Isle of Man

The Isle of Man is an island in the Irish Sea, covering 572 square kilometres.
It is a self-governing UK Crown Dependency and its parliament, Tynwald, founded sometime in the 10th century, is the oldest continuous parliament in the world.
The Isle of Man has a population of 83,314 people.
The Isle of Man is an island in the Irish Sea, covering 572 square kilometres.
It is a self-governing UK Crown Dependency and its parliament, Tynwald, founded sometime in the 10th century, is the oldest continuous parliament in the world.
The Isle of Man has a population of 83,314 people.
  • Geology

    The Island’s geology ranges from half a billion year old sediments deposited in a deep ocean, desert wind-blown sands, fossil-rich limestone laid down in shallow tropical seas and volcanic lavas up to the most recent gravels, left behind by a retreating ice sheet 12,000 years ago.

  • History

    The Island is proud of its 10,000 year heritage of human activity, whether it be the footprint of one of the oldest houses found in the British Isles, prehistoric tombs, carved stone crosses from the Viking Age, medieval castles, a 22-metre waterwheel built to pump water from 19th-century mines, or an extensive system of electric trams and steam railways designed to transport Victorian holidaymakers through its magnificent and picturesque scenery. 

  • Culture

    The Isle of Man has a strong cultural identity and sense of place, which draws threads from our rich and diverse past and weaves them into contemporary expressions and interpretations.

    Within our lively and constantly evolving arts and culture, traditional folklore and customs are also upheld, re-interpreted and celebrated.

  • Language

    The Manx language is enjoying a resurgence among people of all ages, is offered in all of the Island’s schools and as Manx medium immersion within one primary school.

  • Economy

    The Island has a vibrant and diverse economy, based on a mix of traditional industries such as farming, fishing and food production and more modern industries such as financial services, digital technology and high-tech manufacturing.

  • Land

    Four-fifths of the Isle of Man is managed for agriculture, traditional mixed farms meaning a beautiful landscape of small fields and hedge banks.

    There is a network of paths and ramblage in the uplands, which provide easy access to explore the wildlife and natural wonders of the IoM, including the Hen harrier.

    The Island has 18 national glens, with woodlands and waterfalls, and many footpaths, providing a mix of native woodland and exotic planting, the result of Victorian woodland planting along rivers and ravines.

  • Significant sites

    The Ayres National Nature Reserve is an internationally important site known for its Little Tern colony and rare, lichen-dominated heath, marram grass-covered dunes and Gaelic heath.

    Ballaugh Curragh is an internationally recognised Ramsar site, its wetland consisting of willow carr woodland and orchid rich hay meadows.

    The Isle of Man has 22 Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSIs) – areas of land that have statutory protection because of their high natural heritage importance and diversity of habitats, species, geological and geomorphological features.

  • Marine protection

    The Isle of Man has 200 years of marine biological history. One of the world’s first marine biologists, Edward Forbes, was born here in 1815. Port Erin Marine Laboratory was open for more than a century and the Isle of Man Government carries on this tradition of research. The sea makes up 87% of the Biosphere and there is an abundance of marine life and many prized diving locations.

    More than half the Island’s inshore (0-3 miles) sea and a tenth of its entire sea has the highest level of protection as marine nature reserves which contain important habitats and protected species, including Horse Mussel reefs, eelgrass beds, and the long-lived Arctic Clam. Reserves safeguard nursery areas for commercial fishery species. 

  • The Calf of Man

    The Calf of Man, an islet off the south of the Isle of Man, is an official British Bird Observatory, with around 33 species of bird breeding here annually and others passing though on migration from the northern to the southern hemispheres.

GET INVOLVED

If you love the Isle of Man and want to help keep it special, there are a variety of ways to get involved in UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man projects. Here are a few suggestions.

Please help us spread the word about Biosphere Isle of Man!