Breagle Glen

Breagle Glen, Port Erin

Owned by the Manx Wildlife Trust and located in the south of the Island.

This reserve is one of only two urban reserves owned by the Manx Wildlife Trust.  The property consists of a portion of a small valley with a stream and an elevated area of grass and shrubs on one side of it.  The grassland alongside the pavement is regularly mown but an area beyond is left to grow between late April and August.  After the plants have flowered the grass is cut and the "hay" removed.

A variety of wild flowers such as harebell, vetches, yellow rattle, meadow buttercup, red clover and self-heal have been introduced into this grassland to create a small wildflower meadow. Steps lead down from the area of grass and shrubs to the sheltered valley and stream below.  This portion of the reserve is a small but important link in a chain of woodland cover for birds.  Good numbers of familiar birds such as blackbird, goldcrest, robin and willow warbler are regularly seen.  The glen also acts as a resting and stopping-off point for migrants, including notable species such as barred warblers, firecrest, pied and red-breasted flycatchers and lesser whitethroat.

Management projects at this reserve are designed to be an example of how wildlife can be attracted to urban gardens.  Ongoing planting of berry and nectar bearing shrubs is aimed at attracting birds, butterflies and other insects.  Rank growth beside the stream requires control and Japanese knotweed requires eradication.  A planted hedge of hawthorn, blackthorn, holly, hazel and dog rose is to be layered, in the traditional manner, perhaps at seven-year intervals, to maintain a dense hedge.

How to get to Breagle Glen
Grid ref SC 196688.  The reserve is readily accessible from St Georges Crescent which forms the entire north and west boundary.