By Emma Draper and Adam Morton

Douglas Council is launching a community wildlife project to support biodiversity in the capital.

Community groups, schools, and neighbourhoods are encouraged to pitch their projects to the ‘Dragonflies Den’.

These include wildflower areas, wildlife ponds and community gardens and should have the aim of encouraging pollinators and fighting climate change.

Successful projects will work with the council and be given tools, expertise and materials to create their space.

Staff at the Manx Wildlife Trust will be on hand to support Douglas residents develop their ideas into a plan to be considered in the Dragonflies’ Den.

Environment Minister Clare Barber said: ‘I hope the Dragonflies’ Den captures the imagination of people in Douglas. I am sure our Dragonflies won’t be at all scary so I would encourage anyone to give it a go and pitch their ideas to them.

‘I look forward to seeing communities coming together to submit projects and seeing them spring up, further improving our city for nature.’

Chair of the Regeneration and Community Committee Andrew Bentley said: ‘This project is a celebration of the power that communities hold to create change in our own backyard.

‘The creativity and passion in Douglas to combat global challenges like biodiversity loss and climate change is truly inspiring, and through Dragonflies’ Den, we are able to harness that energy and transform it into tangible action.

‘We are proud to be a part of this movement for change, and we eagerly anticipate the projects that we will have the privilege of supporting.

‘Through this partnership with Manx Wildlife Trust and UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man, we can make a real difference for the future of our planet, and we look forward to the impact that we will achieve.’

Schools, community groups, businesses and neighbourhoods are all welcome to apply and are invited to contact [email protected] by Friday, March 8.

The Isle of Man Prison and Probation service has also been working to improve green spaces and environmental projects across the island.

Community service work groups have been continuing to work with partners around the island, while recently they were invited to St Johns School to install a pond in the ‘Peter Rabbit Patch’ garden.

The Manx Wildlife Trust have kindly donated native pond plants to grow in and around the new pond, and the garden will be used by the School’s Eco-Club, Nurture Class and for science lessons in future.