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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 30 January 2019

Wed 30th Jan 2019 - Dodnor Creek LNR, Newport. GG # 770.

Terry's Photographs.

Where it was all happening on Wednesday morning..!

Mark's Photographs.

Mark's Editorial.
2018 was certainly a busy year in Dickson's Copse, it saw our group working there under the Gift to Nature project 'Dodnor Rediscovered', as part of the investment and improvement in access to heritage in the area. We made numerous visits - see last year's blog pages - trimming paths, installing draining pipes and drains, steps, laying crushed limestone etc etc. It was good therefore to return in the winter to see how effective our labours had been. Thankfully it seems we'd made a good job of it!
The morning was bright but cold. Today's task was to work on a hazel coupe and also on lower ground within the willow carr, coppicing the trees to allow light in and the lower vegetation to have a chance to thrive. All to improve biodiversity. We split the group into two and set about the task.
It was quite a job remaining upright in amongst the willow, the Parkhurst Stream, although only trickling past today, flows through the valley out to Dodnor Creek and the mud and hollows made the job difficult ... but we like a challenge.

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

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Wed 23rd Jan 2019 - Bouldnor Forest, Yarmouth. GG # 769.

Terry's Photographs.

Everyone getting "tooled-up"...

.... a quick chat about what we are doing.....

...then on to the task in hand.

The reason we all arrived home smelling like kippers...!

Far less gorse than we started with.

It was only back at the start of January (our first session of 2019) that we last visited Bouldnor Forest but we returned today to continue the clearance work. This time our brief was to tackle some of the taller gorse while leaving the dwarf variety and lavender which will open up the whole area for  plants and wildlife. As can be seen from the photographs, the day started clear and frosty with a chilly northerly wind blowing, certainly an excellent reason for getting a fire going as soon as possible! Unfortunately, the direction of the smoke was somewhat unpredictable but the coughing and spluttering that ensued might help clear the "Christmas Cold" that many are struggling to shake. It would be interesting to know just how many bags of gorse were dragged from where it was cut to the bonfire (some distance away) - certainly good exercise for all involved.

Many thanks to Terry for the photographs this week.

Wednesday 16 January 2019

Wed 16th Jan 2019 - Morton Marsh, Sandown. GG # 768.

Terry's Photographs. (he apologises for the rain drops on the lens..!)

Crossing the very impressive new bridge.

Well prepared for the weather.

A quick chat about what the task is....

and straight into the raking.

Tea break.

Now you can see why it is called Morton MARSH..!

Nice rows of cut reeds awaiting collection.

Before we had even arrived at the marsh, we could see evidence of new work since our last visit here - a new bridge over the stream and lots of new fencing. Due to a rusted padlock on a gate, we had a bit of a detour to the work site where we were presented with a huge area of cut reeds that needed to be raked into orderly rows. At a later date (when it has dried out) this will all be collected up and disposed of. When we were told that we were clearing reeds to encourage reeds to grow, we were a little puzzled....but all was to be explained. Apparently this marsh not a good marsh...especially in the summer months when it dries out too much. The areas we cleared will have "ponds" dug in them which will hold water throughout the year, which in turn will grow better reed beds and encourage more birds, animals and plant life.
Considering that it was a rather damp session, we had an excellent turn-out (perhaps everyone was Brexited out - and needed a break?)
Well done to everyone who braved the rain to attend and a big thank you to Terry for taking the rather soggy photographs.

Wednesday 9 January 2019

Wed 9th Jan 2019 - Birchmore Pond, Blackwater. GG # 767.

Terry's Photographs.

The usual pre-session briefing..

and then straight into it..!

Team East finally breaks through to Team West.

Getting those stumps down as low as possible.

The post tea break chat.

A good job that some wore their wellies..

Part of the new pathway.

"This will be the last branch that I cut...honestly.."

"Oh well...maybe just one more..."

The new pathway gives wonderful new views across the pond.

These last few shots show what we managed to achieve...
truly astounding.

Birchmore Pond is one of those venues that we have been visiting for many a year but seldom more than one visit every one or two years. Although, over time, great progress had been made at cutting our way around the edge of the pond, we never really managed to get on top of things. Today, all that changed...! At the pre-session briefing, Mark suggested that we cut a new access route through from the car parking area to the pond - which just happened to run through the huge bramble patch that we had NEVER previously tackled (nice one Mark!). We split into Team East and Team West and, not unlike with the boring of the Channel Tunnel, attacked the problem from opposing sides. Initially this is a bit "hit or miss" (literally!) but as the teams get closer, you can adjust direction by voice and finally by sight before the final break through is achieved - that "Doctor Livingstone" moment! Once we had access, the pond side area was cleared of bramble and over hanging branches thereby opening up a whole new aspect to this lovely pond. Other GGmers were involved with cutting back willow along the northern edge and giving the whole area a general tidy up. I can remember writing the blog for this venue before and finishing with...."please can we go back soon to continue the work - SOON"  so, Mark, I will do a "Hint Hint" again...😀
As can be seen from the group shots above, we had an excellent turnout and the weather was glorious for early January (even thought the black ice alarm on the car went off as I left home to go there!)

Many thanks to Terry for taking the excellent photographs.