Moaney and Crawyn's Meadows

Location: Cooil Bane, Sulby, Isle of Man

Grid Reference: SC 375 957

Please note: visits by prior appointment only with the Manx Wildlife Trust.

Moaney and Crawyn's Meadows are fine examples of traditional hay meadows rich in wild flowers. They lie to the northeast of the Ballaugh Curragh (curragh means willow marsh in Manx Gaelic), the largest and most important wetland on the Isle of Man. Many unimproved grasslands fringing the curragh have been lost, so this reserve provides an invaluable safe haven for wildlife.

The Meadows support a diverse range of plants characteristic of traditional hay meadows and wetland habitats. Yellow-rattle, yellow bartsia, purple-loosestrife, knapweed and heath spotted-orchids are all found here. The fields are one of only five sites on the Isle of Man known for the pale sedge. Traditional Manx sod hedges form the boundaries to the meadows and are lined with rusty sallow and an attractive silver birch tree.

The large and spectacular royal fern thrives on the hedges and a patch of yellow iris is also present in one corner of the field. Greater butterfly-orchids have been recorded in the past. The diversity of flowering plants attracts a range of insects, particularly butterflies, moths, bees and hoverflies.

Birds such as moorhen, snipe, curlew and migrant warblers can also be seen here. The adjacent curragh supports the largest winter roost of hen harriers in western Europe - you may be lucky enough to see these impressive birds of prey.

The meadows are under traditional management, which involves cutting the meadows for hay in late summer followed by light grazing. The Meadows have never been re-seeded or treated with pesticides and artificial fertilisers.

Purchase of the reserve was made possible by Unilever (Timotei).