The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has lent its support to a project to develop the grounds and gardens at historic Manx estate Milntown in Lezayre.

The charitable trust which looks after the estate, once the home of Manx martyr Illiam Dhone, is working with UK Garden Designer Richard Lucas to redevelop the grounds, and needed to bring a large number of trees and shrubs to the Island during April. The traditional deciduous young trees, for planting in the estate’s woodland area, were to replace losses due to age and the gale force winds earlier in the year.

Milntown is run as a visitor attraction by a charitable organisation, with the Trustees putting all income generated back into conserving and maintaining the mansion house and grounds. The Steam Packet Company agreed to help with the transport costs when the Trust approached Commercial Director John Watt.

Estate Manager Paul Ogden explained: ‘The new trees include varieties of lime, oak, birch and other native woodland species, together with some Red Robin photinias for our Walled Garden. There were also a large number of camellia shrubs to form an extension of our camellia trail.

‘As Richard was due over for one of his monthly visits, it made sense for him to hire a large van and bring over the trees and shrubs, to ensure they were sensitively handled. The camellias were delivered direct to him from a nursery in Dorset and the trees came from a nursery in Welshpool, not far from Richard’s home, which he was able to collect.’

He added: ‘We are extremely grateful to the Steam Packet Company and it is a further demonstration of their willingness to work with others on the Island who are providing a facility to both local people and visitors to the Island for the good of the Isle of Man as a whole.

‘The support and help that the Steam Packet Company provides to the community isn’t always fully appreciated and we are very happy to share our positive experience of this largely unsung benefit that they provide.’

Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘The Milntown Trust has done tremendous work at the historic estate, making it a popular attraction for locals and another delightful area of the Isle of Man for the many thousands of people we bring to the Island every year to explore.

‘We were happy to help the Trust with their work and hope the new trees and shrubs will enhance what is already a splendid place to visit.’

Photograph: Richard Lucas checks new camellias for planting in woodland area at the Milntown estate in Lezayre.