Agriculture and Lands Directorate
The Agriculture and Lands Directorate includes the following divisions:
The Agriculture team works in partnership with the agricultural and aquaculture industries to try to achieve a reliable and self-reliant Manx food chain and international trading opportunities. The Directorate provides advice, guidance and support to the agricultural industry to assist Manx agriculture to evolve.
Curraghs Wildlife Park
The Curraghs Wildlife Park is the Isle of Man’s only zoo. Built at the edge of Ballaugh Curragh which is a site of scientific interest (RAMSAR site) it attracts visitor from across the Island and is a popular destination for tourists.
The Park is a committed member of the zoological organisations BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria) and EAZA the European Association. One of the key aims of these organisations is conservation breeding which is organized Europe wide. Whilst specialising in wetland animals, it is home to endangered species, large cats, birds of prey, primates and family favourites such as Meerkats and Prairie Dogs.
Local Food Development
Local food production is a strategically important industry to the Isle of Man, contributing around £110m to the economy and providing many jobs in a variety of sectors from farming to catering, manufacture to merchants.
Forestry and Amenity
The forest, woodland and amenity estate measures approximately 3,050 hectares (7,530 acres). The Forestry, Amenity and Lands Division within the Agriculture and Lands Directorate is responsible for the sustainable management of the estate, which in addition aims to promote recreation, biodiversity and carbon sequestration.
Access and Recreation
The Access and Recreation team is responsible for recreational developments and promoting responsible public access on the Directorate’s extensive land holding.
With 18 National Glens, numerous plantations and 8,000 hectares hill land open to public ramblage, there are considerable opportunities to explore and enjoy the outdoors.
The team also deals with more than 200 sporting and other event applications received each year.
Isle of Man Sawmill
The Isle of Man Sawmill processes sustainably grown timber from the Forestry, Amenity and Lands Division’s estate. We produce a wide range of timber products including agricultural fencing posts, boards and rails, firewood plus a range of high quality joinery products. Our timber preserving pressure treatment process ensures increased longevity of our products.
The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) has the responsibility for the implementation of Plant Health Legislation (agricultural and horticultural crops, plants in parks and gardens, forestry and the natural environment) in the Isle of Man.
Hill and Uplands
The Forestry, Amenity and Lands Directorate manages approximately 8,000 hectares (20,000 acres) of hill lands. Our hills are a multifunctional landscape dominated by largely uncultivated semi-natural habitats that require sensitive management to deliver their many uses in a manner sustainable for future generations. The uplands provide essential functions referred to as ‘ecosystem services’ such as the provision of drinking water, flood regulation and carbon storage.
The removal and pruning of trees is regulated on the Isle of Man through the Tree Preservation Act. DEFA’s arboricultural officers also act as consultees to the planning process for any planning applications involving trees.