UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man

Who is involved?

Our list of project partners is growing rapidly and encompasses businesses, schools, charities and community groups across the Island.


Visit Laxey Valley
Visit Laxey Valley

Visit Laxey Valley is a new, charitable, not-for-profit organisation that will promote the area’s heritage, attractions and environment to Isle of Man residents and visitors.

Laxey village boasts the world-famous Laxey Wheel, rich mining history, heritage transport links and historical and natural attractions.

Laxey valley stretches from the foreshore to the peak of the Isle of Man’s only mountain, Snaefell – a beautiful environment the organisation seeks to protect and enhance as interest in heritage tourism grows.

Visit Laxey Valley will boost our Biosphere’s economy, contribute to its community, enhance its environment, cherish its culture and heritage and protect natural resources.

Its work complements the three main aims of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme globally: promoting conservation, encouraging sustainable development and increasing knowledge.

Visit Laxey Valley will, in 2019, establish a Friends of Laxey Valley to ensure funding and will support restoration and development of heritage tourism attractions, working closely with the tourism industry.

It will champion heritage and environmental learning via programmes connected with schools, visitors and mining.

It will coordinate with complementary attractions and providers to enhance the visitor experience. These include Manx National Heritage, the Manx Electric Railway, the Isle of Man’s Dark Skies sites and Laxey and Lonan Heritage Trust.

The Church of England Parish of the West Coast
The Church of England Parish of the West Coast

The Church of England Parish of the West Coast encompasses five church communities: The Cathedral in Peel, Dalby, Michael, Patrick and St John’s.

Currently lighting is being changed to LED. In addition the Cathedral is planning underfloor heating with air-source heat pumps.

The parish recycles as much as possible and composts cardboard and vegetable matter. Waste associated with building projects is recycled on site wherever possible. If disposable catering products are used they are compostable.

The Parish of the West Coast supports local farmers by buying home grown products for catering where practicable. The five church communities attract visitors to their well-managed grounds (cemeteries, gardens, orchards and allotments) as well as their historic church buildings which are rich in local heritage. There has been considerable new planting which has included large numbers of trees and almost a kilometre of new hedging.

The Parish of the West Coast aims to serve the local community and its congregational members have been responsible for recent developments associated with the Islands Foodbank, Credit Union and Big Table Café; the latter is a pilot scheme at the Cathedral that offers lunch on a Monday to all, regardless of ability to pay.

All churches in The Parish of the West Coast are open to the public during the day. They are currently working on creating visitor facilities and offering a more focused destination for learning outside the classroom for schools.

Balley Cashtal Beg
Balley Cashtal Beg

Balley Cashtal Beg (Manx for Little Castletown) is a community organisation that promotes the Island’s ancient capital.

Its fairy doors appear all over the town, prompting interest in, and visits to, the town, with resulting benefits to business.

Balley Cashtal Beg encourages to learn about and take an interest in their surroundings, promoting pride in and knowledge about the town’s history.

Balley Cashtal Beg also brings Manx language and culture to life through leaflets, stories, activities, craft sessions and competitions.

All crafts use natural materials, avoiding damaging glitter and plastic.

Manx Lottery Trust
Manx Lottery Trust

The Manx Lottery Trust is an Isle of Man registered charity and an independent charitable trust.

A delegated partner of Big Lottery Fund UK, it provides grants to eligible charities and not for profit organisations for suitable projects and community initiatives, supporting the Manx community.

Isle of Man Federation of WIs

The Isle of Man Federation of WIs has 520 members in 26 institutes across the Island.

The WI offers women the opportunity to enjoy friendship, widen their horizons and influence local, national and international affairs.

The WI champions initiatives in health, education and the environment.

It is currently involved in an initiative to end the ‘soup’ of microplastics found in oceans and is working with local charities, and at local events, to raise awareness of this issue.

The Island’s WI contributes to nationally adopted initiatives by way of resolutions to annual meetings.

In the Island, a varied programme of events is organised by the Federation’s four main subcommittees and by individual WIs.

Its main annual showcase is the WI marquee at the two summer agricultural shows.

Rowany Golf Club Limited
Rowany Golf Club Limited

Rowany Golf Club allows players to experience golf in a beautiful setting on the edge of Port Erin.

The club leases the land from Port Erin Commissioners and has a number of initiatives to improve the environment.

It is investing in new equipment, aeration and spraying devices to improve the condition of the course and the efficiency of its maintenance. A volunteer work party meets weekly to carry out improvements.

Sub-standard palm trees were felled, with advice from DEFA, and replaced by indigenous trees and a planting project continues, to add more trees. Use of different fertilisers is being tested to reduce their environmental impact.

The club offers golf in many formats to encourage as many people as possible to enjoy the healthy pursuit.

Discounted rates encourage use of the course by children, students and apprentices, the over-80s, those who do not wish to compete or hold a handicap, those who wish to play only nine-hole competitions, those belong to other local clubs, too, and those who live overseas.

The club places strong emphasis on encouraging young people to take up golf. It has an annual campaign to attract schoolchildren, junior nights, prizes for juniors in many competitions and coaching by professionals for juniors showing talent. In 2018, during Rowany’s Week of Golf, the Junior Port Erin Town Cup will be resurrected.

