BUSY Irene Cannan is cleaning up with her own family-run business based in the north of the island.
Mother-of-two daughters Irene, 59, is the woman behind the Isle of Man Soap Company.
From her seafront home in Ramsey Irene produces a huge array of soap products including Legs of Man soap and even soap made with beer.
All her products are hand made using ingredients sourced locally wherever possible.
It’s a real labour of love for bank manager’s wife Irene who has seen her hobby expand into a business.
Now Irene has been involved in her most unusual project yet - helping a campaign to get rid of longtails on the Calf of Man.
As reported recently in Isle of Man Newspapers, Manx National Heritage, Manx Wildlife Trust, the Food and Environment Research Agency, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Manx BirdLife and the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture have got together to try to tackle the problem.
The project will continue until March 2013, to be followed by a period of regular monitoring for any remaining signs of longtails.
Irene volunteered her skills and services to help produce hundreds of chocolate flavoured wax blocks.
Around 2,500 of them will be distributed around the Calf in half metre long drainage tubes. Manx Wildlife Trust director Duncan Bridges confirmed to Business News that Irene’s wax blocks will help them monitor whether there are any longtails remaining after the baiting campaign.
Speaking from her specially adapted ‘soap room’ at home on Queen’s Promenade, Irene showed Business News her ‘wax tarts’ which will be used in the longtail campaign.
She said: ‘My soap is sold at the Manx Wildlife Trust and one of the people there telephoned to say they were doing this project with Manx National Heritage to try to rid the Calf of longtails. They were looking for wax monitoring blocks and these then measure the activity of animals. They don’t eat them, they will claw at them, scratch at them and leave evidence of what type of animal, mammal they are. It’s a fantastic project and I feel privileged to be involved. They will have their volunteers and these blocks will be laid in strategic places around the Calf of Man to monitor activity. Then they will be recalled, the substance, whatever it is to be used, will be placed down and then after a period of time the blocks will be put out again to monitor what if any activity, of longtails, is left.
‘It’s a great way of being able to monitor activity because these robust monitoring blocks are made of eco soy wax flavoured with real chocolate so they are very attractive to the animals to come along and investigate but they won’t harm them.
Mr Bridges praised green-minded Irene for her help and said she was only being paid the cost of the materials involved in making the blocks.