A team from Royal Skandia recently assisted Manx National Heritage with essential maintenance work at the Ballaugh Curragh, one of the Island’s most precious natural environments.
Manx National Heritage’s 175 acre landholding at the Curragh to the north of the Wildlife Park provides excellent public access through otherwise impenetrable areas of willow and bog by the provision of board walks and pathways.
The volunteers were split into three teams and carried out board walk repairs, built some new connecting sections of board walk and undertook vegetation clearance next to ditches and paths.
The Curragh is an important wildlife habitat, with a mosaic of willow scrub (otherwise known as curragh) and bog myrtle scrub, sphagnum bog, open water and flower-rich hayfields. The area is internationally important for providing a communal winter roost of Hen Harriers. The importance of the habitat is reflected in its protected status as an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI). As a wetland site of international importance, the Curragh is also the first RAMSAR designation in the Isle of Man.
Shaun Murphy, Properties Manager at Manx National Heritage said;
‘We are very grateful to Royal Skandia for the valuable work of their team at the Curragh. The same team had also carried out walling work on the Calf of Man last year and we were pleased to welcome them back again on another Manx National Heritage site this year.’
Rachel Craik, manager of Royal Skandia’s Business Analysts team commented;
‘We are always happy to help Manx National Heritage. The tasks are interesting and different, and the people we work with are very friendly and helpful. It’s also great for us to have a day’s teambuilding opportunity away from the office – and when we’re helping the Island at the same time that makes it even more valuable.’
Occupying the basin of an Ice Age lake, the area of wetland at the Curragh was, not so long ago, a more open landscape, managed for early grazing, hay and peat digging. The greater part was acquired by the Isle of Man Government to preserve its unique nature and transferred to the Manx National Trust in 1990.
For further information, please contact;
Shaun Murphy, Properties Manager, Manx National Heritage
Tel: (01624) 648000