Excellent for the outstanding display of thousands of orchids from late May to July and good for bird watching

Location

Windmill Lane, Ballaugh Curragh
Ballaugh
Isle of Man
Ballaugh

OS Map Reference

SC358955
A static map of Close Sartfield

Know before you go

Size
12 hectares

Parking information

Small off-road car park

Access

Open from the car park to the bird hide all year round, level paths and boardwalks provide wheelchair access. The remainder of the site is open June – August.

Dogs

No dogs permitted

Facilities

Bird hides

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

April - July

About the reserve

Close Sartfield lies on the northwest edge of the Ballaugh Curragh, the Island’s largest wetland which is an ASSI and Ramsar site.  This flagship site has six wildflower meadows which have a wonderful display of orchids from late May to July when tens of thousands of orchids are in bloom. Cuckoo flower, yellow rattle, harebell, lousewort, purple loosestrife, meadowsweet, Devil’s-bit scabious and knapweed are among the other grassland species present. In the areas of peat, bog myrtle and purple moor grass are dominant, with bogbean, marsh cinquefoil and lesser spearwort.  The magnificent bushy royal fern, largest of British ferns, turns a beautiful orange colour in the autumn. A variety of small birds depend on the many invertebrates that thrive amongst the rich flora and in the soft wet ground. 

Management: The meadows are cut in August when most of the plants have flowered and set seed. Once the grass has grown back a small flock of sheep are brought onto the reserve.  Other management includes coppicing of willow to create variations in the height and density of willow and thus provide different feeding opportunities for birds.

Contact us

Tricia Sayle, Reserves Officer
Contact number: 01624 844432
Contact email: tricia@manxwt.org.uk