IT’S rare to find things that last these days.

Groups are formed and then funding ends and they close again.

But that’s not the case with the Isle of Wight Green Gym (IWGG) — 15 years after they were set up, they are still going strong as a self-sustaining group.

It has meant more than 750 three hour conservation sessions have taken place.

The Island’s countryside has benefitted, as has the community, as it provides a social gathering, friends mingle and chat while working.

Guided by the seasons, the group’s work — using only hand tools — is practical in nature, providing real gains to fitness and hopefully to the Island’s wildlife.

This week the group were working at Cockleton Meadow in Gurnard.

The site has a team of local volunteers, supported by Gurnard Parish Council, and is also one of the Gift to Nature sites.

Being the group's 700th session, there were lots of cake to celebrate.

IWGG’s committee works hard to keep the group going.

It has a number of hardy stalwarts who started volunteering with them back in 2003, including Derek Comper, Geoff Harris and their chairman, Mark Russell.

Mark said: “It’s a long time, but when reflecting on our involvement in projects over the years, I can see the real benefits.

"I’d like to pay tribute to everyone who participate each week, whatever the weather.

"Also to our supporters, we work with many larger charities on the Island, and local councils and the Isle of Wight Council as well as schools and churches.”

For more details of the IW Green Gym, visit