Plans for car park to attract visitors to Isle of Man woodland

Plans to build a car park to encourage more people to visit an Isle of Man woodland have been put forward by the Manx Wildlife Trust.

The development in Claughbane plantation would accommodate 14 cars and a bicycle park.

Situated west of Ramsey Hairpin in Garff, the site was once part of a quarry in the area.

The trust’s Andree Dubbeldam said the project was a “critical part” of creating “all ability access”.

The application has been submitted by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture on behalf of the trust, which was granted a 99-year lease to manage the plantation last year.

Mr Dubbeldam said the development, which would create easier access to the surrounding woodland, was “really important to get people into the countryside who wouldn’t normally visit”.

Significant investment

Although there would be some “really localised biodiversity loss” when the site was cleared, it was a “modest” sized car park, Mr Dubbeldam said.

He said about half a dozen trees, some of which were already damaged or diseased, would also need to be removed to accommodate the project.

Trees in the area include ash, birch, elm, sycamore and willow.

Some groups of saplings, which would not survive as they were, would be removed or thinned as well.

A separate application for an open-sided timber pavilion nearby to hold interpretive panels was submitted in April this year.

The broader project in the plantation, which overlooks Ramsey and is adjacent to Elfin Glen and Lhergy Frissel, would see more trees planted and rare species introduced to help the local wildlife thrive, Mr Dubbeldam said.

The project was attracting significant investment from private firms and organisations supporting the plans, he added.

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