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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

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Wed 16th Aug 2017 - West Wight Sports and Community Centre, Freshwater. GG # 698.

Terry's Photographs.

Doing battle with the hedges.

I think a "haircut" is called for here..!

Our boss for the day as Mark was on annual leave.

Happy bag men.

A well earned tea break.

Did we cut all that? Yes, and a whole lot more.

Now, doesn't that look much better…???

This little fellow (juvenile robin) wanted to scoot off.

With the last three successive GG sessions being wet, it was nice to have a dry day to make the drive out to West Wight. Once again the street parking was almost non-existent (well done to those GG members who managed to bag a space!) so the dreaded parking ticket had to be purchased. The brief was incredibly simple…. if it is garden around the building / car park area, then make it look good! I think it is fair to say that the gardens do not get an awful lot of attention between our visits so there is always plenty to be getting on with. This was a well attended session (due to dry weather?) and everyone was soon tackling their chosen "task of the day". One really pleasant thing about working here is the kind comments we get from people using the facility, they always seem to be very happy with efforts. The staff provided us with tea/coffee/biscuits at tea break so it is a big THANK YOU to them. I feel sure that the photographs above reflect just how much was achieved in just a few short hours. To the people of Freshwater….ENJOY…!

Many thanks to Terry for taking the photographs this week.

A note for your diary. If you glance up at the title bar for this blog then you will realise that we are only TWO sessions away from our 700th GG session. Mark has hinted that there may well be cake in the offering so…… don't forget to come and help us celebrate this milestone GG session!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wed 9th Aug 2017 - Shademakers, Castleworks, Wroxall. GG # 697.

Alison's Photographs.

Trimming back along the footpath.

Look carefully and you will see someone tunnelling through
the undergrowth…!

More footpath work.

Meanwhile, along the approach road..

Wow-where did all that undergrowth go???

Working hard on the approach track.

Looking much tidier now!

The job isn't finished until everything is shipshape.

When you look up the weather on a Wednesday morning, prior to setting out to the GG session, you DO NOT want to see this….. "Yellow weather warning for torrential rain across the Isle of Wight"..! Never mind, off we all went to the wilds of Wroxall and, as it turned out, the heavy rain held off until we had just about finished. After a quick chat about what needed to be done, we split into various groups and started work. Perhaps the biggest job was to tackle the overgrown area between the yard and the footpath, although the parking area and approach track were also treated to a "haircut". Come tea break, the wonderful ladies at Shademakers treated us to their legendary cakes - so, so yummy! Just as we were finishing up the weather took a turn for the worse and the rain started to get heavier.

Many thanks to Alison for the photographs and the Shademaker ladies for the super cakes.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Wed 2nd August 2017 - Lynch Copse, Newchurch. GG # 696.

Alison's Photographs.

This week we were at a new site – Lynch Copse, Parsonage Farm in Newchurch. This was accessed via Martin’s Wood (aka the Bee Fields).  It is privately owned and we were given permission to pull Himalayan Balsam on the land to help prevent the spread of HB into Martin’s Wood.  In complete contrast to last week where the terrain was open and flat-ish, this week we were in dense cover on a steep slope.  The bracken, nettles and HB were, in places, over 6ft tall (see pic with Alex – he is 6’2”).  In some places the HB was quite a way from the river and the seeds could well have been spread via wild animals, the wind and machinery used on the land.  By the end of the session good progress had been made – however, we could also see a considerable amount of HB that hadn’t been touched at all and it is unlikely we will revisit this year - perhaps a few visits next year will be scheduled?

As last week, waterproofs were essential as the rain was relentless.  The Jet stream is responsible for the current bout of wet weather and needs a hearty shove northwards – it is summer after all!

A weather note from Bob the Blog.

This was the rain radar map taken at 10:45, during the GG session. Doesn't get much wetter than that, even allowing for the fact that it is COWES WEEK….! Roll on summer.

