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 Mann Tours
Visit Mann Tours

Visit Mann Tours is an Isle of Man business founded by John Shakespeare, who has been involved in promoting the Island for more than 30 years.

Working closely with Government agencies, Visit Mann Tours organises visitor itineraries covering all aspects of our unique Island.

By sharing great local knowledge and a passion for every aspect of life here, we are able to demonstrate that the Isle of Man is a special place for people, nature and culture.

By helping our visitors to enjoy and celebrate our environment to the full, we aim to showcase the stunning land and seascape that make up the majority of the Island Biosphere.


Milntown is a historic country house, café and gardens in the north of the Isle of Man that is open to the public and popular with locals and visitors.

The estate is significant in that it formed part of the site of the Battle of Skye Hill in 1079.

The house is the former home of the Christian family, whose notable members included Fletcher Christian and Illiam Dhone, who was born on the estate.

The family has played a major part in Manx history since the 15th Century and Milntown is dedicated to researching and telling that story.

The house and estate are run by a trust established by Milntown’s most recent resident, the late Sir Clive Edwards.

The demands of maintaining a historic house and grounds mean that in addition to its staff, Milntown employs the specialist skills of local workmen and craftsmen, in support of the economy.

A team of volunteers is busy recording and archiving Milntown’s history. There are regular public tours of the house and schools and other groups are encouraged to use it for educational purposes.

Milntown’s beautiful grounds, operated on organic principles, draw many admiring visitors.

Work constantly goes on to regenerate the gardens and the surrounding woodlands to create a landscape of significant horticultural interest.

The 15 acres of grounds are home to an extensive collection of local and exotic trees and plants and shrubs developed from cuttings and seeds.

The result is a habitat for birds, including wildfowl, butterflies and insects and breeding hedgehogs.

The grounds host community and educational events and private functions and feature work by local artists.

The popular café at Milntown uses local produce as much as possible, including that from its own gardens.

Milntown also offers year-round visitor accommodation in three self-catering apartments.


Balladarree in Jurby, Isle of Man, demonstrates permaculture and methods of sustainable, low-impact, living.

There is a Manx native oak tree preservation project, fruit and nut trees and a forest garden. There are also chickens and pet sheep.

Complementing it are yurts, a turfed-roof cabin, a gypsy caravan, solar power, green woodworking and a compost toilet.

Balladarree strives to have a neutral carbon footprint.

It is open by appointment, during school holidays and at weekends and welcomes school visits.

Go-Mann Adventures
Go-Mann Adventures

Go-Mann Adventures offers guided tours and hill walks and hill skills and navigation training in the Isle of Man.

It encourages use of the Manx countryside for enjoyment with no negative environmental impact, working on the ‘leave no trace’ principle.

The business ensures no litter is ever left on its tours and removes paper, cans and plastics that it does find, tidying up the countryside.

Its tours and training encompass education about the Island’s culture and heritage that participants may otherwise miss out on learning about. Respects for the Island’s heritage is at the core of the business.

Where possible, clients are encouraged to get to and from tours and training via public transport. Where this is not possible, clients are encouraged to share cars, park responsibly etc.

Go-Mann Adventures tells clients about the Island’s UNESCO Biosphere status and, as a partner, will incorporate it into its marketing.

Isle of Man Arts Council
Isle of Man Arts Council

The Isle of Man Arts Council exists to promote the Island’s cultural identity and encourage enjoyment of, and participation in, the arts.

A sponsored body of the Department of Education, Sport and Culture, it offers grants, sponsorship and underwriting to a wide variety of individuals, schools, groups and venues across the community.

With Culture Vannin, it delivers the National Development Strategy for Culture and the Arts.

The Arts Council supports events and organisations that help boost visitor numbers and contribute to a sustainable economy (for example, Dark Skies events).

It supports projects that showcase and educate people about the Island’s beautiful landscape and environment, such as music, photography and outdoor art.

It organised the Island of Culture 2014 celebration, which has a lasting legacy for arts and culture, and works closely with Year of Our Island 2018.

Doing their bit for the environment, Arts Council staff avoid unnecessary travel and car share, when possible. They endeavour to use email, rather than paper, recycle their waste and are joining in with the Isle of Man Government’s strategy to eradicate single use plastics.

