Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man has joined Unesco's network of biosphere sites

Tynwald Site, Baldwin courtesy Peter Killey Image copyright Manxscenes.com
Image caption The Isle of Man is now one of 120 countries included on a list Unesco biosphere reserves

The Isle of Man has been officially recognised as "one of the best places in the world" to explore nature.

The island has been chosen by Unesco as one of 20 new biosphere sites for its outstanding natural landscape.

Among other sites include Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Australia and Mount Kenya - the second-highest peak in Africa.

Hundreds of volunteers who are involved in reporting shark, dolphin and whale sightings have been praised for helping the Isle of Man's bid.

The Unesco World Network of Biosphere Reserves now features 669 reserves in 120 countries.

Unesco describes them as "sites for experimenting with and learning about sustainable development".

The island was praised as a "special place for people and nature".

Peter Longworth, Project Manager for Unesco Biosphere Isle of Man said: "The strong sense of community on the island was noted by Unesco and went a long way to helping the island's bid."

He said some of the areas of particular interest to Unesco included the Calf of Man and the Ballaugh Curraghs.

The Calf of Man, an islet off the south coast of the island, is a bird sanctuary and the Ballaugh Curraghs, in the north, has one the largest roost sites of hen harriers in western Europe.

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