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Hundreds of trees will be felled in an attempt to halt spread of larch disease

Larch disease Isle of Man @ GreenMannSpring.com

A SERIOUS outbreak of disease in larch trees will mean that many hundreds of trees will have to be felled this winter as an emergency method of controlling the spread of the fungus to other varieties such as rhododendron and blueberry.

The disease has now been officially confirmed after it was initially discovered in the plantations close to Ballaugh village, with the Department of Agriculture taking the decision to close Colden plantation and to restrict access to Ballaugh plantation.

Green Mann Spring offer Pure Spring Water bottled fresh from the heart of the Island. We bring you Green news from the Isle of Man.

DEFA staff are currently involved in investigations into other suspected sites identified by aerial surveys. The Department has also called a public meeting for next week to discuss the potential threat to the Island’s trees and shrubs. It will be held at the Glen Helen Hotel on Thursday, November 10th at 7.30pm.

The disease is officially known as ‘phytophthora ramorum’ which is also occasionally referred to as ‘Sudden Oak Death’, although this is misleading in the UK as to date native oaks have shown little susceptibility to this disease.  However, this has not been the case in the USA where oaks have suffered, hence the name.

Phytophthora ramorum is a fungus-like pathogen which is serious in Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi) trees and rhododendron (Rhododendron ponticum), both of which produce large numbers of infective spores.  Larch and rhododendron are widespread throughout the Isle of Man.

It kills larch trees very quickly and is a recent appearance in Britain. The trees produce large quantities of the spores that spread the disease, which can infect a wide range of trees and plant species. The only available disease control treatment is to fell the trees, preferably before the next spore release, which current information indicates occurs in the autumn.

To control the disease, DEFA said in a statement today that it will fell areas within both Ballaugh and Colden plantations, amounting to around 9,000 cubic metres of timber covering an area of 30 hectares (74 acres).

The statement said, “Whilst the Department carries out the necessary sanitation felling of infected areas, the decision has been taken to close Colden Plantation to the public and restrict access to Ballaugh Plantation.

“The Department therefore asks members of the public to respect and observe all site signage and information notices to help prevent the risk of the disease spreading not only to other plantations but also to plants in the uplands and private gardens.”

The outbreak follows similar recent findings in Cumbria and Lancashire, following its original UK discovery in the south west of England, where the disease has caused the premature felling of hundreds of thousands of larch trees.

The outbreak was first suspected during aerial surveys to look for signs of the disease which was undertaken by the Forestry Commission, in conjunction with the UK Food & Environment Research Agency (F.E.R.A).

Experts followed-up with ground inspections and laboratory analysis of samples taken from trees which showed possible symptoms of the disease.  Other larch woodland in surrounding areas is being inspected from the ground to check whether the disease is more widely present. 

Dr. John Morgan, Head of the Forestry Commission’s Plant Health Service, said, “Overall, the number and area of outbreaks on larch that we are finding this year are down on the previous two years, and most are close to, or contiguous with, previously infected sites. However, these outbreaks in new regions demonstrate that the threat posed by this disease is still serious.

“We are therefore continuing to urge everyone who manages, works in or visits trees and woodland to keep a close watch for signs of the disease, not only in larch trees, but also in other susceptible plants, particularly rhododendron and bilberry.  Anyone who suspects they have seen its symptoms should report it without delay.”

Symptoms of the disease vary from species to species, but is in general evident by rapid blackening and wilting of foliage.  Detailed information about P. ramorum, and a symptom recognition guide, is available from the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture.

For further information contact:  www.forestry.gov.uk/pramorum.

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Hundreds of migrating fieldfares and redwings on the Isle of Man

Fieldfare @ Greenmannspring.com

Fieldfares are colourful members of the thrush family

Hundreds of migrating fieldfares and redwings have arrived on the Isle of Man, the Manx Wildlife Trust says.

More than 400 fieldfares and 200 redwings were recorded by the ornithology warden on the Calf of Man on the 15-16 October.

Both species are members of the thrush family and travel from northern Europe in search of warmer weather and food.

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The birds feed on a wide range of insects and earthworms in summer and berries in winter.

Director of the Manx Wildlife Trust Duncan Bridges says it was a very exciting time for wildlife on the island.

"The arrival of these species really marks the beginning of the peak autumn migration. Over the next few weeks there will be so much to see around the island.

"The warden on the Calf of Man is recording a real influx of birds to our shores.

"Both the fieldfare and redwing are escaping the colder Scandinavian climate and are in search of autumn fruit, insects and worms. I am sure they will be turning up in gardens all over the island."

Arctic skuas

Migrating redwings fly in from their breeding grounds every year, arriving in autumn in large flocks, frequently mixed with fieldfare.

