Wildlife Events

Wildlife events - find out more about our favourite fun events

Fun yet informative, the Trust organises a large number of events aimed at better informing us all about the life around us here on this beautiful island and how we can best treasure and protect it.

There’s a whole range of activities, suitable for all ages and for groups including (but not limited to) school classes, after-school groups, specialist activity groups, adult interest groups.

Check our regularly updated events guide for upcoming activities, everyone is welcome!

If you would like to organise a special event for your class or interest group, contact our Biodiversity Education Officer, Dawn Dickens, by phone: (01624) 844432 or (07624) 324306 or by email: dawn@manxwt.org.uk

Here are just some of the activities we get up to!

Rushen Beavers take part in a pond dipping eventA family favourite that provides easy access to our fascinating underwater sea world, rock pooling is primarily a May-to-September activity that peaks the interest of everyone, young and not-so-young! The sheer variety of animals and plants that can be found is wonderful, it’s a great introduction to some of the biodiversity that lives on our island’s shores.

Using nets, groups are encouraged to search for animals in shallow sea-water pools. Animals found are temporarily put into buckets so they can be viewed more easily, before being put back where they were found.

Each year we find an amazing array of marine life, such as many different anemones at Port Erin and beautiful brittle star fish at Scarlett. Shore and red velvet swimming crabs are very popular finds, and we often see several hermit crabs too, plus sticklebacks and small wrasse.

If you want to learn more, the Wildlife Shop sells some great ID cards from the Fields Studies Council - ideal to take with you on the day.

Pond dipping
A great activity that helps our younger members find all sorts of river invertebrates, including mayfly nymphs, leeches, freshwater shrimps, flat worms, and cased Caddisfly larvae. Pond dipping is also a good opportunity to investigate how rivers are constructed and why, for instance, stone sizes differ at various points of a meandering stream and how this affects what lives there.

Activities are organised so small groups can use nets to trawl shallow in-land ponds and streams for fresh-water animals to be viewed closely before being returned to the water.

Bug hunting
Using sweep nets in long grass and hedgerows, insects can be popped temporarily into transparent boxes to be inspected and investigated at close quarters, before being released again. Recent finds have included a fantastic rustic wolf spider carrying her egg sac, a hawthorn shield bug and harvestman spiders.

Mini beast patrol
Learning more about worms and snails are specialities of our mini beast patrols! Ideal for younger children, especially nursery classes, who get the opportunity to see crawling insects up-close in transparent boxes!

Plant life patrols
Using magnifiers to examine micro-habitats in parks, woodlands or even school fields and investigating the make-up of different structures of plant parts, from stems to stamen to petals. We also look out for wildflowers including foxgloves, cat's ears and common bird's foot trefoil.

LadybirdWildlife investigation
Researching an area using binoculars to look out for any number of animals such as lizards and seals, plus birds and plants.

During a recent event at the Ayres we saw six common lizards plus loads of grasshoppers and common blue butterflies. We also saw a couple of curious grey seals, a huge group of gannets and more than a dozen plover. We also counted masses of different flowers, from ling heather to sea bindweed and sheep's bit.

Fun and informative events with the aim of spotting, and recording on check-sheets, as many plants, animals and insects as possible, at one venue in a limited time, to provide a snap-shot of what lives in the area.

Hands-on building of homes for birds, bats and bugs
The Trust can also organise on-site building of “bug hotels” in school grounds and teach bird- and bat- box building skills.