Educational videos and resources
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused challenges for all of us and we hope you are keeping safe and well. We decided not to print our member's magazine 'Manx Nature' for the Spring/Summer 2020 edition as we believe that packing and delivery of the magazines would have put both volunteers and member's at risk. We have therefore produced the magazine as a digital version which you can download here:
Manx Nature Spring Summer 2020
We are grateful to our Wildlife Watch events supporter, Lloyds Bank, who have made some of these resources possible.
During the lockdown we kept busy by producing a range of resources for everyone to discover more about their local wildlife and engage with nature without leaving the home. These videos activities and spotting sheets are available to everyone free of charge but we would love you to consider donating or becoming a member.
Our Biodiversity and Education Officer, Dawn, spent her daily exercise allowance walking on the beach, here are some of the things she found. You can find the beach picture that Dawn shows in her video here.
Mires and Volunteering Officer, Sarah, has been out to the woods and beach with her two girls, Evie and Rosie, here is what they found.
Next, Dawn headed into the garden to look for minibeasts in the leaf litter. She's managed to bring these tiny invertebrates to life using her digital microscope.
What's living inside our trees? Dawn talks about oak galls (including how to use them to make ink) and holly leaf miners. She uses her digital microscope to examine just what happened to the leaf eating parasites in her holly bush leaves.
Our Communications Coordinator, Rachael, also looks after a herd of rare breed sheep. She takes us with her as she feeds them and also shows how their fleece is turned into the wool that we wear.
Discover the interesting world of slimy minibeasts with this video about slugs and snails from Dawn. They're easy to find in most gardens but there's more to them than you might think.
Sarah Hickey, our Mires and Volunteering Officer, has been out with her two girls, Evie and Rosie, again. This time they went to the coast and this is what they found.
Biodiversity and Education Officer, Dawn, took another trip down to the beach, this time to look at seaweed. She takes some home to study in more detail under the microscope and even cooks some.
Dawn, our Biodiversity and Education Officer, takes a look at stone walls in a glen to see what plants and other life can be found there. Under the microscope she looks at liver wort and tardigrades, also known as water bears. Finally, she shows us how to make wild garlic scones - mmm tasty! The spotting guide is here, the tardigrades fact sheet here and the recipe is here.
Ponds are extremely important for wildlife and host a diverse range of species. Dawn takes us to Ballaugh Ponds for a dip (with a pond net) and has a look at a few of the species she finds under the microscope. Look at the Pond Dipping Guide, How to Make a Pond Net and Pond Wildlife Detective for more information around this activity.
As part of the postponed Manx Wildlife Week our CEO, Leigh, had hoped to do a talk on his two years living and working on St Helena. Although we couldn't have the talk we were instead able to film it and make it available to view here. It covers a range of subjects from whalesharks to horticultural restoration and Leigh also looks at some of the similarities with the Isle of Man.
Education and Biodiversity Officer, Dawn, took another trip down to Ramsey Beach, this time to look at sea anemones. For a simple organism there's actually a lot of interesting facts to learn about them. There's even an appearance from a hermit crab with a very interesting anemone friend. Remember to be careful if you go rockpooling for them yourself as some of them can sting. There's a sea anemone spotting sheet to help you identify them here.
Sarah, our Myres and Volunteering Officer, went up on the hills near our Dalby Mountain nature reserve, doing surveys on the peat. She talks us through what is happening in our bog habitats at this time of the year and shows us how she surveys the peat:
The Laxey and Dhoon hub school adapted the poem ' The sound Collector' By Rodger McGough! They realised that, through lockdown, lots of common outdoor sounds were missing - but not the sounds of nature!
'But we, the wondrous Manxies,
Continue hearing the sounds,
Bees buzz and crickets chirp,
And tuneful birdsongs abound.'
The poem has been read by the children themselves and we've added some Manx Nature photos, some of which are from our photo competitions, so have a skeet.
Dawn, took a walk around our Close Sartfield reserve to examine flowers and explains just why they go to so much effort to attract insects. She also finds some orchids and explains how to recognise the subtle differences between two of the more common ones. You can find the activity sheets to go with this video here: Orchid colouring in sheet, Orchid mirror colouring sheet and Design a flower.
Biodiversity and Education Officer, Dawn, then took a trip to Scarlett and our visitor centre there to explore the interesting geology and uncovers some incredible fossil facts.
🦀 Our Education and Biodiversity Officer visited Port Mooar to look for crabs and tells us how to find them, pick them up safely and also shows us how they have adapted to live in the ever changing world of rockpools. 🦀
For Dawn's last lockdown video she went to Milntown in Ramsey to see the flowers and look at the differences between bumble bees, honey bees, wasps and hover flies. Find out how to tell the difference between all the yellow and black flying insects and use the Bee Detective Guide to identify the different bumble bees you might see in your garden this summer.
If you're inspired by any of our videos check out our other fun activity guides and spotting sheets which you can download for free at the bottom of this page. Why not share your pics and videos on our social media pages using the hashtag #CloserToNature so everyone can enjoy the wildlife in your garden? Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you do go out, remember to socially distance and always think about your own safety.
Our downloadable sheets include activities, video related support sheets and easy spotting sheet guides. There are more activities you can do here.
Activity sheets relevant to Dawn's videos:
Bird detective leaflet
Answers to the feather quiz
Pond dipping guide
How to make a pond net
Pod wildlife detective sheet
Spring flower spotting guide
Hoverflies using lagoons
Stone wall wildlife spotter sheet
Tardigrades fact sheet
Cheese and wild garlic scones recipe
Sea anemone spotting sheet
Orchid colouring in sheet
Orchid mirror colouring sheet
Design a flower
How to make natural dyes
Bee detective guide