They are distinguishable as having olive-brown wings and orange-red flanks and underwings.

Other autumn migrants including Arctic skuas, pintails, pochards, Brent geese and whooper swans have also been sighted on the island in the first two weeks of October.

The Calf of Man is owned by Manx National Heritage and has been run as a bird observatory for over 50 years.

The wardening service for the island is provided by Manx Wildlife Trust and Manx BirdLife.

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Ancient Woodlands of Mann

 

Amongst the most scenic and spectacular parts of the Isle of Man, and the most biologically intriguing are the Island’s woodlands. As a guardian of the Island’s countryside and landscape, Manx National Heritage introduces the first event in its annual Winter lecture programme, ‘Ancient Woodlands of Mann’. Celebrating the 2011 International Year of Forests, three talks are presented by specialist speakers on diverse subject areas which shed light on the history and diversity of the Isle of Man’s ancient forests. This event is free of charge and will take place on Saturday 15th October, at 10am in the iMuseum, Kingswood Grove, just a short walk from the Manx Museum.

Green Mann Spring offer Pure Spring Water bottled fresh from the heart of the Island. We bring you Green news from the Isle of Man.

The International Year of Forests is an initiative to celebrate people’s action to sustainably manage the world’s forests. The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.
Anthea Young, Education Services Officer and lecture programme coordinator says;
“We are pleased to support the International Year of Forests with this event, which highlights the role of woodland habitats in the conservation of biological diversity.”
Dr. Phillipa Tomlinson whose research interests include history and archaeology of the Manx flora and fauna and the study and conservation of Manx ecological habitats, presents on the post glacial succession of woodland on the Island and the present day woodland in relation to recent history.
Dr. Peter McEvoy, Senior Wildlife and Conservation Officer (Botanist) looks at the appearance of semi-natural woodlands, focusing on the ecology of the prehistoric ‘wildwood’, historical records and examples from around the world.
Andree Dubbeldam of the Manx Wildlife Trust assesses the results of recent studies looking at the biodiversity of oak and hazel woodlands on the Isle of Man. Oak and hazel woodlands are the Island’s ancient woodland fragments and so are strongly linked with high biodiversity. Systematic surveys identified the most important sites and finding new sites for some of the Island’s most rare species. The talk will look at the dynamics of these woodlands and show how the 20th century saw both an unprecedented expansion of native woodland and a collapse of the biodiversity within, a process that continues.
The full lecture programme is in the new What’s On guide available from Manx National Heritage sites.

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2011 – Another good year for the Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival

Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival @ GreenMannSpring.com

THE Isle of Man Food and Drink Festival has been a big success this weekend.

This was the third time the festival has been held and this year it moved to the Nunnery in Douglas from the Villa Marina Gardens.

There have been numerous cooking demonstrations in the Manx Food Theatre which have been a huge hit with the public.

Green Mann Spring offer Pure Spring Water bottled fresh from the heart of the Island. Bringing you the latest Food & Drink news from the Isle of Man.

Highlights have included appearances by Saturday Kitchen star James Martin and former MasterChef semi-finalist Stacie Stewart.

There have also been live demonstrations from Manx producers including Greeba Mushrooms, Heron and Brearley, Tanroagan restaurant and the Individual Cake Company.

A wide range of Manx produce – from vegetables to confectionery to Manx beer and cider – has been available for sale.

The event has had something for all the family – with butter making, Manx music and dance and festival farm visits among the attractions.

Touch tanks containing crabs and lobster proved to be popular, as did the Loaghtan sheep.

There were spinners doing demonstrations on Saturday and beekeepers have had a presence at the festival as well.

The finals of the I Love Manx family chef and professional chef competitions were also held during the weekend.

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Big crowds expected at new venue for this weekend’s Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival

James Martin @ GreenMannSpring.com

THOUSANDS of visitors are expected to attend this weekend’s new-look Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival which moves to a new venue this year in the grounds of The Nunnery.

Car parking has been a problem for organisers of the festival, now in its third year, and the move to the Nunnery is expected to make access much easier for the public.

Green Mann Spring offer Pure Spring Water bottled fresh from the heart of the Island. Bringing you the latest Food & Drink news from the Isle of Man.

Visitors can expect two days of gastronomic delights with over 40 stallholders taking part in this year’s Festival on Saturday and Sunday.

Many producers will be offering tastings, from cheese to fudge, and spring water to ham and there will be opportunities to stock up on a wide range of foodie goodies, all produced on the Island. 

Hungry Festival goers can enjoy queenies, a hog roast bap or a wealth of other delicious refreshments. There are many activities to experience as well, from watching a cookery demonstration in the Manx Food Theatre to enjoying the Mushroom Experience or chatting to the producers.

