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Farmers Guide

Grazing tenancies / leases

The department used to hold a register of all agricultural tenancy agreements and leases. Following the introduction of the 'Agricultural Tenancies Bill 2008' there is no longer a requirement to register the tenancy / lease with the department.

If you are entering into an agricultural tenancy or lease we advise that you consult a suitably qualified person.

The Agricultural Tenancies Bill 2008 is available.

General Information

Farm Text – If you would like to receive important information by text on the following: pest warnings, disease warnings, animal health alerts, notice of meetings & events, important deadline reminders and scheme information then please send your mobile number to: or telephone +44 1624 685844. 

Food Safety Unit – Provides regular Food Hygiene training courses to meet the requirements of the Food Hygiene Regulations 2007. Advice is also given on food product labelling. Please contact ehenquiries@gov.imor telephone +44 1624 685894

Guide to Isle of Man Food & Drink – This guide is updated every couple of years so if you would like to register your name to be included in the next Guide then please contact - or telephone +44 1624 685856. The Guide can be used to source local produce. 

Land Registry – The Land Registry aims to create and maintain an accurate and up-to-date record of interests in land and property, including details of ownership. More information can be found here or email: or telephone +44 1624 685249 

National Insurance incentives - In order to reduce the costs to employers of taking on additional employees, an employer can apply to the Assessor for exemption from having to pay the secondary National Insurance Contribution where certain conditions are met. The scheme will operate until 5 April 2015. Further details can be found on the Government website or telephone +44 1624 685400 or email:

Manx Gas - telephone +44 1624 644444 or email:

Manx Utilities (including Electricity and Water) - for information telephone +44 1624 687687 or email:

Meeting rooms

Knockaloe Classroom – Is available for meetings please telephone +44 1624 695701. There is a flat administrative charge of £30.



  • Agri-Food News - Newsletters are published twice a year – spring and autumn. Please send your email address to to receive your copy. 
  • Biodiversity Matters - This newsletter reports on DEFA’s biodiversity work and is issued annually in july.  Please contact or telephone +44 1624 695737



Planning permission- Is not required for the use of land which is not designated for development or for agricultural purposes but permission is required for building or engineering operations – for example any new buildings, external alterations to buildings, digging holes or changing levels. Planning advice may be available from Department of Infrastructure via the relevant e-mail address depending on the location of the site – either or and by considering further advice available on the department’s website. The Planning Office may be contacted by telephone on +44 1624 685950.


Plants and trees

Cushag- Following recent revisions to the Weeds Act 1957 a guidance note on the control of cushag/ragwort was compiled in conjunction with the Manx NFU, Manx Horse Council and Manx Wildlife Trust. 

Heath Burning- This code outlines the dates between which burning is not permitted and lots of useful advice on the best way to manage heathland. In particular the Code deals with protecting areas of Registered Heath and includes other methods and restrictions for heath and management in addition to burning. Read more

For more information please contact +44 1624 687304 or email 

Plants – Many plants are covered by import and export controls for endangered species, under the Endangered Species Act 2010. Permits may be required for movements to and from other countries, including the UK. