UNESCO has declared 3rd November ‘International Day for Biosphere Reserves'. We are meeting some of the people who make our Biosphere special and speaking to them about their contribution to it and how it inspires them.
John ‘Dog’ Callister
Manx Wildflower expert, willow weaver and poet
How does living and working in a UNESCO Biosphere inspire you?
Everything around us is within reach. You can be on a heather-covered hillside and then a short walk away you can be on the shore. We’re the only entire nation Biosphere and I wouldn’t live anywhere else.
What do you gain from being involved in your Biosphere?
Being able to share my knowledge with locals and visitors and especially our local schools. I love meeting new people and explaining how fortunate we are to live here. Knowing I’ve made a difference by passing on my knowledge is very humbling.
How would you encourage others to get involved in the Biosphere, too?
Get out there and explore! Lots of the best places on the Isle of Man are the least well-known including one of my favourites – Ballaugh Curragh. I take groups on walks around the Curragh and I run willow weaving classes to help involve people in whats around them. But there are plenty of other groups on the Island who also do this – find out about them!
What’s your favourite natural place in the Biosphere and why?
Montpelier, a small beech copse on the Druidale road. If the Little People exist, then this is where they live.
What’s the one thing visitors to the Biosphere should experience and enjoy, and why? Can be a location, activity, cultural experience, food, etc?
A visit to Ballaugh Curragh. There are signposted walks here and its always changing depending what season you visit. It was the first Ramsar wetland of international importance designated in the Isle of Man and is also an Area of Special Scientific Interest.
What makes you proud of your Biosphere?
Our uniqueness.I love how our language and culture makes us different to everywhere else but also connects us to all the other Celtic Countries. Mannin Aboo!
Sum up what Biosphere means to you in one word?