Celebrity chef James Martin, host of the highly popular ‘Saturday Kitchen’ live on BBC every weekend will be at the Festival on Sunday, using Manx produce in his cookery demonstrations in the Manx Food Theatre.

He is also judging the I love Manx professional cook of the year competition on Sunday afternoon at 3pm and will  be providing a number of cooking demonstrations from 11am. He will also be signing books later in the afternoon.

Masterchef semi finalist Stacie Stewart will be giving cooking demonstrations on Saturday morning and again in the afternoon.

The festival ends on Sunday afternoon with an auction of Manx food at 4.30pm which will benefit Manx Radio’s Dreamcatcher appeal fund.

Manx producers taking part this year include Apple Orphanage, Cocoa Red Chocolate, Green Mann Spring Water, Individual Cake Co, Isle of Man Creamery, Mostly Manx, My Grandmother’s Cookery Book, The Original Manx Fudge Company, Roberto’s Ice Cream. Smoothie Bike, Bryan Radcliffe, Davison’s Ice Cream, Staarvey Farm, Abfab Cakes, IOM Beekeepers’ Association, Jimbo’s Ice Cream, Laxey Glen Flour Mill, Lewis Seafood, Manx Organic Network, Ellerslie Oil and Radcliffe’s Butchers.

Activities include scone making, foodie games, 3-legged kipper tossing, quizzes, family recipe exchange,

The festival is jointly run by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture and Isle of Man Tourism. It opens tomorrow (Saturday) at 10.45 am when DEFA Minister John Shimmin and Tony Nicholls, managing director of sponsor Manx Gas, will perform the honours.

SATURDAY:

10.45:  Official Opening

11.00:  Masterchef’s Stacie Stewart

12.15:  Tanroagan

13.00:  Kathryn Sentance

14.00:  Masterchef’s Stacie Stewart

15.00:  Final of I Love Manx Family Chef competition

SUNDAY:

10.45:  Official Opening

11.00:  James Martin

12.15:  The Old Courthouse

13.00:  Heron and Brearley

13.35:  The Individual Cake Company

14.00:  James Martin

15.00:  Final of I Love Manx professional chef competition

16.00:  James Martin book signing

16.30:  Auction of Manx food

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Green Mann Spring will be at the 2011 Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival

Final plans are now in place for the 2011 Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival which is being held in the Nunnery Gardens, Douglas on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th September, opening at 10am daily.
Full programme details can be found on the Festival website www.gov.im/food_festival  including the mouth watering recipes which will be cooked by MasterChef semi-finalist Stacie Stewart and “Saturday Kitchen” presenter James Martin. These recipes will be made with Manx ingredients wherever possible and have been chosen to showcase the range and quality of locally produced dairy products, meat, vegetables, seafood, oil and more. These unique recipes have been made available with the kind permission of the two guest chefs.

Green Mann Spring offer Pure Spring Water bottled fresh from the heart of the Island. We will be at the Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival – hope to see you there!

The Festival promises a full and exciting day out for the family, with plenty of choices for eating out, opportunities to taste and buy from producers in two large marquees and activities for children including seeing touch tanks of marine life; making scones, face painting, and playing foodie games in the activity marquee and watching butter being made or having a go at milking a pretend cow. There are more things to see and do in the Manx Mushroom Experience marquee and, with a number of new products being launched, the organisers hope that the Festival will indeed be a wonderful celebration of the Island’s food and drink.

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Big Tidy Up all-Island Challenge 2011

Douglas Borough Council is, once again, taking the lead in helping rid the island of litter by organising this year’s Big Tidy Up all-Island Challenge.
Taking place on Friday September 30 and Saturday October 1, and sponsored by Alliance and Leicester International, the challenge builds on the success of last year’s campaign when a total of 2.167 tonnes of litter was collected, of which 750kg was recycled.

Green Mann Spring offer Pure Spring Water bottled fresh from the heart of the Island. We bring you Green news from the Isle of Man.

