coffee and biscuits…!