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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 31 August 2017

Wed 30th Aug 2017 - IoW GREEN GYM'S 700TH SESSION.

Terry's Photographs.

"Smile everyone" - Team GG on the day…!

Wow…that is one YUMMY cake!

Mark with his custom made card.

The IoW Green Gym has now reached yet another milestone - our 700th session..! During the work at Sandown Meadows this Wednesday we took time out to celebrate this momentous occasion (and to eat lots of yummy cake!). With a cup of tea in one hand and a slice of cake in the other, not even the weather could put the dampeners on our spirits. After a few words from Mark, he was presented with a wonderful, custom made, card signed by everyone (what else could you give to a man who has everything..???)

Although I do not have accurate records to hand, a few simple figures show just how much voluntary work the GG has contributed over the years. Started in 2003, there has now been 700 sessions - if we averaged the attendance at 25 people per session and 3 hours work each week from each, then it must be around 52500 man (person?) hours. If you take a working day to be 8 hours then that equates to over 6,500 days - so if we then divide that by 365 (days in a year) then the final figure is about 18 YEARS…!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mark for all the effort (and hours!) that he puts into making our Wednesday mornings so enjoyable. Roll on our 1,000 session..!

A huge thank you to Gwen for making the delicious cake - it really topped off the occasion.

Wed 30th Aug 2017 - Sandown Meadows, Lake. GG # 700….!

Terry's Photographs.

Our "bosses" for the day - complete with corporate logos!

Raking in the rain - can it get any better???

There was certainly lots for us to be working on.

A hay-stack with legs?

GG finally gets automated.

Beep….beep….coming through…!

The area we cleared….

….and the area we covered!

As we all assembled for the 700th GG session, the rain started. Fortunately, it wasn't too heavy and didn't last very long - just enough to make us all put on waterproof clothing. After a bit of a hike from where we parked the cars, we arrived at the worksite and told what our task for the day would be… "Rake up cut material from one field and then spread it across the adjacent one"! Yes, this did cause a few raised eyebrows but once given the explanation, it all made a bit more sense. The idea was that the pre-cut area contained lots of wild flowers and by spreading them across the open area then hopefully they would self seed. If we visit here again next year then it will be interesting to see if the plan worked. We were helped with the task by having a quad bike and trailer to transport all the material…. I think we would have REALLY struggled trying to wheelbarrow it all across the marshy ground!
With a very special tea break (see separate blog page) to refresh us, it was amazing just how much was achieved in just those few hours.

Many thanks to Terry for taking the photographs this week.

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Wed 23rd Aug 2017 - Millennium Green, Ryde. GG # 699.

Terry's Photographs.

Loading up the pack mules.

In transit to the work site.

"And today we will be……"

Some pre-cut branches.

Work starts up in "butterfly meadow".

Building the new boundary.

Trimming back along the numerous pathways.

Tea time.

Hay making?

More hedging material.

Migrant Hawker dragonfly.

Due to Island Roads carrying out road works in the area, we were unable to drive the Green Gym van down to the Millennium Green site for this week's GG session. Having parked the van some distance away in Binstead Estate, we then had to load all the tools, tea etc into wheel-barrows and hike through the woods. A somewhat energetic start to the session..! Once we had all met up and been briefed as to what needed attention, we were soon spread out across the area and hard at work. With one team working up in what has become known as "butterfly meadow"and others trimming back the overgrown foliage then the remainder tackled a dead hedging job along the northern boundary. Since our last visit there had been some fallen trees that had been left piled up - so we cut and dragged this to where it could be built into a boundary barrier. It was mentioned (many times) that our last few visits to this venue had been a "little damp" but this time it remained dry throughout.  With everything looking well sorted, all that was left to do was wheel-barrow all the tools back to the van - phew…!

Many thanks to Terry for taking the photographs this week. Please DO NOT forget that next week is the 700th anniversary of GG here on the Island. What a milestone…!