In a move to involve communities Island-wide the Council has contacted every local authority inviting them to participate with, to date, Castletown, Maughold and Patrick agreeing to join the campaign, which last year attracted vigorous support from volunteer groups, charitable organisations, businesses, private individuals and an exceptionally strong showing from schools.
As the campaign’s lead body the Council will provide practical support in the form of protective tabards, litter picks, gloves, brushes and bags. It will also collect all litter gathered and bagged in the Borough of Douglas.
Alliance and Leicester International’s community affairs manager George Campbell said: ‘Alliance and Leicester International takes its corporate social responsibility and active citizenship roles very seriously. We’re therefore pleased to be supporting the Council’s endeavours in its Island-wide call to action to tackle the litter that blights our towns and villages. As one of Douglas’s leading businesses we are keen to play our part in keeping the capital clean and green and would urge other companies to join with us and make a stand against litter and demonstrate that, like Alliance and Leicester International they, too, care about the quality of their environment.’
Council Leader Councillor David Christian JP said: ‘Response last year was extremely encouraging. Clearly the campaign captured the public mood, as we hope it will this year when once again it will be supported by Council Members, officers and staff.
‘We are encouraged that DLEQ (District Local Environmental Quality) surveys indicate that in many categories Douglas is equal to or above national standards, but we can ill-afford to be complacent so are urging people to contact us about any litter “hotspots” they have identified.
‘Our cleansing teams are to be applauded for their efforts. However, given these difficult financial times local authorities have only limited resources with which to combat litter, so we welcome this annual opportunity for people to come together and help make a very real difference to the environment in which they live and work. The Big Tidy Up all-Island Challenge not only makes for a cleaner and greener Isle of Man but also is a practical demonstration of the “Big Society” agenda which aims to encourage local action and give communities the power to transform aspects of their lives.’
A typical Big Tidy Up session will last in the region of two hours. Participating groups will receive certificates recognising their support at a reception later this year hosted by the Mayor of Douglas, Councillor Ritchie McNicholl, JP.
For all Big Tidy Up enquiries and to submit details of potential litter hotspots for targeting contact [email protected] .

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Isle Of Man ‘Green’ 0% Loans Launched

Green loans Isle of man @ Green Mann Spring.com

The Isle of Man Department of Economic Development has today announced the launch of a 0% green business loan scheme.

The Department says the scheme offers a 100% loan of up to £20,000 towards the cost of projects that improve energy efficiency and is open to all business sectors where projects will involve energy efficiency improvements in Isle of Man business premises.

Each project will be assessed on its potential to deliver energy savings and preference will be given to those that provide the greatest reduction in CO2 emission. Projects deemed suitable range from lighting/ lighting controls to compressed air systems/ controls to insulation upgrades.

Green Mann Spring offer Pure Spring Water bottled fresh from the heart of the Island. We bring you Green news from the Isle of Man.

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Green industry hopes for Isle of Man

Isle of Man economists are hoping to attract more green energy companies to the island, as global investment reaches a record high.

A recent UN report showed current investment in renewable energy sources to be around £132bn.

There are currently about 100 "clean tech" companies based on the island and work is continuing to attract more.

Green Mann Spring offer Pure Spring Water bottled fresh from the heart of the Island. We bring you Green news from the Isle of Man.

Ken Milne, from the department of economic development, said businesses could benefit from local marine skills.

He said: "With the decline of the island’s fishing industry there could be some welcome employment opportunities for people with experience at sea.

"If some of these companies are involved in marine renewables, the Isle of Man will be well placed to provide experienced crew."

The Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2011 report, which was prepared for the UN by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, claims the boom is set to continue and the Manx government believes it is well-placed to become a green industry centre.

Mr Milne said: "I think the industry is a natural fit for the island.

"Among other things we can offer prospective companies an established manufacturing industry, which sets us apart from the Channel islands."

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Small Medium Enterprise of the Year Awards 2011

COLLINS Stewart Wealth Management is sponsoring the Small Medium Enterprise of the Year Award at this year’s Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence.

Green Mann Spring offer Pure Spring Water bottled fresh from the heart of the Island. We bring you Green news from the Isle of Man.

Dermot Hamill, head of wealth management Isle of Man, said that the company was delighted to be once more involved with the awards.

‘We’ve been sponsors of the awards right from the outset and we’re very happy to support the event,’ he said.

‘I think it’s great because it shows a lot of what’s very good about the Isle of Man, and shows the island in a very positive light.

‘It also brings a lot of attention to people who wouldn’t ordinarily get that attention and it’s just very nice to be involved – there’s real “feel-good” factor.

‘This year we are sponsoring the Small Medium Enterprise of the Year Award and it will be very interesting to see what the entries are. It will be nice to present the award to a business which is dynamic and outgoing.’

Last year’s winner of the Small Medium Enterprise Award was Green Mann Spring Water.

Shane Martin who collected the award on behalf of the family company said: ‘It helped us from a sales point of view because it was very reassuring for people to see that we had achieved this at such an early stage in the business.

‘The process of entering also made us realise what we’d achieved. When you’re so busy all the time, you don’t really forget, but when you sit down to fill in the entry forms, it does really bring it to light when you have to put it down on paper.’

 

l Has your company entered the Isle of Man Newspapers’ Awards for Excellence?

There are 16 award categories, covering companies of all sizes, public sector organisations, charities and individuals. You can find all the details at www.iomtoday.co.im

Entries close on September 19.

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