Total Page-views

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 31 March 2021

Wed 31st March 2021 - GG Virtual Session # 040.

As you can see from the photo, only a few of us made it to the Zoom chat this morning.  The conversation, as ever, ranged all over the place.  A couple of us mentioned that we are desperate for a haircut now, and the relaxing of regulations will be very welcome.  Mark has been contacting Nick from Gift to Nature and a few other groups to try and set up sessions as soon as possible.  Litter picks certainly seem to be one option.

Tony has been creative making a willow windbreak in his garden around the back of a bench.  Photos have been requested as from the description it seems to be quite a substantial structure (see photo below).  He has also been having problems with animals digging in his garden and wondered if anyone has a wildlife camera that he could borrow.  There was a suggestion that Bob the Weather had expertise in this area and had been known to obtain a few unusual sightings!

If anyone has been working on inspirational garden projects, please do take a photo or two and send into the blog and tell us about it.

Condolences were expressed regarding the sad loss of Derek’s wife, Una.

Have sent you pic as requested by Allison in GG video session today. Willow used from Afton marsh and arbour constructed by myself, Lin (the model) & Viv

Many thanks to Alison and Tony for this week's contributions.

Thursday 25 March 2021

Wed 24th Mar 2021 - GG Virtual Session # 039.

 Those attending this week were...

This week’s conversation seemed to revolve around outside activities.  The willow maze at Golden Hill Fort is now underway after several delays.   The following is an excerpt from Gift to Nature’s recent Facebook post:

‘We are so excited to finally be able to allow work on the willow maze installation at Golden Hill Country Park. 

Willow artist Eddie Glew and his team will start work on Tuesday 23rd March. All work and accommodation arrangements will be fully Covid compliant. 

This is the final stage of our Golden Hill Country Park project, which has received really positive feedback. A mixture of archaeological excavations and improvements for both people and wildlife alike, we are very proud of all those who have worked so hard on this important National Lottery Heritage Fund funded project.'

One of our number also bumped into Nick, G2N ranger, and he has lots of work waiting for us once we are permitted to be out and about. 

It has been noticed that trees are being removed from various sites on the Island – notably along the Middle Road where they arched over the road - possibly due to ash dieback.  Mark advised it can make the trees very unstable so trees are being removed before they can fall down.

Badgers are upsetting the keen gardeners amongst us who have these nocturnal visitors.  They are also causing considerable problems for the cemeteries in Freshwater and Totland, they are a protected species and not easily persuaded to go elsewhere.  

Condolences were expressed regarding the sad loss of Bob the Blog’s partner, Mags.  

Stay safe.

Many thanks to Alison for both the screen shot and editorial this week.

Wednesday 17 March 2021

Wed 17th Mar 2021 - GG Virtual Session # 038.


As you can see a small but select group of us logged onto this morning’s Zoom meeting.  We started off by talking about clay, initially that which is used by potters, but then segued onto clay that we find in the garden – deemed to be nutrient rich but hard work to garden with.  One of our group wished to explore the possibility of lighting his greenhouse 24/7 so that his tomatoes carried on growing throughout the night - perhaps a trial might get underway!  

As mentioned in Mark’s email, the pond at Queensway and further improvements were discussed.  Mark shared a photo of the pond completely full of water.  The turfs (turves?) need to be lifted around the edge of the pond and then replaced on top of the liner that is currently showing.  Martin suggested a rail and duckboards be added to make a safer area for dipping.

Bird life was then discussed with sightings of skylarks of which there are plenty on the Island.  There is an update to the white tailed eagle project – here is the link if you haven’t seen it yet -

Stay safe and keep hanging on in there!

A big thank you to Alison for this week's blog 👏.

Sunday 14 March 2021

Wed 11th Mar 2021 - GG Virtual Session # 037.

 This weeks happy GGmers on Zoom were....

