Educational videos and resources

Surrey Hills Photography

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 members' magazine, 'Manx Nature', for the Spring/Summer 2020 edition as we believed that packing and delivery of the magazines would have put both volunteers and members at risk. We therefore produced the magazine as a digital version which you can download here for free:
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 lockdown we keep 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.

Dawn's beach finds - Manx Wildlife Trust

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.

Dawn on feathers - Manx Wildlife Trust

Dawn, our Biodiversity and Education Officer, explores all the fun facts about feathers. You can find the bird detective leaflet here along with the feather challenges here. The answers to the quiz are here but don't look until you've had a go at answering them yourself!

Sarah's trip to the beach with Evie and Rosie - Manx Wildlife Trust

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.

Dawn on minibeasts - Manx Wildlife Trust

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 in our trees? - Manx Wildlife Trust

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.

Rachael's rare breed sheep - Manx Wildlife Trust

Our Communications Co-ordinator, Rachael, also looks after a herd of rare breed sheep. She takes us with her as she feeds them and also shows how their fleeces are turned into the wool that we wear.

Dawn on slugs and snails - Manx Wildlife Trust

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 and the girls explore the coast - Manx Wildlife Trust

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.

Dawn on seaweed - Manx Wildlife Trust

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 on stone walls - Manx Wildlife Trust

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.

Pond dipping with Dawn - Manx Wildlife Trust

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.

Leigh's talk: 2 years in St Helena - Manx Wildlife Trust

As part of the postponed Manx Wildlife Week our CEO, Leigh, had hoped to do a talk on his two years of 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.

Dawn on sea anemones - Manx Wildlife Trust

Education and Biodiversity Officer, Dawn, took another trip down to Ramsey Beach, this time to look at sea anemones. For a simple organism there are 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 rock-pooling for them yourself as some of them can sting. There's a sea anemone spotting sheet to help you identify them here.

Sarah on the Dalby Mountain bog habitat - Manx Wildlife Trust

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 sound Collector - Rodger McGough adapted by The Laxey and Dhoon hub school

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 on fantastic flowers - Manx Wildlife Trust

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 sheetOrchid mirror colouring sheet and Design a flower.

Dawn on fossils - Manx Wildlife Trust

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.

Dawn on crabs - Manx Wildlife Trust

🦀 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. 🦀

Dawn on bumble bees, honey bees, wasps and hover flies

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.

As we head back into a second lockdown in the Isle of Man, MWT Biodiversity and Education Officer, Dawn, is once again producing educational videos for everyone to enjoy. This is the first of a three part video series on seals which are commonly seen on our coast. Today Dawn is joined by Sammy the seal to help explain all about their anatomy.

In part two of our series of videos about seals, MWT Biodiversity and Education Officer, Dawn, tells us where we can see seals around the Isle of Man and what their diet consists of. Test yourself and see if you can guess what they do and don't like to eat.

In the final instalment of our series of videos on seals, Dawn tells us more interesting facts about seals including how to tell the difference between the different stages of development in seal pups and what to do if you come across a seal pup on the beach.

Next, Dawn heads back up to Claughbane Woodlands, part of the Ramsey Forest Project, to tell us all about leaf litter.

Fingers crossed Lockdown 2.0 will be ending on Monday so, unfortunately, this will be our last video for now. However, it is a goody! In this video, MWT Biodiversity and Education Officer, Dawn, breaks out the microscope and takes a close look at some of the tiny critters that live in leaf litter.

In September 2020, MWT Biodiversity Officer, Dawn Colley, took a class of children stream dipping in Summerhill Glen, Douglas. They were shocked to find a large number of dead fish caused by a local pollution incident. Less than 6 months later, Dawn has returned to find that nature is doing its best to bounce back with lots of freshwater invertebrates in evidence.

Prior to Lockdown #3, MWT Biodiversity & Education Officer, Dawn, went out with intern, Hannah Midghall to our Close Sartfield reserve to to try and find evidence of a species with a difference.

Spring is definitely here and Dawn, MWT Biodiversity and Education Officer, is here to tell us how we can tell.

Just in time for Easter, MWT Biodiversity and Education Officer, Dawn, shows us how to decorate eggs with natural dyes.

In another eggs-cellent video for Easter weekend MWT Biodiversity and Education Officer, Dawn, looks at the anatomy of eggs with some fun eggs-periments you can join in with using 3 eggs (1 hard boiled and 2 raw), a large glass bowl of water and a dark coloured shallow bowl. A cloth or paper towels are handy too to clean sticky hands and surfaces afterwards! You can download the egg anatomy quiz sheet here.

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? FacebookInstagram 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.

Manx Wildlife Trust are proud to partner with UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man and be part of the Island's Biosphere Education -

Activity sheets relevant to Dawn's videos:
Bird detective leaflet
Answers to the feather quiz
Feather challenges
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
Amphibian Detective
Baby Bird Detective
Signs of Spring Spotter
Spring Flowers Spotter
Spring Nature Treasure Hunt
Spring Tree ID Guide
Yellow Springtime Flower Spotter
Close Sartfield Spotter Sheet Summer
Close Sartfield Spotter Sheet Winter
Cloud Spotter
Egg Dying Leaflet



Other resources:
Test your bird identification skills with this tough quiz from our Ecological Consultancy Officer and take Adam's Really Hard Bird Quiz

Or take Adam's Manx Wildlife Quiz to see how much you know about our own Isle of Man wildlife