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.
Curator of Natural History
How does living and working in a UNESCO Biosphere inspire you?
There is value in knowing that what you thought was already true is recognised officially, that you live and work somewhere that has its own special, distinct character on many different levels. It gives me great pleasure to work with all the wonderful wildlife that I see on a regular basis, and I can’t help but be inspired by it.
What do you gain from being involved in your Biosphere?
There is a terrific sense of community on the Island and I have got to know and made friends with lots of people through the Biosphere. Rather than just being limited to my specialist area, Biosphere pulls people from all walks of life together.
How would you encourage others to get involved in the Biosphere, too?
The great thing about the Biosphere is that it can be related to almost anything, so it is super easy to get involved, whether it’s attending a local event, buying local produce or just getting out there and seeing what the Island has to offer. Manx National Heritage manages many historical and countryside sites all over the Island too, and a season ticket gains you access to many fascinating places.
What’s your favourite natural place in the Biosphere and why?
If you can get to see the fields of orchids in late May to July at Close Sartfield, managed by Manx Wildlife Trust, it really is a must. I have never seen so many of these lovely flowers in profusion. It takes your breath away.
What’s the one thing visitors to the Biosphere should experience and enjoy, and why? Can be a location, activity, cultural experience, food, etc?
I enjoy attending the Oie Voaldyn festival in Peel and watching the battle between Summer and Winter being played out. All the community turn up and it is a lovely way to celebrate the coming of spring and new beginnings.
What makes you proud of your Biosphere?
The people. There are many individuals that work so hard to celebrate and preserve the culture, heritage and environment of this Island and I am lucky enough to work for an organisation that has many of these people all under one roof.
Sum up what Biosphere means to you in one word?
Laura is pictured with wildlife documentary presenter and author Simon King.