(many thanks to Alison for grabbing the screen shot)

Due to changes with my private commitments, I will not be able to attend the Wednesday morning GG Zoom sessions on a regular basis so the blog will become a bit hit and miss for the foreseeable future 😕.

I have invited those that do attend to make notes of the topics of conversation and perhaps the occasional screen shot (don't want anyone forgetting what we all look like..!) which I will publish as time allows.

This week Mark has sent in the following....

Conversation this week started with discussions on Kangaroos. Of course it did!  (click the link!)

Well, Eucalyptus was the topic and I actually came in at the end so missed most of it, but here is a bit from Wikipedia giving some of the idea, maybe it should have been Koalas Phil?
An essential oil extracted from eucalyptus leaves contains compounds that are powerful natural disinfectants and can be toxic in large quantities. Several marsupial herbivores, notably koalas and some possums, are relatively tolerant of it. The close correlation of these oils with other more potent toxins called formylated phloroglucinol compounds (euglobalsmacrocarpals and sideroxylonals)[33] allows koalas and other marsupial species to make food choices based on the smell of the leaves. For koalas, these compounds are the most important factor in leaf choice.

The weather was dire outside which made us all glad we were inside! Well you know.

Sorry it is a bit brief, I will have to pay more attention next time :-)

Last week I mentioned about the council's plans to sell off certain car parks, including Mornington Woods at Cowes. Please follow this link for a letter published in the County Press..

I am sure that a few GGmers will have something to say on this subject...!!!

During the few minutes I was able to log into the Zoom session this week the topic of conversation was about eels. Mark seemed to remember we had seen one when working at Osbourne House, way back when. This is what I found in the archives....

Wednesday, 22 November 2006

The Osborne House Water Babes...

As promised in the Osborne House are the photos of Green Gymers wearing sexy, full length rubber boots....!

Many thanks to Terry for sending in the pictures - he wins the prize for being the first to send in something for publication.


Perhaps we should be running a caption competition for these photos?
Take care, look after yourselves and hopefully normal (blog) service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Wednesday 3 March 2021

Wed 4th Mar 2021 - GG Virtual Session # 036.

 If you logged in this Wednesday morning then this is who you would have seen....

The session this week started with a dog / cuddly toy show. It appears that our four legged friends like to get in on the act during Zoom sessions 😊. I wasn't quick enough with the screen shots to capture them, better luck next time. With the recently improved weather, the conversation turned to the arrival of spring which prompted Mark to show off his T shirt...

Two of our number are involved with the care and maintenance of Mornington Woods at Cowes (we have held GG sessions there) , we were all alarmed to hear that the council is proposing selling off the car parking area there (and others across the Island)..! I am sure there will be a public outcry about this and someone will be starting an online petition, I will post details here when received.
Mark wants everyone to know that the Green Gym specific mobile phone appears to have died so if you need to contact him then please use his personal number.
In light of a group of Island volunteers receiving £200 fines for Covid regulation infringements (subsequently the fines were dropped) it is important that any return to normal GG sessions is in line with the regulations. Mark is already looking at suitable venues for when it is possible to return to some sort of normality.
Things then turned a bit silly when it became apparent that certain GG members had mastered Zoom more than others. Not mentioning any names here but you might like to guess who I am talking about..!

The Solent came up next, a story about a dead dolphin / porpoise being washed up on Gurnard beach and the collapse of part of Hurst Castle. Perhaps GG could offer to help with the rebuild..??? 😀
The final conversation was about soil enhancers. Bob (the weather) had recently purloined some horse manure, the bags for which had split on lifting 😂. Apparently, using such natural resources can encourage weed growth as the horses eat the weeds and the seeds pass straight through. Mark thinks that Hovertravel might be doing their annual maintenance on the slipway and there might be seaweed up for grabs, great for the garden. I know from personal experience that old mushroom compost is NOT a good soil enhancer unless you want "fairy rings" everywhere in your garden.

Take care everyone and stay safe.