Thursday 17 August 2017

Wed 16th Aug 2017 - West Wight Sports and Community Centre, Freshwater. GG # 698.

Terry's Photographs.

Doing battle with the hedges.

I think a "haircut" is called for here..!

Our boss for the day as Mark was on annual leave.

Happy bag men.

A well earned tea break.

Did we cut all that? Yes, and a whole lot more.

Now, doesn't that look much better…???

This little fellow (juvenile robin) wanted to scoot off.

With the last three successive GG sessions being wet, it was nice to have a dry day to make the drive out to West Wight. Once again the street parking was almost non-existent (well done to those GG members who managed to bag a space!) so the dreaded parking ticket had to be purchased. The brief was incredibly simple…. if it is garden around the building / car park area, then make it look good! I think it is fair to say that the gardens do not get an awful lot of attention between our visits so there is always plenty to be getting on with. This was a well attended session (due to dry weather?) and everyone was soon tackling their chosen "task of the day". One really pleasant thing about working here is the kind comments we get from people using the facility, they always seem to be very happy with efforts. The staff provided us with tea/coffee/biscuits at tea break so it is a big THANK YOU to them. I feel sure that the photographs above reflect just how much was achieved in just a few short hours. To the people of Freshwater….ENJOY…!

Many thanks to Terry for taking the photographs this week.

A note for your diary. If you glance up at the title bar for this blog then you will realise that we are only TWO sessions away from our 700th GG session. Mark has hinted that there may well be cake in the offering so…… don't forget to come and help us celebrate this milestone GG session!

Wednesday 9 August 2017

Wed 9th Aug 2017 - Shademakers, Castleworks, Wroxall. GG # 697.

Alison's Photographs.

Trimming back along the footpath.

Look carefully and you will see someone tunnelling through
the undergrowth…!

More footpath work.

Meanwhile, along the approach road..

Wow-where did all that undergrowth go???

Working hard on the approach track.

Looking much tidier now!

The job isn't finished until everything is shipshape.

When you look up the weather on a Wednesday morning, prior to setting out to the GG session, you DO NOT want to see this….. "Yellow weather warning for torrential rain across the Isle of Wight"..! Never mind, off we all went to the wilds of Wroxall and, as it turned out, the heavy rain held off until we had just about finished. After a quick chat about what needed to be done, we split into various groups and started work. Perhaps the biggest job was to tackle the overgrown area between the yard and the footpath, although the parking area and approach track were also treated to a "haircut". Come tea break, the wonderful ladies at Shademakers treated us to their legendary cakes - so, so yummy! Just as we were finishing up the weather took a turn for the worse and the rain started to get heavier.

Many thanks to Alison for the photographs and the Shademaker ladies for the super cakes.

Thursday 3 August 2017

Wed 2nd August 2017 - Lynch Copse, Newchurch. GG # 696.

Alison's Photographs.

This week we were at a new site – Lynch Copse, Parsonage Farm in Newchurch. This was accessed via Martin’s Wood (aka the Bee Fields).  It is privately owned and we were given permission to pull Himalayan Balsam on the land to help prevent the spread of HB into Martin’s Wood.  In complete contrast to last week where the terrain was open and flat-ish, this week we were in dense cover on a steep slope.  The bracken, nettles and HB were, in places, over 6ft tall (see pic with Alex – he is 6’2”).  In some places the HB was quite a way from the river and the seeds could well have been spread via wild animals, the wind and machinery used on the land.  By the end of the session good progress had been made – however, we could also see a considerable amount of HB that hadn’t been touched at all and it is unlikely we will revisit this year - perhaps a few visits next year will be scheduled?

As last week, waterproofs were essential as the rain was relentless.  The Jet stream is responsible for the current bout of wet weather and needs a hearty shove northwards – it is summer after all!

A weather note from Bob the Blog.

This was the rain radar map taken at 10:45, during the GG session. Doesn't get much wetter than that, even allowing for the fact that it is COWES WEEK….! Roll on summer.

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