Many thanks to Alison for the editorial and photographs this week.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wed 26th July 2017 - Barrncourt Farm, Wroxall. GG # 695.

Alison's Photographs.

Mark's Photographs.

14 intrepid GG members braved the rain for Pesky Plant Pulling.  We were here just a few weeks ago and returned to carry on the good work pulling the Himalayan Balsam.  We split into two groups with some working down by the stream and in the adjoining fields, while the remainder walked up the road and into the field alongside the public footpath where the seeds are spread by walkers and their dogs.  By the end of the session considerable progress had been made and, as far as we could see, no pink remained in the fields.  We were accompanied by swallows swooping and catching insects and the calls of buzzards. 

Many thanks to Alison for both the photographs and editorial.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wed 19th July 2017 - Watershoot Bay, St Catherine's. GG # 694.

Terry's Photographs.

A rather grey day.

A Stonechat.

Cormorants and "Sammy" the seal (top right)

Getting started.

Certainly NOT easy pickings..!

One of the recorders takes a break.

Part of an ammonite fossil.

"Sammy" watchers at tea break.

Trying to accurately record the all the findings.

Some of the litter haul.

On Tuesday night we had heavy electrical storms over the Island which left us with a cloudy start to Wednesday. Having made the long trek down the hill from the car park, we were pleasantly surprised to see that the beach looked relatively litter free (nothing like our last visit Wed 11th May 2016 - Watershoot Bay, St Catherine's…) First looks can be deceptive and we were soon busy collecting all those strange things that we find on this beach. (Unlike previous years, this time we DID NOT find a toilet seat!) As per usual, we were not only collecting the litter but recording every detail which is then incorporated in a national survey. During our session, "Sammy" the seal was frequently seen just off the rocks and kept us entertained during the tea break. 

Have a look at this link to decide which kind of seal Sammy was -
 Common and Grey Seals |  (- I am going for the grey variety) As for the answer to "What is the collective noun for seals?", the following was found on the internet Pod, Bob, Harem, Herd, Rookery - so take your pick.

Perhaps we collected less than previous years but that meant ranging further across those uneven rocks which can be very hard going! The photographs above show the results of our efforts so well done everyone! Come the end of a strenuous session you then have the challenge of climbing the hill back up to the car park…. a true Green Gym work-out…!

Many thanks to Terry for taking the photographs.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wed 12th July 2017 - Cockleton Meadows, Gurnard. GG # 693.

Terry's Photographs.

Painting the storage container gets underway...

…. as does digging over the flower/veg beds.

Don't forget the top also needs painting..!

Sprucing-up a gate.

Gathering the materials for the water conservation project.

Then…trying to fix it all together…!

A nice view of the pond area.

Painting continues….

….. as does the dig-over.

A tidy-up down in the composting area.

A well earned tea break, up at the picnic site.

A slow worm.

The roof goes on.

Tra-dah… The finished water storage project.

All ready for planting up.

A Marbled White butterfly.

Gatekeeper butterfly.

Bird boxes for the trees.

 Small Copper butterfly on ragwort.


Small Skipper butterfly.

With Tuesday's (very welcome) rain clearing, it was a rather cloudy day for the start of this week's GG session. As per usual for our visits to Cockleton Meadows, there was no shortage of jobs for us to tackle - in fact there was just about something for everyone (plus more!). A quick glance through Terry's excellent photographs above will show the scope of the work undertaken. Although we have only been coming to this beautiful area for a couple of years, the improvement has been both amazing and dramatic. This community based project has come on leaps and bounds since our first visit where we hacked down a wall of bramble to discover, what is now, the pond area! Our tea break was held at the picnic area where the shade of the trees was very welcome (the sun had started to break through the early cloud). Beautiful distant views of the Solent from this position. Many thanks to Martin for supplying the carrot cake - it was yummy..! The majority of the given tasks were completed but I imagine that the committee will soon be writing up a new list for our next visit.

Many thanks to Terry for the photographs and to Martin for the carrot cake.