Midweek Muckers meet The Blue Turtle

 

A group of conservation volunteers from the Isle of Man have been presented with JNCC’s third Blue Turtle Award for nature conservation in the UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies

 

Dr Peter Bridgewater, Val Crane & Phil Gawne © Mike Wade - Isle of Man newspapersThe Midweek Muckers, who meet twice a week, muck in to support the Manx Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves. Aged from 22 to a sprightly 83, the Muckers work alongside the Trust's Reserves Officer Tricia Sayle, who said: "The Muckers work with a smile throughout the year, week-in-week-out, and undertake the physical work needed to manage the Trust’s reserves. Most years they complete over 2,000 hours of work and without them the Trust would not be able to protect its 255 acres of wildlife habitat and rich biodiversity for future generations.”

 

The Muckers’ first project was at Close Sartfield Nature Reserve where five acres of gorse were transformed into a wildflower meadow. The field now contains over 100 species of wildflower, including six species of protected orchid. The volunteers also manage three other nature reserves, all of which form part of an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI), which also forms part of the island’s Ramsar site, the Ballaugh Curragh.

 

JNCC’s Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies Programme Manager Tony Weighell, one of the Award’s judges said: “I want to congratulate the Midweek Muckers for maintaining the Isle of Man’s nature reserves. There are many community volunteers in the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies  helping to work towards a better environment for future generations. This is exactly the sort of community-based activity that should be encouraged to manage and conserve biodiversity.”  

 

Launched by JNCC in 2009 the Blue Turtle Award recognises nature conservation work undertaken by an individual or group of individuals from an Overseas Territory or Crown Dependency, who have made a valuable contribution to nature conservation in their Territory or Dependency. The work or project should have been in place for over a year, demonstrate innovation and have made a real difference. The individual or the group receives £500 and an additional £1,000 to contribute to an Overseas Territory or Crown Dependency nature conservation project of their choice. Call for nominations for the 2012 Blue Turtle Award will be announced in September with all information available on the JNCC website.

 

Two new tiers aimed specifically for children and young people in the UK OTs and CDs will be launched in 2013. More details will follow with the call for nominations.

 

Contact File

 

Elizabeth Moore

Biodiversity Officer

Tel: +44 (0) 1733 866861

 

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