A team of volunteers from HSBC Bank plc in Douglas recently helped the Manx Wildlife Trust with a number of key tasks at the nature conservation charity’s Close Sartfield Nature Reserve.
Close Sartfield is situated in the northwest corner of the Ballaugh Curragh, the largest wetland site on the Island and an Area of Special Scientific Interest. The site was purchased by the Trust in 1987 and covers 30 acres of curragh, damp hay meadows, marshy grassland, bog and developing birch woodland.
Many wildflowers may be seen on site throughout the summer, including six species of orchid which are at their best in June and July. At this time of year, royal fern, the largest of the British ferns, turns a beautiful copper colour and makes a magnificent display on the hedge banks going down to the bird hide. Just behind the hide, a project carried out by the Manx Wildlife Trust’s regular team of volunteers, or “Midweek Muckers” as they’re more commonly known, reclaimed almost an acre of bog from advancing bog myrtle and scrub, allowing previously declining wetland plant species, such as marsh St John’s-wort, bog bean and bog pimpernel, to thrive. In recent months, the bog myrtle has made its presence known again and so the Trust’s Reserves Officer, Tricia Sayle, was delighted to take up HSBC’s offer of help to clear this particularly invasive species. Supervised by Tricia, Fundraising and Wildlife Advocacy Officer, Anne Marie Kilgallon and “Midweek Muckers” Alan and Godfrey, the volunteers from the Bank cleared a significant amount of bog myrtle and also replaced one of the gates between two of the meadows and made one of the reserve’s boundary fences more secure by replacing a number of the fence posts. The Bank very kindly funded the cost of all of the materials and some of the tools used on the day.
Commenting on the day’s activities, Neil Helmer, HSBC’s Planning and Support Manager, said, “As Gold Corporate Members of the Manx Wildlife Trust, we are once again delighted to be able to provide practical support to the charity. This is the third year that we have helped the Trust with practical tasks on their nature reserves and yet again it was a great opportunity for our staff to get hands-on experience of the Trust’s invaluable nature conservation work.”
The Manx Wildlife Trust would like to thank HSBC for their support and is looking forward to continuing to work with the Bank going forward.