The 123-year-old club is at the heart of, and welcomes the whole community, hosting events, awarding prizes redeemable at local businesses and offering a social membership, through which non-players can enjoy use of the facilities and discounted food and drink.

It encourages golf tourism, with competitive rates for visitors, discounts for larger parties, extra buggies and trollies and shotgun starts for visiting societies.

It shortly hopes to support an Isle of Man Creamery recycling initiative and is investigating housing beehives at the course.


Knockaloe internment camp in Patrick housed some 23,000 ‘enemy aliens’ in its 23 compounds at any one time during World War One and has a significant place in the Island’s history.
Joseph Pilates developed his world famous method of fitness while working in the camp hospital; Archibald Knox was a parcel censor at the camp and it is believed that Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed furniture that was built by internees.
Knockaloe.im is a registered charity, established by the Patrick community, that is using the former village schoolrooms to develop an online visitor centre, app and web-based archive for the Knockaloe Internment Camp.
The former schoolrooms are being developed into a permanent exhibition centre.
The centre will add to the Island’s tourism proposition, welcoming and educating people from all over the world who are interested in the history of Knockaloe and in coming to the Island to see where their relatives were interned. It will provide a learning base for local schoolchildren.
The last surviving gathering point for the whole of Patrick, the schoolroom will also be an important venue for community and cultural events.

The Cook Shack
The Cook Shack

The Cook Shack in Bride is a cookery school that promotes the story of Isle of Man food and drink, local produce and the beauty of the Island.

The business works with farmers to feature their produce to new audiences and users of The Cook Shack are also educated about the local area when visiting for courses.

The Cook Shack teaches cookery skills to children, including those in learning support units, and charities. It works closely with the Skills for Independent Living Scheme (SKILS) and will host a day in July when the SKILS clients can learn to cook in a pressure-free environment.

The Cook Shack also delivers talks to young people on entrepreneurship and pursuing their dreams.

It is sponsored by famous food names Kenwood , Aga and Miele and works with UK media to promote the Island.

The Cook Shack was built sustainably, with cedar sidings that blend into the environment. Its operators have planted more than 100 trees on the site.

The vast majority of The Cook Shack’s waste is recycled or composted, plastics use is kept to a minimum and plastic straws are banned. Despite its high number of clients, The Cook Shack and the owners’ house have just one traditional refuse bin for the fortnightly collection.

Western Civic Amenity Site Board
Western Civil Amenity Site Board

The Western Civic Amenity Site Board runs the public amenity site in St John’s on behalf of five local authorities: German, Marown, Patrick, Peel and Michael.
The site encourages the public to ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’.
Recycling of items deposited at the site has increased over each of the last eight years. In 2017/18, 71.46% of the waste processed at the site was then recycled and reused.
The site supports events and saves unwanted items for charities and groups it knows will upcycle or reconfigure them and get good use out of them.
The site is purchasing electric vehicles: one replacing a diesel vehicle and another for use in conjunction with primary schools, to increase plastic recycling, as plastic cannot be deposited in all the Island’s bring banks.
The site has also adopted a green energy initiative and has changed all lighting to LED and has installed solar panels and a solar thermal hot water system with night-time storage heaters. Since its installation at the end of January 2018, the system has produced more than 700kWh of electricity (April 2018).
The site is also providing materials to build the temporary Year of Our Island garden being built in St John’s.

Pilates Isle of Man
Pilates Isle of Man

Pilates Isle of Man is located in Peel – close to where Joseph Pilates famously developed his method of exercise while at Knockaloe internment camp during World War I.
Lizzy Main, the studio’s owner, not only teaches Pilates’ method but, via workshops, talks and school visits, talks about his time on the Island, linking it back to exercise.
She maintains links with internment site by working with Knockaloe.im for projects such as outdoor event Pilates 1020.
The studio, in the old Viking longhouse building, is also a community hub, used as art venue by Creative Art Network, individual artists to showcase their work and other practitioners.
The studio promotes physical and mental health and wellbeing, alleviating the burden on health services. It delivers recognised programmes for clients with cancer and neurological conditions.
It also supports with charities including Isle of Man Breast Care, the MS Society Isle of Man and UK and Sailing for the Disabled.
Environmentally, it employs steam cleaning to cut chemical usage; has only reusable cups; uses LED lighting and low energy rated heating and alleviates the need for air conditioning by opening windows – encouraging people to breathe fresh air!

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Sign up to the UNESCO Biosphere ISLE OF MAN pledge

UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man is open to everyone. You are welcome to be involved, providing you support the principles outlined in The Biosphere Isle of Man Pledge. This is the pledge that our partners have signed up to. Encapsulating the aims of the project, this is the Pledge that all our partners sign up to.

If you are interested in being involved as a business, you’ll find more information about the benefits of being a partner and how it all works in the Project Partners Guidelines for Businesses and also for Schools, Community Groups and Charities.

To apply to become a Partner and Supporter of UBIOM, please fill in this application form, and help us to tell others what you are so proud of, and keep us updated about how you will get even better.

Download the UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man Pledge