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Public lecture to celebrate successful 2010 Year of Biodiversity 5 January 2011

St Johns, ISLE OF MAN – Professor Mark Seaward of the British Lichen Society will be visiting the Isle of Man this month to give a lecture entitled ‘Unsung Heroes - the role of lichens in shaping our world’ which will detail the importance of lichens in our daily lives. Professor Seaward will also report on some of the exciting discoveries he and his team of experts made following an expedition to the Island in March 2010.

Lichens near Peel BreakwaterStaff from Manx National Heritage and DEFA helped to organise that trip during which ten species of lichen not previously known on the Island were found.

Professor Seaward said, “I am delighted to be able to return to the Isle of Man to report on our findings. It was unexpected to find so many new species in such a small area. The clean, unpolluted air and wealth of unspoilt habitat makes the Island an important place for lichen conservation.”

The lecture is being supported by DEFA, Manx National Heritage and the Manx Wildlife Trust and has been arranged to coincide with the conclusion of a successful year of biodiversity events organised as part of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity.

Commenting on the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity, Duncan Bridges, Director of the Manx Wildlife Trust said, “This was an excellent initiative and encouraged everyone to celebrate the diversity of life on Earth. Many events were held both locally and globally to give people the chance to get involved in various nature conservation activities.”

Professor Seaward’s lecture will be held at the new Manx National Heritage iMuseum at Kingswood Grove, Douglas on Wednesday, 19th January 2011. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start and the lecture will be followed by refreshments and a glass of wine. Places are limited, therefore it is advisable to book in advance. Tickets, costing £5, may be purchased from the Manx Museum or the Manx Wildlife Trust’s shop at Tynwald Mills, St Johns. All proceeds will go to the Manx Wildlife Trust.

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