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Overnight motorhome stays allowed at Ayres National Nature Reserve

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People will be allowed to sleep in their motorhome in a designated area within the Ayres National Nature Reserve (NNR) from Friday.

The recreational area in Smeale sits within the nature reserve which is a site of international importance for wildlife and is managed by the Department for Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA).  

Following the continued easing of Covid-19 restrictions motorhome owners will be allowed to spend up to three nights but will need to arrange prior permission as spaces are limited to due to social distancing.

Camping in tents and lighting fires is not allowed and there are no toilet facilities on site so campervans must be self-contained.

Those looking to book a space can do so by calling the site warden on 07624 246594, or by emailing

Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for DEFA, said:

‘The area is one of the most biodiverse places on the Island and the perfect place to respectfully enjoy nature. It is great to be in a position to allow people to enjoy this area of international importance again.’

More than 155 species have been recorded in the area and people are asked to be mindful not to disturb ground nesting birds during their breeding season. Anyone using the site must follow the Ayres byelaws and failure to do so could result in a £5,000 fine.

Camping at the Sulby Claddaghs remains suspended whilst the Department considers the control measures needed to safely operate the unsupervised site. A further update will be issued in due course.