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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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Wednesday 28 April 2021

Wed 28th April 2021 - Shide Quarry Area, Newport. GG # 837.


A socially distanced briefing.

Something of a steep climb but rewarded with
stunning views across Newport.

The spoils of our efforts.

I had to look all the way back to the 16th Dec 2020 to find the last "real" GG session for the next sequential blog reference number. Strangely, the last meeting was also held at Shide.  Yes... we have finally managed to ditch the Wednesday morning Zoom sessions and get back to what we do best, improving the countryside πŸ‘. The ongoing Covid regulations meant that this session needed meticulous planning (well done Mark!) to ensure we didn't contravene any rules and...most importantly, stay safe at all times. The plan was to split into two groups of six and then circumnavigate the chalk pit boundary for a healthy walk whilst doing a (much needed) litter pick. With one team going clockwise and the other anticlockwise, we all kept good social distancing. The map below shows the area we were to cover which included that rather steep hill leading up to the golf course!

Although the weather forecast was predicting much needed rain showers, it remained dry throughout the session. How strange it seemed to be in the company of real people once again and back in the countryside doing something worthwhile. Mark is hoping to plan further Covid compliant sessions over the coming weeks so hopefully Green Gym will be back up and running once again πŸ‘.

Stay safe everyone and we hope to see you soon.

Finally, this came in from Mark...

"This is the tree we planted for Carole Walker at West Wight Sports Centre."

Wednesday 21 April 2021

Wed 21st April 2021 - GG Virtual Session # 043.

 Today, these were the happy, smiling faces...

It doesn't matter when I hit the screen shot capture button... it never seems to catch everyone at their best..! Oh well, I try 😊.  As there is no set agenda for our Wednesday morning Zoom sessions, the topics up for discussion can be both wide and "different". This week included the following...

It has been proposed that we might be able to have some sort of real GG session and still comply with the present Covid-19 regulations. Mark suggested that next Wednesday morning we meet in the area of the Shide Chalk Pit and break up into groups and walking in different directions. This will give us all some much needed exercise and can incorporate a litter pick as we go. Nothing was actually finalised but I imagine he will let us know if the arrangements can be sorted.

In light of my recent experience with renting a Beryl Scooter and the saga of the Newport / Cowes "cycle way" there was an update from my local councillor. This was the text I received...

 The difficulty with the Newport to Cowes cycle track (as well as other routes) in respect of its use within the trial, is the shortcomings of the supporting DfT legislation. As it is stands as the route is not currently adopted as a formal ‘Cycle Track’ which in turn prevents the Council from converting it to a Cycle Lane which can then be used legally by e-scooters through a TRO process. The ongoing stumbling block has been with the local police as they consider that e-scooter use of the route would be deemed an offence and that the Council could become liable for permitting use should an accident occur. My colleagues and I have been continually trying to resolve this issue with our legal department, though whilst this is not yet resolved we are having to restrict e-scooter use to the formal roads.”


It does seem that the council is on-side for the use of the e-scooters on the cycle tracks but as a public authority need to be cautious about not opening themselves to liability. Hopefully the efforts with their legal department will bear fruit.

It seems to me that the Council are blaming the police who are in turn pointing the finger at the Department of Transport and that what we all think of as "the cycle track" may NOT be so...confusing if nothing else. πŸ˜’ I will continue to try and get somewhere with this one but don't hold your breath.

The next topic of conversation was about gardening and in particular, the lack of rain. Apparently this month we have had less than 10% of the usual monthly total and Bob the Weather doesn't hold out much hope for downpours any time soon. I re-turfed my lawn are about a month ago thinking that April ALWAYS brings showers, how wrong could I be..? Dread to think what my Southern Water bill will be next time around.

Someone asked the question "how practical are those e-scooters to ride?" My reply was "not practical at all for day to day usage and the ride is VERY bumpy" see this video clip...πŸ˜‚

Mark showed us a very amusing clip with 3 guys on bikes transporting something like ducting about 30' long..sorry I didn't get the link but will try and get it from him.

Take care, stay safe and hopefully we might soon be seeing each other for REAL.


Wednesday 14 April 2021

Wed 14th April 2021 - GG Virtual Session # 042.

 The attendees this week were...

You really won't need a magnifying glass to work out which of the GGmers above has managed to get an early appointment with a barber / hairdresser. Now the Covid regulations are easing a little we should all soon be looking a little less "primitive". πŸ˜€
The conversation opened with comments about the landscaping on the new St Mary's interchange. The general opinion was that it is starting to look a little better now some planting has taken place. Just needs a couple of seats and litter bins now.
Quite a long conversation about the pros and cons of electric scooters and e-bikes on the roads. I am trying to persuade the council that the Newport / Cowes cycle track is a better option than using the main road..!
For some strange reason, at this point the Zoomers from Newport suddenly dropped out - the wonders of technology.
It appears that some kind individuals have taken spades to the meadow area of Pig Leg Lane...

Seems a bit of drastic way to get turfs for your lawn.! Oh well, it will give us something to do when we can get back to "real" GG sessions.
Several people were saying that ducks seem to be turning up in their gardens although there isn't a pond nearby. This is a photo of a pair on the roof of my house, taken earlier today. I assume they had flown in from the pond over at the hospital.

Apparently the Golden Hill site has recently undergone something of a makeover which includes a new willow shrub maze. That got us thinking about a willow igloo that GG built in the play area of Ventnor Botanical Gardens...way back in 2007. Mark found this photo that was taken at the time..

My, don't we all look so much younger in that shot...πŸ˜‰.
Apparently some (more senior!) GGmers have already had their second Covid vaccinations but us "youngsters" still have several more weeks to go. Perhaps we will soon be able to get back to REAL GG sessions soon..???

For those of you who have been contacting Mark about seaweed from Hovertravel's slipway, now the regulations allow it to be collected it seems that it has all disappeared😏...maybe next year?

Take care everyone and remember...even if you have had both vaccinations, STAY SAFE.

Thursday 8 April 2021

Wed 7th April 2021 - GG Virtual Session # 041.

 The Zoomers this week were....

As you can see from the photo we were joined by a very special guest this week – no less than John Lennon himself!  Ever the competitor, Mark had taken part in an online quiz with his choir and the teams gained points if they ‘dressed up’.  Sadly he didn't sing for us - a few lines of 'Yellow Submarine' would have been popular…. Or perhaps 'Help!' might have been more appropriate.

We discussed the way the public are using the grounds of Quarr Abbey very much as a park would be used, with pigs being a popular attraction as well.  Tony’s garden is still being pestered by rabbits and more fence building has been undertaken.  

There was a brief discussion about the white tailed eagle project.  The link is here in case you didn’t see it in Mark’s zoom invite:

It is around this time of year that we normally hold our AGM.  Last year due to the pandemic it was deferred until June.  It was felt that it will almost certainly be held via Zoom again, but the date is yet to be decided.

Stay safe.

Many thanks to Alison (again!) for the editorial and photograph. Hopefully, Bob the Blog will be back at his post come next Wednesday morning πŸ‘.