About our Reserves

We manage 24 local nature reserves, encompassing almost 300 acres of land

One of our key aims, even in the early days of the 1970s when the Trust was formed, has been the acquisition and management of nature reserves as a way of protecting the most precious and vulnerable habitats around the island.

Orchids at Close Sarfield. Andree DubbeldamEight of our reserves are open to the public, they are places of tranquility, where you can relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.

The reserves are managed by Reserves Officer, Tricia Sayle, and a group of hard-working, enthusiasts volunteers who dedicate hundreds of hours each year to ensure the land is kept in the best condition possible to encourage nature to flourish.

Our first reserve

Barnell Reservoir, our first reserve, was donated in 1974. A disused water supply near Peel, it now has a wonderful broadleafed woodland rich in birds, bats and invertebrates.

Two years later, Cooildarry, a 7.3 hectare woodland on the outskirts of Kirk Michael, was donated the Trust.  Open to visitors, this reserve is a favourite to many, with it riverside walk and abundance of early spring flowers.

Close Sarfield. Shely BryanIn 1986 the Curragh Feeagh (Raven's Marsh in gaelic) reserve was purchased and later that decade three sites were donated to the Trust: Curragh Kiondroghad in Onchan and Breagle Glen in Port Erin, both donated in 1988, followed by Miss Guyler's meadow in 1989.

Acquisiton and then expansion

During the 1990’s the Trust added a further 10 sites to its estate with Cronk y Bing in 1993, Ballamoar Meadow, Moaney and Crawyn’s Meadow and Close e Quayle in 1994, Close Umpson , Glen Dhoo, Dalby Mountain and Dalby Mountain Meadows in 1995 and Earystane and Fells Field in 1998.

There then followed a period when existing reserves were expanded, rather than new sites acquired, with Close e Quayle and Breagle Glen being expanded, and Goshen extended twice, to nearly three times its original size.

Ballachrink, a 25 acre site in West Baldwin comprising two lakes, three open meadows and a mixed broadleaved woodland, was donated to the Trust in 2011. 

Following a sucessful fundraising appeal, the Trust acquired its 22nd reserve, a 10 acre site at Scollag Road near Onchan, named Dobbies Meadow, in 2013.

The Lough Gat-eWhing wetland reserve near Andreas was generously donated to the Trust in 2016 and the Trust also took on the management of Ballachurry in Rushen in June, taking the total number of reserves in Trust ownership to 24.

Find out more about our reserves and take the opportuntiy to visit the eight open reserves at different times of the year.  Enjoy!