Curragh Kiondroghad reserve is a green oasis hemmed in by houses only two minutes walk from the shopping centre in Onchan. There is a boardwalk suitable for wheelchairs. Nearly one hundred species of flowering plants flourish ranging from wetland to woodland varieties. The wetlands are dominated by willows, mainly common sallow with some white willow near the entrance. Other plants in the wetland include marsh marigold, yellow flag, reed canary grass, hemlock water-dropwort, woody nightshade and cuckoo flower. The woody stems of the sallows support a range of mosses and lichens. Liverworts are present on ditch banks. Trees common at the perimeter of the reserve where it is drier include silver birch, ash, holly and rowan. Hedgerow plants include red campion, herb-robert, ivy and ferns. A mixed hedgerow of hawthorn, blackthorn, dog rose, hazel, field maple and wild privet have been planted.
The reserve has rich invertebrate life which supports many bird species together with bats. Birds recorded on the site include grey wagtail, goldcrest, woodcock, chiffchaff and hen harrier, together with more common garden species. Frogs return to breed each spring.
Small blocks of willow are coppiced each year to allow light to reach the ground and stimulate germination of flowering plants. Vigorous regeneration of sycamore is controlled to prevent the wetlands becoming a sycamore woodland. The neutral grassland is managed as a hay meadow with the vegetation being cut in August after the plants have flowered and set seed. The grassland is being made more botanically rich by the introduction of other meadow plants.
How to get to Onchan Wetlands
Grid ref SC 400782. Turn into Church Road from the A2 near Onchan. Park on your left as the road dips. To get to the reserve entrance cross a piece of land on your left owned by Onchan Commissioners.