The Isle of Man is blessed with a cornucopia of wildflowers.
The combination of our maritime climate, geology, farming practices and soil types has resulted in an Island ecology with a wide distribution of wildflowers, spread across a variety of habitats all year round, peaking in spring and summer.
From the early and familiar snowdrops, daffodils and primroses, to violets, cherry blossom, wild strawberries and banks of bluebells, wildflowers are everywhere, with the bright yellow of gorse, and even the flourish of daisies and dandelions, considered weeds in a garden, but flaunting their cheerful colours across footpaths, glens and fields.
If you’re curious about the flowers that you see blooming in the hedgerows and you’d like to know more; if you are interested in the environment; or if you’d like to enjoy the flora of countryside in the company of a knowledgeable expert, Wildflowers of the Isle of Man is conducting a series of wildflower walks over the summer.
The walks are led by Simon Smart, an enthusiastic guide who has been studying the flowers of the Island for eight years.
Simon is a font of botanical knowledge, sharing information on plants that are suitable for foraging and those that are toxic or skin irritants (giant hogweed is to be avoided!). Simon can also tell you the Manx names for flowers and their historic uses. Turns out that our forebears were willing to sample a lot of plants that have been forgotten by modern farming.
The walks take place at a gentle pace, with questions welcomed, scenery to be admired, and time for photos. However, Simon definitely doesn’t encourage picking the flowers.
Walks will be taking place on:
11th August 2019 2pm: Plants and Flowers at The Ayres
25th August 2019 2pm: Plants and Flowers at Conrhenny Plantation
8th September 2019 2pm: Plants and Flowers at Port Mooar
21st September 2019 2pm: Plants and Flowers at Langness.
The Wildflowers of the Isle of Man website also offers information about wildflower species and where they can be found and the Facebook page is featuring a species of flower every day throughout the summer.