Work commenced on the new Micro Forest over the weekend at Hartford’s Ramsey-based development, Royal Park. Hartford Homes has worked in close consultation with Manx Wildlife Trust (MWT) and Ramsey Town Commissioners to plan and develop the Micro Forest scheme, which will grow to become a thriving area of densely-packed urban woodland, inspired by the pioneering work of Japanese botanist, Akira Miyawaki.
The all-important planting phase began on Thursday 24 March with the help of just under 70 pupils from local primary school, Bunscoill Rhumsaa. Andree Dubbeldam, Conservation Officer at Manx Wildlife Trust, visited the school to deliver a series of educational talks explaining the environmental benefits of the new ecology area. He also joined the children on-site to guide and assist the planting.
He said: The Ramsey kids are absolutely loving it. They’re getting their hands dirty, they’re planting the trees, and most importantly they’re really understanding why they’re planting the trees. They can imagine what this is going to be like in 10 years, in 20 years, in 50 years. They’re really engaged with the micro forest idea. This had nothing for wildlife before we put it in, and now it will be bustling with hedgehogs. It will have stoats, it will have butterflies. It will have everything we want out of a wildlife habitat in a very short period of time. We’re really delighted to be involved with this.‘
David Jenkins, Headteacher at Bunscoill Rhumsaa, added: ‘I have been bowled over by the enthusiasm and joy that our children shared with me; they enjoyed [the tree planting] immensely, and learned plenty too! A fantastic experience for everyone!’
Local financial services firm, ZEDRA Isle of Man, hosted a week-long wellness programme for staff, who were invited to a range of daily sessions as part of its ‘Wellness Week’ initiative. ZEDRA, an international provider of corporate services, wealth, and fund solutions, organised a variety of informative and fun activities from its offices in Douglas, focusing on a range of areas including meditation, acupressure, stress-management, menopause, and nutrition.
The sessions were hosted by a number of local experts, including mental health charity IsleListen, yoga by Dee Stockman from Space Yoga Studio, women’s health and wellness specialist Rachel Kermeen, the Manx Minds society and physiotherapist Ruth Cooil. Staff were also treated to beachside eatery, The Laxey Shed’s, award-winning creative juices range, while learning about the health benefits of juicing.
Managing Director Joanna Mulhern said: ‘At ZEDRA we are keen to promote staff wellbeing and workplace wellness all year round – however, our Wellness Week initiative allowed us to really shine a light on areas of wellbeing that staff members have a particular passion for or want to learn more about. Wellbeing means different things to different people, but our priority is to ensure our colleagues know they have the support, tools and resources at the workplace to feel safe and listened to when it comes to their mental health and physical wellbeing.
The Art That Made Us
The Manx National Art Collection is set to feature in Art That Made Us Festival, a nationwide event celebrating creativity. The festival takes place throughout April to coincide with the broadcast of a major new BBC television series exploring how pivotal works of art, literature, design and music have helped shape our creative story.
Manx National Heritage has joined nearly 200 organisations from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, who have signed up to participate in the festival, which offers the opportunity for people to explore the treasures in their local art galleries and museum collections.
Katie King, Curator for Art & Social History at Manx National Heritage said: ‘We are delighted to have been invited to take part in the Art That Made Us Festival, which enables us to celebrate some of the amazing artworks in our collections. The Manx Museum is 100 years old in November, so it seems fitting to take part in our centenary year. When it opened the Manx Museum had a modest collection of art works on display by celebrated Manx artist, John Miller Nicholson, but by 1936 a new art gallery was added to display the growing collection of art.
‘Today we have a purpose built art gallery at the Manx Museum and the collection contains more than 6,000 artworks which tell rich stories about the Island’s history and how the Island has been a source of artistic inspiration for centuries.’
The first event is at 11am on Wednesday 13 April at which Katie King, Curator: Art and Social History, will deliver an informal talk at the Manx Museum exploring notable works from the national art collection. The talk is free to attend and all are welcome.
Later that day will be an opportunity to enjoy a short tour of the art store based at the Manx Museum. Tours must be booked in advance and take place on Wednesday 13 April at 2pm and 4pm; and again on Thursday 14 April at 10am. The tickets are priced at £6 per person.