Erin Arts Centre
Erin Arts Centre

The Erin Arts Centre in Port Erin is a long established, multi-purpose, arts centre and home to a variety of music and drama performances and art and related exhibitions and groups.

A hub of the community in Port Erin, it brings world leading performers to local audiences and promotes local arts and culture to new and wide audiences.

The centre relies heavily on the support of its volunteers, who benefit from playing a part in their community.

It is focusing on more effectively managing the old building's energy requirements and avoids use of paper where possible, reusing any waste paper for note-taking.

The centre actively supports the local commissioners and traders association through local events.

Manx Music Festival
Manx Competitive Music, Speech and Dance Festival

The Manx Competitive Music, Speech and Dance Festival is the charity that organises the Manx Music Festival, known to many as The Guild.

The Island’s oldest major event, the much loved festival began in 1892 and has run for 126 unbroken years, continuing even during the two World Wars, and is an important part of the Island’s culture and heritage.

More than 40 hard-working volunteers run the festival and 4,600 competitors of all ages take part.

It attracts entries and nurtures talent from across the community.

In 2018, some 215 classes took place over nine days of competition at the Villa Marina and St Thomas’s Church.

Classes include music (folk, operatic, oratorio, choir, popular and rock music for voice and woodwind, string, organ, keyboard and percussion for instruments), drama (poetry, character study, public speaking, Bible reading and choral speaking) and dance (modern, tap, ballet, national and character dance).

Manx features strongly, with classes for dialect, Gaelic and dancing and a T. E. Brown class ensuring the work of the Island’s national poet is heard.

The event offers scholarships to participants to study at acclaimed music, drama and dance schools.

It organises offshoot events such as workshops, concerts and recitals featuring internationally recognised performer and adjudicators.

It works with partners across the community.

Colas (IOM) Ltd
Colas (IOM) Ltd

Colas (IoM) Ltd is a civil engineering, construction, waste management and quarrying company based at Billown quarry on the Isle of Man. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Colas SA, which is based in France and is part of the international Bouygues group of companies.

Colas (IoM) has been operating on the Island since 1963. As part of Colas long established activities, the group has two operational quarries, Billown and Earystane Billown, producing various grades limestone aggregates, Armour stone, Gabion Stone, Type 1 Single sized aggregates 6,10,20 & 40mm and walling and facing stone.

Colas also has the Island's only private asphalt plant, which produces asphalt for the local construction industry and private commercial market.

The Billown site has many previous excavation areas some are restored through natural regeneration and others by turning them over to other industrial use.

An example of a site where nature has been being encouraged is Rose Hill quarry, which was left to regenerate, with minor clearance works, carried out by Manx Wildlife Trust (MWT) and Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture. This summer, bee orchids have grown there for the first time since around 1990.

Colas Group is committed to carrying out environmental initiatives and is planting trees on its current site with the assistance of the MWT, and it is a MWT corporate member.

The Group has always supported young people, participating in Junior Achievement, the STEP programme and offering work experience.

It is generous to the local community, offering products, support and raffle prizes to charities and good causes. The company is a supporter of Beach Buddies and its employees regularly assisted this project.

The company operates its Isle of Man facilities to UK best practice standards and is accredited for ISO 14,001, an environmental management standard.

It has undertaken fuel and energy monitoring, saving, and efficiency programmes and monitors and records all water and waste material discharges from its site.

The company is a bronze member of Investors in People.

Manx Basking Shark Watch logo
Manx Basking Shark Watch

MBSW is a registered charity working to understand and protect this endangered species and we would like your help. We conduct surveys from our boat the Happy Jack, however if you have seen a basking shark and can remember the location we would love to hear about it. Please report your sightings on our website on this link - http://www.manxbaskingsharkwatch.com/report.aspx

Isle of Man Beekeepers Federation
Isle of Man Beekeepers

• Promoting best practice in beekeeping
• Raising awareness of the vital importance of bees for pollination
• Helping to increase the native Manx black bee population
• Working to safeguard the Island's Varroa-free special status
• Supporting beekeepers in monitoring bees for disease
• Collaborating in international research for programmes in bee conservation

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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