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Isle of Wight Green Gym - Official Blog.

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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, March 22, 2017

Wed 22nd Mar 2017 - All Saints' Church, Freshwater. GG # 677.

Terry's Photographs.

One empty van…but not for long!

Two wheeled barrows are no good on rough surfaces.


Car boot sale today?

Preparations for if the rain got any worse.

Lynnbottom Tip…here we come!
(Just look at that blue sky … Grrrr!)

Trimming back along the boundary with the road.

We dragged this boat as far as we could.

Now, doesn't that look ship shape?

It has been some time since we last visited this venue but it has always been very popular with GG members. This fact was admirably demonstrated by today's session when so many people showed up in what only be described as a downpour! As the football pundits say…. "it was a game of two halves" torrential rain to start but after tea-break (half time?) the sun shone through. As nice as the sun was, it came a little too late for most of us who were soaked to the skin by then. Our task could not have been simpler - to transport large amounts of scrap material from one side of the churchyard and then load it into the waiting van, located by the main entrance. Not so much Green Gym but more Steptoe and Son meets Scrapheap Challenge..! (see attached photos). Much of the "scrap" was of a nautical theme so, being Green Gymers, as much as possible was re or up-cycled rather than just landfilling it.
Other members of the group did trimming work on the overhanging foliage from the road that runs adjacent to the churchyard wall. A big WELL DONE to all those who turned up today - hope that your clothing will dry out for next Wednesday.

Many thanks to Terry for supplying the photographs this week.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wed 15th March 2017 - Arreton Down SSSI. GG # 676.

Terry's Photographs.

The long "yomp" to the work site. "Are we there yet?"

A rather over-grown pathway.

Opening things up.

A bit of light pruning!

Please…no jokes about FOUR CANDLES…lol.

Working on the smaller clumps.

The boss keeps an eye on us.

All opened up.

The "real" boss..!

It has been a while since we last visited this venue but it was nice to get back. We might have thought we were in training for Walk the Wight when we left the car park and headed down to the far south east of the down - it certainly was a good stroll! As we often do, Team GG split into two working parties with one group working on clearing undergrowth from around a stepped pathway - the others tackled some of the clumps of blackthorn and bramble that seem to sprout-up everywhere. The thing that was a little different this time around…. we had to clear and stack all the material before starting the fire as cleared areas were somewhat at a premium. As you will see from the photographs above, everything went very much to plan and this pathway should be far more accessible now. The session started in rather grey/misty conditions but the sun soon broke through and tea break on the southern side of the down had a distinctly summer feel about it. Nice…! As per usual wonderful views across the Island from this vantage point. Only one real downside, (excuse the pun) - the large amount of "doggy land mines" along the pathways. Is it too much to ask that the dog walkers pick up behind their four legged friends and then put it in the supplied dog poo bins..????

Many thanks to Terry for taking the photographs this week.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wed 8th Mar 2017 - Copse Mead Nature Reserve, Lake. GG # 675.

Terry's Photographs.

The sign that says it all…

Off to the work sites.

Avoid stepping on the wonderful spring flowers.

"And today we will be "trimming" this laurel hedge.

Bow saws at the ready - and they are off.

Starting the arisings pile.

Trimming a clump of hawthorn.

Oh Dear..! We seem to have got carried away with the "trimming".

The cut pile grows...

Dealing with the stumps.

Giving one of the boundaries a makeover.

Oh my…Did we cut all that?

A tea-break discussion.

Removing ivy from the apple trees.

Cutting the undergrowth from around the fruit trees.

This was our second visit to this wonderful nature reserve - the first was back at the start of July 2016. On arrival it was so nice to see that the work we had done previously had been maintained and… in some places improved! So many time we return to find that everything is as bad as (or even worse) than before we had ever started. Two of the site wardens were on hand to explain exactly what the tasks would be and we were soon working at the many jobs they had pointed out. On our last visit, we had spent some time cutting back a rather unruly laurel hedge but this time we were asked to take it back to ground level. This is just the sort of job that GGmers excel at and by the time tea break came around, the whole hedge was reduced to a huge pile of arisings, neatly arranged for later collection. As can be seen in the photographs above, the team was spread across the reserve tackling a variety of tasks. With the bird nesting season just around the corner, special care was taken to ensure that we were not disturbing any early starters. Although the wipers were on fast setting during the trip out there, by the time 10am came around the precipitation had dropped off to a light drizzle and remained reasonably dry throughout. We look forward to returning here in the not too distant future.

Many thanks to Terry for the excellent photographs this week.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wed 1st Mar 2017 - Pig Leg Lane, Ryde. GG # 674.

Terry's Photographs.

Let's get the fire underway.

Just one of the many blackthorn thickets.

Work at the pond continues...

Tea break.

"Did you hear the one about…."

The ever vigilant litter pickers.

This is what you call a fire!

Some of the areas that we cleared.

A rather strange piece of masonry found in the woods.
One of the group thought it resembled a pig's head (snout to the right).
Perhaps another part of the pig? (Pig Leg Lane)

This venue seems to be coming very popular on our schedule and long may be be so (this is our THIRD visit here in 2017!) There is just so much to do that, even if we were to visit there every session for a whole year, I doubt that we would be finished. We were tasked to continue the work on chopping back the copious amounts of blackthorn that grows in thick clumps across the site. Once cut, it is dragged to the bonfire and soon disappears in a puff of smoke. The longer the work goes on then we cut further away from the fire and it means increased transit time for dragging the arisings away - never easy with blackthorn! During the session we had several low level flybys from the electric company's helicopter that we assume was inspecting the power lines that run through adjacent to the railway line and brook. We even had an aerial display at tea break, this time thanks to a couple of red squirrels that were leaping around in the trees - so wonderful to watch them perform. The overcast sky gave us a light sprinkling of rain for the majority of the session, unfortunately this turned somewhat heavier towards the end.

Want to know more about Pig Leg Lane??? Have a look at the County Press - March 3rd - Page 32 for details of a talk being given next Wednesday @ 19:00, the venue is at All Saints' Hall, Ryde. See CP for more details plus a nice photograph of GGmers building pathways at PLL last summer.

Many thanks to Terry for taking the photographs this week.