Puffins Return

After the installation of decoy Puffins in 2016 to attract the birds back to the Calf of Man, the Manx Wildlife Trust and Manx National Heritage have confirmed their return to the island after a 30 year absence.

The realistic decoys invite the birds, who like to nest in big groups, to start a seed colony and are helped by a speaker system which plays out the sounds of puffin calls to attract young Puffins in from the sea.

The Puffins were first spotted on July 6 by a group of kayakers with the sighting confirmed by the Volunteer Assistant Bird Warden on the island, Rob Fisher, who photographed one with nesting material in its mouth, a positive sign that they might be breeding there.

Interim Director of MNH Steve Blackford said: ‘It’s been 30 years since puffins have bred on the Calf of Man, and through our ‘long tail’ (brown rat) eradication programme and subsequent puffin project managed in conjunction with Manx Wildlife Trust, it’s looking positive for breeding pairs on the Calf once again. We now need your help to keep them safe.  We know lots of people will want to visit the Calf in the hope of spotting these fabulous birds but we ask that you are extra vigilant and stick to the marked paths on the Calf to help protect the puffins and the other ground nesting birds on the Island nature reserve.’

Douglas Deckchairs

An initiative from Douglas Council in partnership with Tevir Group and the Department for Enterprise will see the town decorated with deckchairs, including two more oversized versions.

Tevir Group has funded 50 per cent of the purchase price of the chairs, while a grant from the Department for Enterprise has met the remaining cost.

Douglas town centre management’s Chris Pycroft, back row second left and Oliver Cheshire, extreme right, with Tevir Group’s Steven Malone , back row, James Lace, Jess Edmonds, Charlotte Sexton and Ciaran Doherty

Douglas town centre manager Oliver Cheshire said: ‘We see there being all kinds of opportunities to use the deck chairs – 60 in total – for so many different outdoor events we’re planning to hold and we’re looking forward to working with Tevir Group again for our Christmas events.

MNH Sites to Open

Manx National Heritage is able to open more of its heritage sites after extra funding from the Economic Recovery Group. In addition to the four sites, Manx Museum, House of Manannan, Castle Rushen and Rushen Abbey which are currently open on a regular basis, Laxey Wheel, Peel Castle, Cregneash and the Grove Museum in Ramsey will also open on a regular basis.The funding will allow for the attached rota to be supported from July 16 to November 17.

For more info, click here.

Come Film With Me

Manx National Heritage will be screening footage of the making of Ronaldsway Airport by amateur filmmaker J. Walter Royston on July 21 at the iMuseum.

The footage is the second in a series of films about the airport which can be found on the iMuseum website by clicking the ‘Isle of Man on Film’ image.

The screening will show the redevelopment and expansion of the airport which came under the control of the RAF during the outbreak of WWII including shots of the air traffic control tower.

Exmoor Beavers

The National Trust has announced that the first beaver born on Exmoor for around 400 years has been caught on camera.

The mammals used to be native to the area but were made extinct by 16th century hunters looking for their fur, meat and glands, which have been used as medicine, in perfume and as a food additive.

The parents of the baby, or kit, were introduced to the Holnicote Estate in Somerset last year with a ranger of the estate saying the family were now thriving.

UK Cuts Foreign Aid

The House of Commons has voted to keep its foreign aid budget to 0.5% of the national income, lowered from 0.7% during the pandemic, despite opposition from Labour and some Tory rebels. The vote ending up passing by a majority of 35 despite cross-part criticism, including from all of the UK’s living Prime Ministers.

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