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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 :-

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If you would like to leave us any comments then please use this link

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Wed 16th Sept 2020 - Merstone Station. GG # 829.

 Terry's Photographs.

The setting for today's venue.

Mark giving us a brief...lots of Covid rules to follow..!

Away we go..back to REAL work 😊

Making hay while the sun shines..?

Of course we can squeeze in another bag....

A well earned (socially distant) tea break.

How to do a 4 man lift whilst remaining 2 metres apart.

The finished job...doesn't the orchard look good now..!

Not bad for a morning's work.
Nature Corner.

Now...that really is luxurious high rise living for insects.

A little vole that wanted to hide under a sack.
He soon scampered safely away.

Back out "in the field" this week....YAY..! This time of the year we usually visit Merstone Station to carry out what Mark terms "The Great British Rake Off" and in spite of ever changing Covid-19 regs, we have managed to get back there once again.  The rangers pre cut the summer grass and it is our job to collect it all up and give the place a full makeover before the winter months set in. The photographs above show exactly what is involved and the space made it is easy to conform to a maximum of 6 in each working party with all individuals staying socially distant. The weather was kind, warm and sunny and we had a good turnout of GGmers.

Due to the present "unusual" circumstances, it isn't possible to have our program publish in advanced. Mark did hint about a few possible future venues so keep an eye on your e-mails for further updates.

Stay safe everyone.

Many thanks to Terry for the photographs this week.

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Wed 9th Sept 2020 - The Riverside Centre, Newport. GG # 828.

 Terry's Photographs.

What "meeting up" looks like under social distancing rules.

Straight into the tasks...

Please note the 2 metre 

The car park area looking MUCH tidier.

The flower bed we put in some time ago got a "weed-over".

Nature Spot.

Square-spot Rustic Moth.

Although the arrangements for today's session weren't announced until the day before, around a dozen of us found our way along to the Riverside Centre for a REAL GG session..! The team talk at the beginning reminded us of the importance of observing the two metre rule at all times and judging by the photos above, everyone worked hard at conforming...well done all. Our main effort was to try and give the upper and lower car parking areas an end of season trim back and also tidy up some of the bordering flower beds. I think that the photographs above show we did a good job, the whole area was looking better cared for come the end of the session.
In light of the government's change of policy (again..!) about group meetings, announced yesterday and coming into force next Monday, we are not sure if we will be able to have any more "real" GG sessions for the foreseeable future 😟. It was discussed at tea break and Mark was of the opinion that we will see how the new rules are generally interpreted before making a decision about next Wednesday. As per usual...keep an eye on your e-mails for an update.

Many thanks to Terry for the photographs.

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Wed 2nd Sept 2020 - GG Virtual Session # 20.

 This week's Zoomers....

After the excitement of being outdoors for our Wednesday morning last week, going back to Zoom again was a little disappointing 😞. There is hope on the horizon that our outdoor sessions will be resuming soon so please keep an eye on your e-mails for updates. Mark has been liaising with Nick about possible future dates at Merstone, Pan Meadows and One Horse Field - all of which will involve end of season raking (The BIG British Rake Off 😁) hopefully good venues for social distancing. The churchyard job at Freshwater is still a possibility so we might be getting back to some sort of normality soon πŸ‘.

 If you have seen on various media streams about the Shide fire, it was the building that Nick has as offices and where GG keeps the equipment (on the same site). Although the entrance area had considerable fire damage and some of the rooms have been exposed to smoke / heat, it appears that the fire brigade arrive just in time. We wish them well at clearing up and getting things sorted.

General discussion this week started with the usual topic of Island Roads, went on to the floating bridge fiasco and then lockdown activities we had tried to keep fit and sane! I mentioned several projects that are still underway, one of which involved the purchase of a "hoverboard" which I am still trying to master. Have a look at the following link to see the progress that Gizmo and I have made so far πŸ˜€...

Take care everyone and STAY SAFE.

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Wed 26th Aug 2020 - GG Walk from the Causeway, Freshwater.

Terry's Photographs.

A quick Team GG briefing before we start.

Gizmo is ready for the off.

Bob's Photographs.

