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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 :- www.iwgreengym.org.uk.

The link to Twitter is https://twitter.com/iwgreengym

If you would like to leave us any comments then please use this link iwgreengym@gmail.com

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Wed 24th June 2020 - GG Virtual Session # 013.

All those taking part in this week's Zoom meeting....


After the excitement of last week's REAL GG session...our Zoom meeting this week seemed a little bit tame 😕 but it was nice to see everyones happy, smiling faces and have a chat about things. Although the Riverside "trial" session was considered to be a resounding success, it highlighted a few issues for working at less suitable sites in the future. One option discussed was to limit the number of people attending a particular session by pre-booking "intention to attend" - this way the number of GGmers could be managed safely. Obviously some venues lend themselves to larger numbers but most of these involve other groups (G2N, H&IOWT etc) who are still in some form of lockdown. Hopefully all this will be resolved when the government's new guidelines are understood and implemented. One group that is looking for volunteers is the Himalayan Balsam Bashing Brigade... if you are interested then please try this link   HB Pulling Link. or contact Viv.

Needless to say, just to rub salt into the wound, while we were all inside Zooming the weather outside was glorious 😡.

A couple of photographs in from our West Wight reporter...Geoff...







 " I snapped the enormous badger sett complex by the main path through Golden Hill. It is reputed to be one of the oldest and largest on the Island. "


I visited Quarr Abbey last weekend...always a lovely walk. There are take away facilities from the cafe and the pigs are now back in their pens...!


This year has been a wonderful one for growing orchids... both cultivated and wild. This one of mine flowers every year but this time around it was exceptional...!


Many thanks to Geoff for his contribution.


Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Wed 17th June 2020 - The Riverside Centre, Newport. GG # 825.

Prior to our returning to some kind of normality on a Wednesday morning, this was the       e-mail that Mark sent to us all.....

Hi Everyone,

We have decided to trial a Green Gym outdoors ... revolutionary idea I know! So no Zoom GG this week!

So yes, this Wednesday I will be at The Riverside. Their beds and paths I'm sure need a tidy up, you're welcome to join me but no pressure, any doubts please don't come it is quite understandable. But it will give us a chance to see each other ... albeit from 2 meters away. We must keep that distance of course to keep everyone safe. If you wish to wear a facemask then that is up to you. A few things will be different.

  • Please bring your own drinks and snacks - for obvious reasons the tea queue and sharing the pots etc would be tricky
  • Please bring own tools and gloves - I can bring the GG tools but you may wish to bring your own, and keep to using your own, to save the risk.  We will be weeding, pruning and the usual. 
Some things remain the same
  • banter - this is essential 😉
  • parking - should be plenty as no public groups are using the centre - But remember you still need tolog your registration number in reception. (They have hand gel and they clean down the touch screen regularly)
  • Stay as long as you wish
It is a big site so I hope we can work safely all around the building to keep that 2 meters.

So 10:00 am in the car park. 

If you decide it is too risky, no problem, we'll let you know how it goes. This is not a resumption of sessions purely a trial for this week.

Terry's Photographs. (Please note...due to camera angles, sometimes people may look to be closer than 2 metres. Be assured that everyone was aware of the regulations and was careful to comply at all times.)



"Come on....time to get to work..!"


How to do a team brief under Covid-19 regs.


Finally...we get to do some WORK.










Trying to load a bag and stay 2M apart.




Tea break with (un) social distancing.




Time to tidy up.



Now (and below) ...doesn't this look a whole lot tidier..???




With our last Green Gym session being held on March 11th 2020, it was really good for us all to meet up again and get some practical work done. Mark decided that we would try an experimental session to see if we could work safely and still comply with the Covid-19 regulations....the Riverside Centre was ideal for this purpose. There are plenty of well spaced flower beds for us to work on and... as so often when we get back here... there was PLENTY for us to be getting on with! Everyone provided their own PPE and most bought along tools from home to minimise any cross contamination. Come tea break it was BYO but very pleasant to sit down by the river and catch up with old friends. I think a few went home with sore throats after trying to hold conversations whilst remaining at a safe distance...😄. We had 16 GGmers in attendance and although there was a weather warning out for thunderstorms, it remained dry throughout. Well done to everyone who came along and let's hope that Mark can come up with some similar venues for the coming weeks.

Many thanks to Terry for submitting the photographs this week and to Mark for getting us back into the swing of things...!

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Wed 10th June 2020 - GG Virtual Session # 012.

Once again...around about a dozen of us made it along for the Wednesday morning meet.


