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Forests

Celebrating International Day of Forests

Thursday 21st March 2019 is UN International Day of Forests. Forests and woodlands make up 5% of the Isle of Man. We take a closer look at how they benefit us:

DEFA is progressing with its efforts to attain an internationally recognised accreditation for woodland management and sustainability.

As well as a source for sustainable commercial timber, supplying a variety of Island timber markets, these woodlands are home to a wide range of wildlife and are increasingly popular places for outdoor actives for all to enjoy.

They also encompass all the themes of Biosphere Isle of Man.

There are 18 wooded glens across the Island that are classed as semi-natural woodlands

The Isle of Man Forest and Woodland estate measures approximately 3000ha (5% of the total Island land area); National Glens account for 230ha of this accounting for approximately 8% of the DEFA wooded estate.

Our first plantations were established in the late 1800s. 

The main tree species found in plantations are Sitka spruce, Douglas fir, Corsican pine, lodgepole pine and Scots pine. 

Over 200 species of fungi and 196 moth species have been recorded in South Barrule plantation.

A wide range of bird species nest or overwinter in the plantations; the most notable are long-eared owl, crossbill, woodcock, spotted flycatcher and the occasional tree pipit.


All eight species of bat found on the Isle of Man have been recorded feeding in our plantations and glens.

Dhoon glen and Glen Maye are both designated Areas of Special Scientific Interest.

The DEFA estate (forests, glens, uplands, Ayres NNR) receives an estimated 850,000 visits per annum and has been identified as providing an economic contribution of £10.3 million with the wider benefits of leisure services delivering £74.3m per annum.

New woodland management plans will outline a long term objective to create more age and species diverse woodlands that will have improved resilience to the future effects of climate change whilst maintaining a facility for people to enjoy for generations to come.

Over 850,000 tonnes of carbon are emitted on the Isle of Man per year. Our woodlands are a store for on average 33,000 tonnes of carbon.

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