I am sure that most of you are very aware of what the Causeway looks like but I have included the photos above just to show how much bird life is there right now..! Many more swans than I have ever seen in previous years and whole flocks of Canadian geese.
I expect you are wondering why Team GG is wandering around West Wight on a Wednesday morning rather than getting on with our usual work..? In spite of Mark's best efforts, the two "possibles" he had lined up for us this week fell through at the last minute so will be moved to the right on the schedule. Rather than just having another virtual GG session on Zoom, he decided that we should all get some fresh air by taking a stroll along the old railway line / cycle track between Freshwater and Yarmouth. The gale force winds and torrential rain from yesterday had abated somewhat and left us with a pleasant day for taking some long overdue exercise. About ten of us set off from the Causeway bridge heading north towards Yarmouth whilst taking time to admire the wonderful views across the Yar estuary. Because of prior commitments, I had to leave the group as they were heading up into Mill Copse but hopefully someone will take over the narrative from that point. It is amazing just how many people use this bridleway, walkers, joggers, dog walkers, cyclists, runners and even someone riding a horse, you hardly get more than ten paces before there is the "ting" of a cycle bell from behind as someone wants to overtake😏 ( but nice to see the great outdoors being used). A very pleasant way to spend a morning and great to catch up with a few GGmers who haven't been making it along to our Zoom sessions.

Many thanks to Terry for sending in his photographs.

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Wed 19th Aug 2020 - GG Virtual Session # 019.

 The numbers were down a bit for this weeks meeting...

The glib comment that I made at the end of last week's blog, regarding the weather, appears to have come true..... weeks and weeks of glorious weather when we had to use Zoom meetings and when we get a regular outdoor session programmed in...the heavens open 😑. Mark had cancelled the session due to the forecasted rain hence some of the "tropical" characters pictured above (trying to convince him that it was sunny where we
Once again, as a group, we experienced some technical issues regarding Zoom and connectivity but with the aid of mime and hastily scribbled notes displayed via the camera, we all managed to converse eventually. It is somewhat reassuring that even the BBC seems to have technical issues when trying to do virtual interviews πŸ˜€.
Our general chit-chat started with the ongoing St Mary's Roundabout "Improvement" (?) Scheme progress. They have now installed the traffic lights at the new junction from Forest Road to "the motorway".

So far I have managed to count a total of TWENTY THREE traffic light units at this junction alone - does Forest Road now refer to the number of lights rather than trees...???? My guess-timation is that, on completion,  there will be in excess of 50 lights in 500 yards of road...amazing.
For those of you who have been having to follow the diversion around Newport to get to Yarmouth, this new junction is SUPPOSED to be open this coming Friday (21st Aug)for both east and west bound traffic.

We then moved on to the next week's proposed project, the pond liner at the East Cowes school. There are various uncertainties with regard to site access and materials arriving on time so please look out for an e-mail at a later date. It sounds to be an interesting project and will be nice to be out and about again on a Wednesday morning. This topic then lead to discussion about various types of river and pond fish and then expanded into reintroducing various birds and animals into the wild.

As mentioned above, next Wednesday's session has yet to have the details finalised so please keep an eye on your e-mails for further information. Stay safe and keep enjoying the reduced price meals....πŸ‘πŸ”.

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Wed 12th Aug 2020 - GG Virtual Session # 018.

 This week's "Wednesday Morning" crowd....

Do you remember how wide the topics of conversation were at GG tea breaks..? That is very much like things are on our Wednesday morning Zoom sessions 😏. It is amazing just how many different subjects get discussed in just over half an hour. This week included....
An update on the St Mary's Roundabout project, Viv saying she had went to a balsam pulling session yesterday but the noon day high temps defeated them, visitor numbers across towns on the Island, Northwood Park weekend market, quite a long chat about Gurnard and thoughts about the best swimming beaches..!
Mark then gave us a quick update on the way ahead for GG sessions over then next couple of weeks. Next week we HOPE to be All Saints' Church, Freshwater - (watch out for an e-mail) and the following week takes us to a new pond project at Queensgate School in Whippingham. Those of us who have been around GG for a while will remember putting in a pond at the old school that was on this site...apparently they now have a new school building and the contractors were kind enough to dig the pond shape which we now have to line-out and establish. This job depends on the materials being delivered so, once again, watch your e-mails for updates.
What is the betting that after all these Zoom sessions we have had during all this excellent weather will deteriorate into squally showers when we get back out and about again πŸ’¦πŸ’¨.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Wed 5th Aug 2020 - GG Virtual Session # 017.

Team GG Zoomers for this week....

