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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 26 July 2017

Wed 26th July 2017 - Barrncourt Farm, Wroxall. GG # 695.

Alison's Photographs.

Mark's Photographs.

14 intrepid GG members braved the rain for Pesky Plant Pulling.  We were here just a few weeks ago and returned to carry on the good work pulling the Himalayan Balsam.  We split into two groups with some working down by the stream and in the adjoining fields, while the remainder walked up the road and into the field alongside the public footpath where the seeds are spread by walkers and their dogs.  By the end of the session considerable progress had been made and, as far as we could see, no pink remained in the fields.  We were accompanied by swallows swooping and catching insects and the calls of buzzards. 

Many thanks to Alison for both the photographs and editorial.

Wednesday 19 July 2017

Wed 19th July 2017 - Watershoot Bay, St Catherine's. GG # 694.

Terry's Photographs.

A rather grey day.

A Stonechat.

Cormorants and "Sammy" the seal (top right)

Getting started.

Certainly NOT easy pickings..!

One of the recorders takes a break.

Part of an ammonite fossil.

"Sammy" watchers at tea break.

Trying to accurately record the all the findings.

Some of the litter haul.

On Tuesday night we had heavy electrical storms over the Island which left us with a cloudy start to Wednesday. Having made the long trek down the hill from the car park, we were pleasantly surprised to see that the beach looked relatively litter free (nothing like our last visit Wed 11th May 2016 - Watershoot Bay, St Catherine's…) First looks can be deceptive and we were soon busy collecting all those strange things that we find on this beach. (Unlike previous years, this time we DID NOT find a toilet seat!) As per usual, we were not only collecting the litter but recording every detail which is then incorporated in a national survey. During our session, "Sammy" the seal was frequently seen just off the rocks and kept us entertained during the tea break. 

Have a look at this link to decide which kind of seal Sammy was -
 Common and Grey Seals |  (- I am going for the grey variety) As for the answer to "What is the collective noun for seals?", the following was found on the internet Pod, Bob, Harem, Herd, Rookery - so take your pick.

Perhaps we collected less than previous years but that meant ranging further across those uneven rocks which can be very hard going! The photographs above show the results of our efforts so well done everyone! Come the end of a strenuous session you then have the challenge of climbing the hill back up to the car park…. a true Green Gym work-out…!

Many thanks to Terry for taking the photographs.

Wednesday 12 July 2017

Wed 12th July 2017 - Cockleton Meadows, Gurnard. GG # 693.

Terry's Photographs.

Painting the storage container gets underway...

…. as does digging over the flower/veg beds.

Don't forget the top also needs painting..!

Sprucing-up a gate.

Gathering the materials for the water conservation project.

Then…trying to fix it all together…!

A nice view of the pond area.

Painting continues….

….. as does the dig-over.

A tidy-up down in the composting area.

A well earned tea break, up at the picnic site.

A slow worm.

The roof goes on.

Tra-dah… The finished water storage project.

All ready for planting up.

A Marbled White butterfly.

Gatekeeper butterfly.

Bird boxes for the trees.

 Small Copper butterfly on ragwort.


Small Skipper butterfly.

With Tuesday's (very welcome) rain clearing, it was a rather cloudy day for the start of this week's GG session. As per usual for our visits to Cockleton Meadows, there was no shortage of jobs for us to tackle - in fact there was just about something for everyone (plus more!). A quick glance through Terry's excellent photographs above will show the scope of the work undertaken. Although we have only been coming to this beautiful area for a couple of years, the improvement has been both amazing and dramatic. This community based project has come on leaps and bounds since our first visit where we hacked down a wall of bramble to discover, what is now, the pond area! Our tea break was held at the picnic area where the shade of the trees was very welcome (the sun had started to break through the early cloud). Beautiful distant views of the Solent from this position. Many thanks to Martin for supplying the carrot cake - it was yummy..! The majority of the given tasks were completed but I imagine that the committee will soon be writing up a new list for our next visit.

Many thanks to Terry for the photographs and to Martin for the carrot cake.

Thursday 6 July 2017

Wed 5th July 2017 - Barncourt Farm, Wroxall. GG # 692.

This week we were PPP on the higher tributaries of the Eastern Yar river. Regular readers will know that we visits this site a couple of times each year to continue our never ending battle to try and tame the dreaded Himalayan Balsam. If you are confused as to why the GG members in the photographs above are wearing long sleeves on such a perfect summer's day (see the blue sky?), it is for protection against the sap from the HB and the stinging nettles that thrive in the same growing areas as HB..! Casting an initial eye over the areas on either side of the stream looked promising but more careful inspection showed that the majority of the HB plants were lurking just below the height of the surrounding undergrowth. Perhaps there was less than previous years? Only time will tell. As can be seen from the photographs above, there was still plenty of this pesky plant to pull.

Many thanks to Alison for taking the photographs this week.