There was a lot of "general conversation" (gossip 😊) plus a few discussions about GG related topics...a brief resume of which is transcribed below....

Several GGmers remarked about how many PPE masks and gloves were being discarded inappropriately out in the countryside. We will have to take care on future litter picks..!
Mark has started to get inquiries about possible future sessions (real ones!) - watch this space.
Several GGmers have received what appears to be bogus e-mails from both GG and WW..if you get messages that start with "NEWS" and then a reference to GG or WW then we suggest that you delete them immediately.
Quite a long discussion about our present insurance for public, personal and accidental coverage. Martin and Viv are looking into it and will let Mark know their findings. Be assured...we DO have up to date, adequate, cover...!

And, for all you gardeners...Bob the Weather predicts that it is GOING TO RAIN......Yay...!

Geoff sent in the following....

Hello Bob.
Haven't snapped much recently so I thought I would share my magnificent monkey puzzle. I bought it 10 years ago at Forest View as a tiny starter plant. It was very slow for years but now growing (and looking) like a rocket.




Terry wonders if any of you could help him identify this.....


Apparently it grows similar to the dreaded Himalayan Balsam...any suggestions..??

UPDATE. Mark has very kindly identified it as Figwort (scrophularia nodosa) - so nothing to do with the dreaded HB 

Last Saturday I took a walk along the cliff tops at Compton...snapped this photo of stormy seas.


For those of you who haven't ventured into Newport recently...this is what the High Street looks like at 11am on a Monday morning....deserted...!


Talking of Newport...please be aware that Forest Road is now closed to traffic heading OUT to West Wight..you have to divert via Carisbrooke. East bound traffic is unaffected.

Whilst walking Gizmo yesterday...a car pulled up alongside me at the Road Closed sign...the window winds down and the guy shouts "How the hell do I get to Yarmouth now?" He seemed puzzled by my reply of "via Specsavers"...but then I added "so that in the future you might actually SEE the SIX diversion signs that you have just driven by...!" Better that I don't publish his reply to that one....😏.

Thanks to Geoff and Terry for their contributions this week.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Wed 3rd June 2020 - GG Virtual Session # 011 (AGM included)

Due to time restrictions on Zoom and  attempting to hold the AGM, this week was split into two sessions.

This is those attending session number 1....


After some frantic emails from Mark, 12 of the original 13 managed to make it back for the AGM Part 2....😀


Various reports and spread sheets had been circulated via email prior to the meeting but, for those who were unable to log on, I will try to give a (VERY) simple summery of items discussed. 

The meeting started around 10:15 with the previous minutes accepted. There was comment about an item that had appeared under AOB, about membership, and it was decided that although present membership is healthy (Total around the low 30's with the average attending sessions about low to mid 20's) that the existing membership leaflets will be distributed more widely when things get back to normal.
The Treasurer's Report showed a positive bank balance (including several generous donations). Obviously the present restrictions had limited the income somewhat but the overheads had also decreased.

 At this point the meeting timed out...!

The meeting resumed at around 10:45 with the Chairman's Report. Prior to lockdown we had had a very successful year with several new venues added. Mark paid tribute to all the hard work from group members along with the committee & helpers. 

The committee officers stated their willingness to continue in their present roles.

The meeting closed with "Any other business" which was dominated by discussion about when things might get back to some sort of normality. The general feeling was that the present relaxation of the regulations wouldn't allow us to run a normal GG session but Mark was keeping the situation under constant review and was hoping to start pencilling in prospective worksites soon. Obviously any return is all dictated by government policy and the health risk to both GGmers and their families.

The meeting finally closed at around 11:25 - well done to all those who managed to attend. Should anyone require more detail on any of the points raised at the AGM then I invite them to contact Mark.

Trying to hold a structured meeting using video conferencing can be, to say the least, challenging...! What with Viv's workmen rebuilding her house around her, Phil going into Dalek mode, plus people disappearing to take phone calls or make coffee it was amazing we managed to get anything done at all 😊.

A photo from Gill....


She commented..." I have attached a picture of our extremely noisy fledgling, how one small ball of fluff can make so much noise I do not know but you can always tell when he/she is about!".

As we are a bit short on photos this week, I will add a couple of my own...


Ever wondered what Shide Chalk Pit looks like from 400 feet in the air?
The bit that is usually very boggy when we are working there (towards
the bottom right of photo) is as dry as a dry can be..!!!


From the same position...a view of Newport with Asda in the foreground.


Bembridge ledge at low tide. Where's my shrimping net..? 😊

Thanks to Gill for her contribution this week.

Be careful and don't forget....STAY ALERT...!!!