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.


Manx Wild Bird Aid
Manx Wild Bird Aid

Manx Wild Bird Aid is an Isle of Man charity that looks after sick, orphaned and injured birds.

The charity is staffed entirely by volunteers who have a passion for birds and come from all over the Island.

They collect injured birds and take them to volunteers who offer rehabilitation or to veterinary surgeons.

The charity gives presentations to groups across the community on how pollution in our environment can affect wildlife.

As an organisation, it is keen to limit its own impact on the environment. Much of its equipment is reusable and it tries to minimise the use of medications such as antibiotics.

Manx Wild Bird Aid also captures it work through videos and imagery, shared on social media, demonstrating to a wide audience what is happening in the Isle of Man and encouraging others to set up similar organisations.

Ballafayle Limited

Ballafayle Limited is a Manx farm situated in the Northeast of the Island. The farm aims be as sustainable as possible, with both resource use and environmental protection in mind. The farm applies minimal lime and fertilizer to their land to sustain their soils fertility; they use natural water sources for their livestock when feasible and are conscious to maintain their natural carbon sinks. The farm is Red Tractor Assured.

At the head of the Cornaa valley the farm has an extensive array of traditional Manx stone sheep handling pens, including a stone shed.

Ballafayle Farm is also passionate about protecting the natural resources and rich cultural heritage around the island. Ballafayle work closely with Charites such as Beach Buddies and the Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch, to keep our coastlines clean and promote the marine life around our coastlines. Ballafayle also support the following initiatives on their land: Hang-Gliders, Mountain Marathon, Manx Ornithology, Woodland Maintenance, Search & Rescue Dogs, Venture Centre Activities, Tholton Register.

Manx Geological Survey
Manx Geological Survey

The Manx Geological Survey is a charity that encourages public interest in geology by promoting research and education.

The charity is building a database of geological and geophysical data on the Isle of Man’s rocks, soil and natural resources, onshore and offshore.

The data will assist anyone carrying out land management programmes and planning projects that impact on the natural environment.

Using maps, animations and information, the charity’s interactive website engages visitors about the Island’s geological development.

The charity hosts events and conducts school visits and public talks.

It is investigating the feasibility of running a postgraduate training course on Global Energy, at University College Isle of Man, covering future power generation, use and storage.

It’s intended to make resulting data publicly available to inform decision-making and demonstrate that the Isle of Man embraces new ideas and encourages new technologies.

Subject to securing funding, the charity also hopes to develop educational materials for primary schools, develop geological trails to encourage people to learn about how the Island is formed and produce more educational animations and videos.

Its Partnership with UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man will add a ‘Geosphere’ element to the project.

3 Pieces of Plastic

3 Pieces of Plastic was set up to encourage people to pick up 3 pieces of plastic every day, whether it is on a beach, in the countryside or simply on the street.

The initiative not only encourages people to pick up litter, but also to stop littering in the first place. 3 Pieces of Plastic hopes to inspire people to look after the Island and to remember that every little effort counts towards improving our environment.

3 Pieces of Plastic encourages people to post photos of their activities on the group’s social media page to help spread the word and inspire more people to join the initiative. The organisation have also worked closely with groups such as Beach Buddies and A Life Less Plastic on campaigns such as the 3 week ‘3POP’ event that asked participants to pick up 3 pieces of litter every day for 3 weeks and culminated in a 3 Beach Cleans with Beach Buddies. The organisation also works with schools and at other events, for example this year 3 Pieces of Plastic will supply plastic and other waste stations around the Parish Walk.

Smeale Farm Cottages

Smeale Farm Cottages nestle into the beautiful countryside in the north of the Isle of Man. The holiday cottages are located on a sheep and cereals farm where farming practices are chosen to protect wildlife alongside commercial farming. The on-farm nature conservation area covers 7 acres, and links with the Ayres National Nature Reserve to provide a wildlife corridor stretching inland.

The Martin family strive to make the farm cottages as environmentally friendly as possible, by providing firewood from the farm nature reserve which is a sustainable source, using energy efficient light bulbs, providing recycling opportunities and air drying laundry. The cottages are also furnished with beautiful vintage wooden furniture to enhance the cottages and reduce use of new resources. The single storey cottage is wheelchair accessible.

The farm promotes the island’s cultural heritage through farm tours, which cover over 500 years of family history on the one farm. The farm buildings have retained original features such as the wattle canopy and ziggurat style fireplaces, the Georgian farmhouse (known as the new farmhouse), the horse walk and the remains of a beggars’ house for itinerant workers. The family have an interesting heritage textiles collection available too.

When the family are moving sheep, they collect any litter they see along public roads and hedges. The farm provides lots of apples to the Apple Orphanage, a community business, in return for juice.


ChefWorld are a small team based on the Isle of Man that provide relief chef cover, restaurant start-ups, kitchen design and pop up events.

The company strive to be as environmentally friendly as possible by committing to use locally sourced ingredients when possible, or ingredients with low air miles. They also recycle all the packaging they can and ensure no single use plastics, such as plastic bags, are used when purchasing ingredients. Chefworld also have a small fleet of electric vehicles to try and further reduce their carbon footprint.

Chefworld enjoys engaging the local community, building lasting relationships with local producers including fishermen, butchers and green grocers. In addition the company endeavour to interact with the local community through social media, promoting local produce and the products they make, with the aim of building this platform more in the future.

Guild of Manx Registered Tour Guides

The Guild of Manx Registered Tour guides take pride in growing tourism on the island, whilst ensuring visitors enjoy and respect the island and its outstanding living landscape and seascape. Supporting and promoting the islands unique features and its rich cultural heritage is at the heart of the guilds ethos when promoting the island to tourists, local groups and individuals. Through active involvement with UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man, the guild’s aim to promote, explain, protect and deliver the experience of our Biosphere to all.

Dark Horse Music Limited

Dark Horse Music Limited holds an annual music and arts festival that culminates over a three day period in July. The festival promotes Isle of Man talent, alongside UK artists and performers. Dark Horse Festival involves five stages of live music and performances, and includes acts as diverse as poetry, circus workshops, dance troops, juggling workshops and fancy dress. In addition the festival hosts areas for local food vendors and arts and crafts activities for all ages.

In 2019 Dark Horse Festival will be working to reduce their use of plastic by offering people the option to buy cups that will be branded and reused. By doing this they hope to encourage their customers to keep the cups as a memento of the event and in turn reduce the amount of waste produced by the festival. The festival also want to engage people in arts projects that will encourage recycling and help remove plastic bottles and bottle tops from the site.

Dark Horse Music Limited is also a strong supporter of the charity ‘Sound Check’ and provides a stage for the group at the festival in addition to donating a portion of the festivals profits to the charity. The company also organise events outside of the festival that incorporates Sound Check to help provide a platform for performers all over 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.

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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