New family focus for Isle of Man nature discovery centre

The educational facilities at a nature reserve in the north of the Isle of Man’s have been enhanced to include more family activities.

The re-launch of the Ayres Nature Discovery Centre, also puts and emphasis on the site’s past.

The Manx Wildlife Trust (MWT) said it aimed to explain the “unique ecology, geology and human history of the area”.

The land was designated an area of special scientific interest in 1996 and a nature reserve in 2000.

‘Fascinating beach finds’

The new activities at the Ayres National Nature Reserve include enabling visitors to identify pebbles found on the beach and find out where they originated from, nature discovery rucksacks that can be taken out on to the reserve, and jigsaws of local wildlife.

The displays at the centre also feature other beach finds which demonstrate the more recent history of the area, including some items dating back to World War Two, including cannon casings once fired from Spitfires and Hurricane aircraft.

MWT chief executive Leigh Morris said further development at the centre would continue to allow “more people to discover and enjoy this very special part of our island biosphere”.

Much of the land at the Ayres is owned by Manx National Heritage or the government.

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