In a regular feature in Manx Life, published by Mannin Media, authors from different walks of life offer a personal perspective on #MyBiosphere. This month, Su Simpson writes:
I started to travel back and forth to the Isle of Man from 2006 and made the move here in 2008 to be with my husband, who is originally from the Island.
Having now lived on the Island for more than a decade, I feel like I belong to this special place. All the little features of this Island combine together to make it such a unique location.
My job allows me to take pre-school and other young children out and about exploring. One week we can be jumping in puddles and looking at flowers and plants as we explore glens, the next finding treasures while we are collecting sticks and building dens in many of the plantations, the next coming face-to-face with crabs while rockpooling and enjoying the coastline.
I love to see the children embrace what the Island has to offer.
In my spare time, my husband and I like to venture out and combine our love for photography and the outdoors. We have our favourite places to visit, but are always keen to discover new destinations. We are constantly amazed by the beautiful place in which we live.
Living in Douglas means we are fairly central to getting around, but, having said that, nothing is really that far away on the Island.
The Island throws us numerous opportunities to photograph many different things, from beautiful waterfalls, stunning sunsets and picturesque landscapes to unique animals such as Loaghtan sheep, Highland cows and my favourite seals.
On the same coastline, my other passion of mine happens: beach-combing, collecting sea glass, shells and other gems the sea washes up. We always look forward to seeing where our next adventure might take us.
Along with my full-time job, I volunteer with Girlguiding Isle of Man. I have been in Girlguiding since I was a Brownie, aged seven. I am now a Brownie Leader and, along with the rest of the team, we run a strong Unit.
Girlguiding is amazing. It gives many opportunities for girls to have fun and adventure and allows them to have space to discover their potential.
This year, our Unit will be involved in activities from den-building and putting up tents in a plantation, tackling Year of Our Island walks, geocaching, making boats to float down a stream in a glen, discovering Dark Skies sites, beach-cleaning, rockpooling, taking part in a ‘water day’, trying out kayaking, litter-picking in a park and scrubbing up on our map-reading skills, to name but a few.
Girlguiding Isle of Man has teamed up with UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man to launch a badge to encourage members to explore the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
To earn the badge, members choose two of the 17 Goals to work on. So we could get Rainbows working on beach cleans and planning trees, Guides working with the Food Bank and other community-based projects, Rangers actively working towards marine conservation and mitigating climate change.
We are all very excited for the potential of the badge and keen to embrace these Global Goals.
Su Simpson is an Outdoor Explorer and Girlguiding Isle of Man leader.