Despite the weather-affected postponement of its New Year’s Day launch, things are looking exciting for the Ramsey Forest Project.
Three-hundred trees were all set to be planted at four sites across Ramsey – the Grove, Mooragh Park, Royal Park and opposite the former Grand Island Hotel site – to get underway the Manx Wildlife Trust’s 30-year project to increase woodland cover in the area from 20 to 30 per cent, to improve ecological conditions and provide opportunities for new outdoor recreational facilities.
This will be rescheduled to later in the month, but project talisman Andree Dubbeldam of the MWT was able give some insight into how the wider plans are shaping up.
‘I think it’s going well,’ he said.
‘The three things we need are: land owners support, which we’ve got; volunteers, which we’ve got lots of; and funding, which is ongoing but we’ve got some positive leads. It’s something that will cost quite a lot of money over the next 30 years, but I’m hopeful.
‘We’ve got really good ideas of mini-projects. The most exciting is “Ramsey Co-active”, a two-kilometre adventure trail at Claughbane Plantation, next to Elfin Glen.’
Mr Dubbeldam explained the plan is to make use of larch trees felled to prevent the spread of disease.
‘We’re hoping to get hundreds of trees to make a playground every child dreams of!’ he said. ‘Otherwise it [the larch] would all go to waste. The most heartening support [for the wider project] has been from Ramsey Town Commissioners, who have been the most positive. They are the representatives of the local community so that’s brilliant.
‘Other people have been phoning with ideas. We could see artistic skills coming out of the woodwork!’