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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 27 February 2019

Wed 27th Feb 2019 - Wheelers Bay, Ventnor. GG # 774.

Terry's Photographs.

Taking in the glorious view from the car park.

The pre-session briefing....

...then off down the rather steep steps.

The caterpillars that we were working hard to
provide a habitat for.

A "local" enjoying the winter sun..!

Work is well underway.

But still time for a cuppa..!

Back to work after the refreshments.

Merlin decides that sun bathing is better than working😊

New "des-res" for the Glanville Fritillary butterfly

Cormorants enjoying the winter sun.

The bank that was cleared at the half way point.

Cast your mind back to this time last year..... can't remember it? Have a look at this link to the GG blog for that session... Wed 28th Feb 2018 - Session CANCELLED - due to "Th... yes, it was the "Beast from the EAST"..! The weather for today's session was in total contrast to that day in 2018, in fact the UK all time record for a winter high temperature was broken at Kew Gardens yesterday (some 22 C)! So, having negotiated the rather tricky roads of Ventnor, we all found ourselves at the Wheelers Bay car park and ready to start the clearance work to aid the habitat of the Glanville Fritillary butterfly.  The Island has the main colony, within the UK, of this rare butterfly so there was important work to be done. After a quick chat about what we were doing and why, we shuffled off down the steeply stepped footpath and began work at two separate sites. The majority of the team were working at the lower level, where the costal revetment meets the cliff, whilst a smaller working party tackled a few briar patches about half way up the slope. The excellent weather and the promise of working somewhere new had encouraged a particularly high turn out of GGmers so a significant amount of work was achieved during the session.

If you would like further info on the Glanville Fritillary...

Many thanks to Terry for the photographs this week.

Historical Note.

Alex has been kind enough to send me this historical photograph showing where we were working today. The building on the shoreline, central, is the old Ventnor gas different it is today with that wonderful sea wall walk..! If anyone has any further information about this photo then please let me know. It would be nice to have some idea of when it was taken. I assume that the coal must have been brought in by barge as it is a long way up to the railway station from there..πŸ˜€

P.S. Just Googled the above..and came up with this Wheelers Bay - Ventnor Heritage Centre - worth a look..!

Thanks Alex.

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Wed 20th Feb 2019. Afton Marsh LNR (North). GG # 773.

Terry's Photographs.

Lots of standing willow to "process".

He must be an Aquarian...."the water carrier"..!

The fire gets underway.

Plenty of material to feed that fire with.


So many people, all hard at work.

Looking clearer already.

Yes, you've guessed it..tea break.

Getting seriously muddy by now.

Wow, did we clear ALL that..?

Mark's Photographs.

Looking at Mark's notes, it has been FOUR years since we visited Afton Marsh...seems like only a few months ago! Obviously the ground here is very boggy which means that willow adores it - vast amounts of it springs up everywhere. The instructions were simple..."Cut it down" which is music to the ears of a GGmer, so we were soon all busy hacking away. Those with the hardest job were the ones who were transporting the cut material to the fire... as the ground is difficult to traverse. Not unusual for you to move forward but a boot to stay fixed firmly in the swampy mud 😏 Once again, the weather was very kind to us, pleasantly warm with long sunny periods - perfect. The light trimmings were disposed of on the fire with the thicker trunks piled up to make habitats for the wildlife. Perhaps we will get back here again, before another 4 years pass us by..?

Many thanks to Terry & Mark for the photographs.

Wednesday 13 February 2019

Wed 13th Feb 2019 - St Helens Primary School. GG # 772.

Mark's Photographs.

Terry's Photographs.

"And today's tasks will be..." Mark reads from the job list.

Work gets underway..Team GG divided by a fence.

Time for tea.

Planting new whips at the top of the sports field.

A rather curious onlooker..!

The "pond" side of the fence almost complete..

...and "t'other" side - both looking very neat and tidy.

Time for a break after the back-breaking work.

As with many of our GG sessions, the first task of the day was to negotiate the numerous road works and diversions cunningly set up by Island Roads. This was then followed by "hunt the car parking space" around the village green 😏 Eventually we all found somewhere to park and headed on up the cul-de-sac to the school. It must have been around 10 years ago that we had our last visit here, when we put in a pond and constructed some planters - all of which have survived..! Have a look at this link....

The pond had unfortunately developed a leak and due to our old friend H&S, was deemed unsafe for little ones to be around. This was emptied of the rotting vegetation and then back filled with a mixture of new soil and compost so it might live on, now as a super safe bog garden. The two main working sites were somewhat overgrown (see the first photos above) and benefited from a good cut back and tidy-up. Where possible, any live plants and shrubs were retained and replanted. Several other smaller tasks were undertaken around the school including the planting of new whips along the top boundary of the playing field.
The weather was a bright sunny day, almost spring like, and we had a very good turn-out. Well done everyone who attended, let's hope that it won't be another 10 years before we get to work here again..!

A message from the Headmaster.

What a great job. 
We will add a couple of photos to our newsletter this week to celebrate the fantastic improvements.
I'm hoping it will be nearer to 10 weeks rather than 10 years before our next collaboration. 

Please send out gratitude to all the wonderful volunteers.



Many thanks to Mark & Terry for taking the excellent photographs.