A woodland planted to help the island meet its climate change commitments has been officially opened by Chief Minister Howard Quayle in Santon.

Mr Quayle announced the Government’s plan to develop the 45 hectare (111 acre) woodland in June 2019, a month after it pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The People’s Wood (Keyll yn Phobble in Manx) at Meary Veg can be accessed on foot from the Raad ny Foillan coastal path, and plans are in place for a car park.

A series of paths and seating which will enjoy panoramic views towards Castletown, the Langness Peninsula and South Barrule will be installed in due course.

So far more than 70,000 broadleaf trees have been planted including Aspen, Willow, Sycamore and Oak, since Mr Quayle planted one of the first in February 2021.

The Chief Minister, said: ’I am delighted to officially open the People’s Wood.

’In years to come, as it develops and matures, the area will boost carbon capture, create habitat and boost biodiversity.

’It is also a great place for people to connect with nature and our Biosphere for the benefit of their wellbeing.’

The project is being organised by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture in partnership with, and funded by, the Cabinet Office Climate Change Transformation Team.

The government also recently offered landowners grants to plant trees in another scheme aimed at helping the island become net zero by 2050.

Those deemed eligible under the Woodlands Grant Scheme (WGS) can be paid up to £4,880 per hectare to create and maintain woodland.

Planning approval will be required and each woodland must remain in place for at least 30 years.