An award-winning television sound recordist will give a fascinating insight into life in oceans at a special UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man event in May.

Chris Watson’s television work includes Sir David Attenborough’s ‘The Life of Birds’ and ‘Frozen Planet’ on the BBC, both of which won BAFTA awards for ‘Best Factual Sound’.

Mr Watson has created a presentation specifically for the Isle of Man, entitled ‘Wavelengths: Songs Under the Surface’, which will take place at the Manx Museum on Saturday, May 4 at 7pm.

Doors open at 6:30pm and tickets, which are £5, can be purchased via the ‘Eventbrite’ website.

Speaking about his sound recording work, Mr Watson said: ‘These underwater recordings have been made in the five major oceans around the world and recorded with hydrophones (underwater microphones) and include the calls of humpback whales as they migrate across the North Atlantic and conclude with the song of the largest animal that has ever lived, the blue whale.

‘At the opposite end of the scale, but equally fascinating, during my first visit to the Isle of Man in 2022, I recorded at the south end of Douglas Bay some wonderful, rhythmic, grating sound of limpets grazing.’

Mr Watson has been part of a network of artists and poets visiting the Isle of Man to re-think Wirral-born writer Malcolm Lowry (1909-57), who visited the island as a child and used it in his later writing as a model for improved relations with the island seas.

The network is collecting underwater recordings from around the island to share with the population and is an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded collaboration between Leeds Beckett University and Liverpool John Moore’s University.

Mr Watson’s presentation is part of the Manx Wildlife Week (April 27 to May 5), organised by Manx National Heritage and in association with Manx Wildlife Trust and UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man.

This year’s ‘Wildlife Week’ is the seventh annual ‘celebration’, and takes place in venues across the Isle of Man.

A spokesperson from Manx National Heritage said: ‘Manx Wildlife Week offers the opportunity to learn about the Isle of Man’s outstanding natural landscapes, biodiversity and wildlife.

‘Over twenty-five events will take place throughout the week including gardening workshops, papermaking workshops, watercolour workshops, guided walks, birdwatching and an opportunity to see some of the Isle of Man’s incredible creatures with leading wildlife conservation experts.’

Laura McCoy, curator of natural history for Manx National Heritage, said: ‘Manx Wildlife Week is a great opportunity to explore and find out about our lovely island while meeting the people who help monitor and protect the wild spaces and living creatures within it.

‘There are all kinds of ways you can enjoy the natural world and find it amazing, so that is why I like the breadth of subjects and activities that are going on across the week.

‘We extend our thanks to all those who make Manx Wildlife Week possible, for their help engaging with the public, sharing the wonders of the natural world and inspiring people to enjoy the Manx countryside, learn more about our island biosphere and respect our planet.’

Manx Wildlife Trust’s Leigh Morris said that the week is a good example of the teamwork between the Trust and Manx National Heritage, and that they hope to continue it into the future.

’We are delighted to once again be contributing to Manx Wildlife Week,’ said Leigh.

‘We signed a memorandum of understanding with Manx National Heritage in 2020, and as a development of our joint working, it is fantastic that we are now a designated partner in Wildlife Week.’

To coincide with the week’s events, the ‘Wild Mann’ Nature Photography Exhibition will open at the Manx Museum, featuring a wide range of photographs of the island’s wildlife.

The exhibition is free with no need to pre-book, although all other Manx Wildlife Week events are pre-bookable with limited places available.

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