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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, August 17, 2016

Wed 17th Aug 2016 - The Riverside Centre, Newport. GG # 648.

Terry's Photographs.

Work on the container storage gets underway.

Above and below - the pre-session brief.

A rather rotten raised flower bed.

If you don't like spiders then look away NOW…!

The top soil being removed.

This little fellow was safely re-housed.

Off to "water in" the plants that had been moved.

The flower beds get a makeover.

Looking good….

Time to tidy-up.

A trailer full of plastic for re-cycling (see text below)

The emptied out flower bed.

A reorganised tool store.

A good job Lind Bottom Tip has re-opened!

This week our GG session was held at the GG IoW Head Office…. namely the Riverside Centre at Newport. This is where we store all our equipment and from which Mark controls the day to day running of this mighty organisation..! Talking of storing equipment, one of the jobs tackled was to sort out the shipping container that houses all the tools. To enable easier access, it was decided that we would up-cycle some old wooden pallets to form a holding pen for the larger tools and reorganising the other items. There was plenty of other jobs to keep the numerous troops employed - from demolishing a rotting wooden raised flower bed in the quadrangle to giving the numerous flower beds a jolly good makeover. The rotting flower bed was one we had worked on some years ago when we had partially filled it with plastic drink bottles and polystyrene (to save on the compost usage and aid drainage). Have a look at this link for details
Once the compost had been removed then all the plastics had to be bagged for re-cycling - we had a trailer full by the end of the session! Out in the other flower beds the weeds were removed, soil dug over and the plants pruned as required. They certainly looked far more cared for having received all that attention. All this was accomplished on a hot, sunny day which made working in the steel shipping container (tool store) rather taxing..! Well done everyone!

Lots of photographs this week reflecting the amount of tasks undertaken. Thanks for being there with the camera Terry.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Wed 10th Aug 2016 - Swanmore Meadows, Ryde. GG # 647.

Sue's Photographs.

Loading the barrows..

Above and below - off to repair the pot-holes.

Sitting IN the dried-up pond, for our tea break.

Another section completed...

but still some to done.

With the majority our summer GG sessions being taken up with pulling pesky plants, it was most enjoyable to be doing something different and at a completely new site! Mark gave us all extremely detailed instructions on how to get there - this resulted in people arriving from all four corners of the compass (but we all got there - eventually!). Swanmore Meadows is a large area of land, with it's boundaries including Alfred Street to the north, Monkton Mead brook (and the railway) to the east, Rosemary Lane to the south and Ashey Road to the west. Have a look at this link for further details of this site…. Swanmore Meadows | Gift to Nature.
Nick the ranger had pre-dumped a huge pile (about 5 cubic metres) of recycled road chippings so it was out with the shovels and wheelbarrows to start repairing the rather neglected pathways. Other GG members started trimming back all the overhanging obstructions to make access easier. Initially the loads had to be transported some considerable distance but as the piles diminished, the trips became shorter (thank goodness!) Although everyone worked VERY hard, we didn't quite get to the bottom of the chippings pile - oh well, I am sure we will have another visit here soon. Have just checked the programme and we are back here in two weeks time - hopefully we can finish off that huge pile of chip pings then?
During the session, we met a large number of dog walkers who were all complementary about our efforts - so nice to be appreciated and that the pathways are obviously well used by the locals.
The rather cloudy start to the session turned into bright sunshine and we had a really good turnout of GGmers.

Many thanks to Sue for taking the photographs this week.

Historical Note. As we walked around the site, we kept coming across pieces of architectural stonework. As a child I used to play in the area and could remember a large, partly demolished, house up in Ashey Road - which backed onto this area. A little searching on the internet came up with this link The Ghost of Hazelwood, Ashey Rd, Ryde, Isle of Wight. | Flickr Anyone see any ghosts today???

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Wed 3rd Aug 2016 - Wroxall Stream (opposite Barncourt Farm) GG # 646.

Sue's Photographs.

A hedge full of HB.

Yes…it does get that big!

We didn't really need an electric fence to keep us at work.

Above and below - about one hour's results.

A lone HB puller heads off into the "jungle".

Our GG session this week was a continuation of our visit here a couple of weeks ago - to try and tame the dreaded Himalayan Balsam (HB). Initially we focused our attention on a paddock to the north west of our main working area as there was a considerable amount of this pesky plant lurking in the hedge there. We did notice that in the adjacent field, an area we had worked last year, that there was very little HB to be seen….. Hooorrraayyy….some success! By the time we were due a cup of tea (11 o/c) we had all but cleared this area, leaving a pile of stalks for the farmer to dispose of (see photos above). After tea break we concentrated on the areas to the east and west of the upper stream - where we had worked previously. The numbers were down a little this week but the weather was kind to us with the overnight rain turning to a bright day.

Many thanks to Sue for the photographs and to the farmer for allowing us to park in his field.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wed 27th July 2016 - Wetland Walk, Lake. GG # 645.

Terry's Photographs.

We were working in the area shown on the bottom
left of the map.

"And today we will be doing…."

"lots of raking…!"

"and trimming back the pathways"

"plus a bit of hay making"

Sweeping the stairs? (Apple and Pears - Cockney rhyming slang)

Above and below…. a job well done!

About this time of the year we have our annual visit to the Wetland Walk area at Lake, to give it a make-over ready for the children being on holiday. This delightful, tranquil, nature rich area is just the place to take the children for a nature walk or to have a picnic plus there are fruit and nut trees (but no chocolate!) to explore. In the past we have had to cut the grass prior to raking but this year Nick the ranger had been kind to us and cut it prior to our arrival (thanks Nick!). With around half the team engaged on raking, the others tackled a wide variety of jobs including, clearing the pathways and board-walk, clearing fallen trees, clearing around the trees. Nick had a go at trimming the hedge that boarders the road and it looked much better by the end of the session. 
Although we had had light rain overnight and it being a rather grey start to the day, it remained dry for the whole session and was pleasantly warm. There seemed to be a very good turnout this week, especially as it is the start of the annual holiday season.

Many thanks to Terry for taking the photographs this week.

News item. Have just seen this on the Island Echo site. Hope that all the hard work that we put in at this Wroxall venue hasn't gone up in flames….! LARGE BLAZE BREAKS OUT IN WROXALL

Mark has just sent me this photo showing the damage….. it doesn't look good for the Bacon Factory but the Carnival building looks intact. Let's hope that it scorched some of that bloody bramble…!

The Carnival building is bottom left and the yard we have worked in is the bottom centre and right.