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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 29 June 2017

Wed 28th June 2017 - The Duver and Priory Bay, St Helens. GG # 691.

What a difference a week makes!  It rained and rained and carried on doing so…….  This week we were armed with waterproofs, black sacks and litter pickers.  For the early part of the session we spread out over the Duver to clear any litter.  Despite the weather it was a popular spot for dog walkers and comment was made on our work and how much we were appreciated – it’s always nice to have a pat on the back!  After tea break we headed towards Priory Bay.  In the middle of the beach were the remains of a boat (see pic) – perhaps our largest find during a beach clean – and at the end of the session a few hardy folk helped move it from the beach for the NT warden to dispose of.   

Many thanks to Alison for the editorial and photographs this week.

Thursday 22 June 2017

Wed 21 June 2017 - Arreton Down SSSI. GG # 690.

A small select group of us gathered at the parking area adjacent to Arreton Down and armed ourselves with ragforks and black sacks and then sallied forth onto the downs to search for ragwort.  Sunhats, sun blocker and long sleeves were the accessories of the day as the temperature was expected to soar – and it did; it was a beautiful day with a breeze to make it all bearable.  There were many species of butterfly in evidence and a wide variety of wild flowers in bloom.  The ragwort was spread sparsely over the downs, but a fair quantity had been pulled by the end of the session.

Just had a look at our visit to Arreton Down 22/6/16 (see link Wed 22nd Jun 2016 - Arreton Down SSSI. GG # 640. ) – the weather couldn’t have been more different – we were wearing coats and coping with misty rain and poor visibility – today it was scorchio!

Many thanks to Alison for the editorial and photographs this week.

Tuesday 20 June 2017

Wed 14th June 2017 - The IoW Donkey Sanctuary, Wroxall. GG # 689.

Our hunt for Himalayan Balsam started again this year at the Donkey Sanctuary, and this year in the main it was more of a hunt.  The plant, where it had been rampant in previous years, was now dotted sporadically along the stream's banks. It was however more numerous in patches where winter clearance of thorn scrub had revealed former refuge of plants and seed. Well refuge no more as we soon pulled and cleared these.

Many thanks to Mark for contributing the photographs and editorial this week.

Wednesday 7 June 2017

Wed 7th Jun 2017 - Brading Downs, Brading. GG # 688.

Mark's Photographs.

Because of a hiccup with our schedule, this Wednesday morning found Team GG on Brading Downs rather than at Wroxall (Old) Station. Frequent visitors to this blog site will know that a visit to the Downs at this time of the year can only mean one thing…..Ragwort pulling…! We were met by Nick from G2N who was happy to issue everyone with a ragwort lifting fork and a black bin bag before letting us loose on the down. One of the hardest aspects of this job is trying to identify exactly which type of ragwort you are dealing with - the "bad" type has a purple coloured stem where the "good" type has a green one. Once you (eventually) get your eye in then it can be seen that the two variants have a different leaf profile but this is quite hard to identify initially. Because the car park here gives wonderful views across the southern aspects of the Island, it is frequently visited by coaches full of mainland visitors who appear quite amused by our antics. I often wonder if they go back to their friends and family reporting that the locals on the IoW are so keen on gardening that they weed the hillsides…! The recent rain showers we have been experiencing held off but there was a rather stiff SE wind blowing. By the end of the session Nick's trailer was quite full of our pickings which should (hopefully) help to reduce the number of plants we have to pull later in the year. One PPP (Pesky Plant Pulling) session down but many more to come in 2017.

Why do we put so much effort in trying to pull all this ragwort? Have a look at this link - Ragwort/RHS Gardening

A note from Mark.

A fine time on Brading Down LNR last week collecting up the Ragwort plants. We've been pulling Ragwort every June since 2004, sometimes twice in the month.  Some of us will remember the huge trailer loads we used to collect, less these days.  The reason of course is to support the conservation work, namely the grazing by cattle which takes place on the Downs over the winter months. 

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

Photographs will be added as they arrive.