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Ancient Woodlands of Mann 7 October 2011

Amongst the most scenic and spectacular parts of the Isle of Man, and the most biologically intriguing are the Island’s woodlands. As a guardian of the Island’s countryside and landscape, Manx National Heritage introduces the first event in its annual Winter lecture programme, ‘Ancient Woodlands of Mann’. Celebrating the 2011 International Year of Forests, three talks are presented by specialist speakers on diverse subject areas which shed light on the history and diversity of the Isle of Man’s ancient forests. This event is free of charge and will take place on Saturday 15th October, at 10am in the iMuseum, Kingswood Grove, just a short walk from the Manx Museum.

The International Year of Forests is an initiative to celebrate people’s action to sustainably manage the world’s forests. The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.

Anthea Young, Education Services Officer and lecture programme coordinator says;

“We are pleased to support the International Year of Forests with this event, which highlights the role of woodland habitats in the conservation of biological diversity.”

Dr. Phillipa Tomlinson whose research interests include history and archaeology of the Manx flora and fauna and the study and conservation of Manx ecological habitats, presents on the post glacial succession of woodland on the Island and the present day woodland in relation to recent history.

Dr. Peter McEvoy, Senior Wildlife and Conservation Officer (Botanist) looks at the appearance of semi-natural woodlands, focusing on the ecology of the prehistoric ‘wildwood’, historical records and examples from around the world.

Andree Dubbeldam of the Manx Wildlife Trust assesses the results of recent studies looking at the biodiversity of oak and hazel woodlands on the Isle of Man. Oak and hazel woodlands are the Island's ancient woodland fragments and so are strongly linked with high biodiversity. Systematic surveys identified the most important sites and finding new sites for some of the Island's most rare species. The talk will look at the dynamics of these woodlands and show how the 20th century saw both an unprecedented expansion of native woodland and a collapse of the biodiversity within, a process that continues.

The full lecture programme is in the new What’s On guide available from Manx National Heritage sites.

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