Skills For Life

Manx Bird Life Art and Photography Competition

‘Our Island’s Birds’ Competition

With the warmer days and longer evenings now upon us, many people are spending more time outdoors. Throughout all the lockdown periods over the last 12 months, many people of all ages have taken a greater interest in the birds and other wildlife in their gardens and on their doorsteps.

Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts, along with a host of other social media are filled with images of birds. Whether these are in back gardens and yards, or sitting on feeders and posing on fences, there are hundreds of beautiful images.

Now is the time for secondary students to showcase what they can do, by entering this new competition. Manx BirdLife and the Manx Ornithological Society are encouraging you to ‘get out there and find’ wild birds to photograph, paint or draw if this is what you enjoy and indulge our judges in a feast for the eyes.

This art and photography competition aims to inspire young people to think more about the wild birds they have seen around their homes or on their walks, cycle, horse rides and other adventures around the Island – and to pick up their favourite art medium, phone or camera and to get creative, capturing their personal favourites.

Entries may be submitted by post or email by the closing date of Sunday 4th July 2021. Full details of the competition are available at, where you can print out the Artboard and Entry Form.

Entries should be posted to Manx BirdLife and MOS Favourite Bird Competition, 35 New Road, LAXEY, Isle of Man IM4 7BG. Please be sure to include the entrant’s full name, school and form tutor’s name as well year group on the back of your entry or in your email.

There are three great prizes on offer. 1st Prize is an overnight trip to Calf of Man on 10th August this year; 2nd Prize is a day out with Manx BirdLife’s Reserve Manager for its new Point of Ayre National Reserve; and 3rd Prize is a pair of binoculars and a bird identification book. Find out the full details at and let your creative juices flow!

Manx waters re-classified for class C and B

The waters in the Isle of Man have been re-classified for class C and B1. The full breakdown can be downloaded below. If you plan on running water activities here on the island please check it out.

Watch Grass Sledging on Bradda Head

A great place to try our new grass sledges out.

Groups begin meetings after lockdown

Some island Scout groups have begun to meet face to face again after social distancing restrictions ended recently on the island.

Many Scout groups have completed risk assessments in order to start meeting again, after the island gained a special exemption from The Scout Association headquarters in the UK to start scouting before any other county.

On Monday 2nd Onchan’s Manannan Cub Pack met, believed to be the first Scout meeting held in the British Isles since the UK went in to lockdown in March.

Tuesday this week also saw the first Beaver meeting for the 1st Douglas and 2nd Onchan Scout Groups, with Buggane Beavers completing a hike up Douglas head.

This week will also see the first meetings for many other groups across the island as more leaders finalise efforts to return to Scouting.

Check out our new Grass Sledges

Check out our new grass sledges, which are available to borrow. Rhys, from 1st Marown Cubs, tries out the new Scouts Isle of Man Grass Sledges.

Lieutenant Governor presents Scouting award

History was made recently when Bernard Moore, a Scout Leader with 1st Marown Scouts was presented with one of the highest awards in Scouting, the Silver Acorn, by His Excellency Sir Richard Gozney, Patron of Scouting in the Isle of Man.

For the first time in the 113 years of history of the Scout Movement the recipient and the reenter were in two totally different places. Due to the present pandemic restrictions His Excellency was at Government House and Bernard was in Ramsey. Using the same technology as is currently used for meetings of Tynwald and the House of Keys the ceremony was able to take place and at the same time be witnessed by other members of the local Scout Movement from their own homes.

The Courier – 26/06/2020

Bernard has been an active volunteer providing adventurous activities to young people for over 30 years. He’s lead hundreds of young people into the hills for many years, giving them and leaders alike, an introduction to climbing. He was due to go to Wales to support the training of less experienced leaders in hill activities this Easter, but hopes to go next year instead, due to the pandemic.

Bernard, in accepting his award from home said, “This is an absolutely fantastic privilege to be receiving the Silver Acorn, and it has been great over the years to see generations of young people embrace the great outdoors and the skills that scouting offers to young people and
volunteers like alike”

Dan Phair, a leader from 2nd Onchan described Bernard as “a true inspiration to young people in giving back so much to the Island” A small group of leaders also attended the meeting on Zoom.

The Silver Acorn is normally presented on St Georges Day – St George is the patron Saint of Scouting.

This year the service and parade were to be held at Government House, and the award presented then by His Excellency, but the event was cancelled.

Learn Knife Safety

In a new 2 minute video Craig McHugh, the Assistant Island Commissioner for Cubs, shows us how to pass a knife safely.

How to make a feather stick II

James Sandall from 1st Rushen shows how to finish your feather stick from the baton in part II with another 2 min. video.

How to make a feather stick I

One of the leaders at 1st Rushen Scouts is a Bushcraft expert. In a 2 minute video he begins to show us how to make a feather stick to make fire lighting easier.

Why Scouting Is So Powerful

Another great video by Bear Grylls & Being Chief Scout

Join the adventure