This week we had 10 GG members attending the Wednesday morning session...well done to all those who managed to get along. Viv decided that she was going to give us a mini quiz by asking for ideas as to what we thought an old English word was that she was trying to translate from a hand-written manuscript. After a bit of head scratching, Mark came up with the fact that an "s" was often shown in old text as an "f"... so the word was "assigns"...! Easy peasy (when you know how 😏). The next topic of conversation was hedgehogs as Bob had found a Kamikaze one sitting in the road outside his house. It was rescued and re-homed in his (spacious) garden so well done Bob πŸ‘. He did mention making horseradish sauce from the roots of the plant...apparently you don't need a lot of root in the mix before your mouth turns numb..!
There was quite a lot of discussion about possible future venues for real (outside) GG sessions but nothing  programmed in as yet. Come September, the chances of us returning to some sort of normality are on the increase so fingers crossed (although the possibility of working at a couple of West Wight churchyards might arise before then)

Mark mentioned that he had recently been out to the West Wight Community and Leisure Centre and took the opportunity to look at the crab apple tree we planted there in memory of Carole Walker. Apparently it is doing fine..see attached photo.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Wed 29th Aug 2020 - GG Virtual Session # 016.

Today's photo for the "Wall of Fame"....😊

The on-line meeting followed what seems to have become our regular agenda... with Mark giving us a quick update as to what future weeks might bring with regards to any outdoor sessions. Although he has been following up various leads, none of our established venues are suitable / available under the Covid-19 regulations as they stand at the moment. There is hope that things might return to some sort of normality come fingers crossed πŸ‘.
With the "official business" cleared..the conversation opened up into more general topics which included the experiences various people had had with haircuts, shopping, eating out, etc .... it appears that there is a wide range of interpretation of the government's guidelines but everyone felt safe. There was quite a long discussion about walks around St George's Down which led on to the origins of some of the more unusual place names here on the Island. As a side issue (we tend to drift off the main topic of conversation..!) the date of the big flood in Newport was a little earlier than we thought...1960. This CP article has some amazing photos taken at the time, click this link to view... Newport 1960 flooding. Mark's father could remember the day of the flood when, one of the ponds up on St George's Down, broke its banks and poured down the hillside flooding the garage at Blackwater....must have been quite a downpour..!

It's looking as though our next Wednesday's session will be another Zoom meeting but I am sure Mark will send out an e-mail if things change.

Stay safe everyone.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

Wed 22nd July 2020 - Barncourt Farm, Wroxall. GG # 827.

Mark's Photos and video.

(you might need to up your volume level when playing this)

11 of us decided that Himalayan Balsam pulling at Barncourt Farm was the ideal way to spend a Wednesday morning.  The dreaded HB was concentrated in the harder to reach areas along the edges of the Wroxall Stream and the ditch that was deep and narrow.  Mark rose to the challenge and donned the waders while others battled the brambles and nettles in the dry ditch.  The highlight of the morning was the number of swallows swooping above us; this was offset by the knowledge that we were sharing the ditch with a rat and a wasp's nest on the bank of the stream.  Nevertheless, it was great to be out and sharing a wonderful day with everyone.

A big thank you to Alison for sending in the editorial and to Mark for the photos and video.

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Wed 15th July 2020 - GG Virtual Session # 015.

Another happy group shot of GG Zoomers....😊.

After the excitement of having a "real" GG session last week, this time around we had to resort to the magic of modern technology for our Wednesday morning session. Mark confused us all by initially appearing as a diminutive "Lego Man" standing next to what appeared to be the bottom of a table leg... this actually turned out to be a full sized Mark standing at the foot of The Angel of the North statue...! With that resolved then the meeting opened out into general discussion encompassing a wide range of topics. 
Now the lockdown on hairdressers and barbers has been lifted, a few of us are certainly looking a little tidier πŸ˜†. For those readers who are avidly following the ongoing saga about Bob's garden, the latest news is that the beans have black fly and the cucumbers have white fly. We were informed that one fly paper alone had attracted in excess of 1500 pesky flies..! I have to ask, who would bother to take the time to count them all and should The Archers be concerned about being knocked off the top spot horticultural excitement..????
There was some chat about the access to sea caves either side of Freshwater Bay and the likelihood of discovering long lost treasure .... and Phil's mystery plant was identified (by Viv) as Sea Lavender. 
Unfortunately, I had to drop out early so if anyone else can remember any riveting conversation from  the end of the session then please forward it for inclusion.

Although the Zoom sessions are a poor substitute for "getting out there and doing some REAL work", it is nice to see a few smiling faces and check up that everyone is doing ok in these "unusual" times.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Wed 8th July 2020 - Middlebarn Farm, Bathingbourne. GG # 826.

Terry's Photographs and Video.

 Oil Beetle (Meloe proscarabaeus)

Bees nest in a living tree trunk.

I wasn't able to get along to this session so...hopefully someone will send in some editorial at a later date..? Watch this space πŸ˜ƒ.