Planting a legacy: Microgaming creates ‘microforest’ to mark 20 years on the Isle of Man


ISLE OF MAN – Microgaming has teamed up with Manx Wildlife Trust to plant a ‘microforest’ in the south of the Isle of Man as the company continues to mark 20 years since first putting down roots on the island.

The online gaming business arrived in the island’s capital in April 2001, and has subsequently played an active role in the community through a range of charitable initiatives. 

As well as donating in excess of 1,500 tree saplings to get the microforest scheme off the ground, Microgaming coordinated a group of more than 80 volunteers to plant the trees through its employee-led CSR programme, PlayItForward.

On 8 and 9 October, Microgaming staff joined Manx Wildlife Trust representatives to plant the young trees on a grassy area the size of two tennis courts in Rushen, with many family members also getting their hands dirty.

The miniature forest is made up of various native species, including a high proportion of thorny shrubs such as hawthorn and wild roses, short-lived, fast-growing native nurse trees such as birch and aspen, and long-lived giants like the native oak. Reflecting Microgaming’s sustainability pledge, it will require little ongoing maintenance, and will support biodiversity and provide habitats for wildlife. In around 70 years, this tiny forest will develop from a tangled thicket into an oak woodland.

With low rainfall in recent weeks leaving the ground too dry to dig, crew members from Rushen Fire Station stepped in to pump just over 5,000 litres of water onto the site. Southern Nomads RUFC, whose pitch is nearby, also provided parking and facilities for the volunteer tree planters.

As we come to the end of our 20 year celebrations, I’m proud that Microgaming can support a project that will benefit our island for many more decades. Huge thanks to everyone who mucked in to bring the microforest to life – together, you have helped plant a legacy that will last for years to come.

John Coleman
CEO at Microgaming

The new microforest is the first piece of a massive nature jigsaw that will take shape on land owned by Rushen and Arbory Commissioners over the coming years. The microforest’s location close to Port Erin and Port St Mary means that it will not only bring wildlife into a suburban area, but it will also attract people out into nature, delivering the associated physical and mental health benefits. Children and adults alike will be able to enjoy the space for centuries.

Andree Dubbeldam
Conservation Officer for Manx Wildlife Trust