The winners of a competition that encourages young people to explore their Biosphere and write about the nature on their doorstep have been unveiled.
The Young Nature Writer competition invited budding nature enthusiasts to write and illustrate their observations of the natural world over the summer.
8-year-old Kayleigh Cannon’s account of a summer day at Scarlett that included a hand-drawn map earned her The Young Nature Writer 2023, and ten-year-old Delta Baptist’s descriptive account of a boat trip to the Calf of Man bird observatory earned her the ‘Best Bird’ winner.
Austin Rogerson’s tale of a gull stealing his chips, which carried a serious message about the importance of birds, was also commended by judges as the runner-up in the ‘Best Bird’ entry.
Earlier this year, BBC wildlife presenter and President of The Wildlife Trusts – the parent body of The Manx Wildlife Trust – Liz Bonnin championed the competition, describing the Isle of Man as an ‘extraordinary Biosphere, full of wonderful wildlife.’
The Springwatch host encouraged young people to explore while writing about their favourite animal, insect, or plant species on their adventures.
Dr. Michelle Haywood MHK, who helped to judge this year’s entries, said: “Connecting people with nature and encouraging them to understand it, enjoy it, and take care of it, is a major role of a UNESCO Biosphere. Congratulations to all the winners, but everyone that took part and wondered at the natural world is a winner for me.”
The annual competition is run by UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man, partnering with Manx Wildlife Trust (MWT), the Manx Ornithological Society (MOS), and the Isle of Man Examiner.
The 2024 competition will launch in the spring.
Pictured: Dr Michelle Haywood MHK, Member of DEFA with responsibility for Environment, with, from left, Rob Fisher from MOS, Leigh Morris from Manx Wildlife Trust and Dr Richard Selman from DEFA, and with winners and runners up in the Young Nature Writer competition 2023. From left, Austin Rogerson; overall winner Kayleigh Cannon; River Kelly-Brown; Poppy Christian; Liam Cannon. Best bird entry winner Delta Baptist was unable to attend the presentation.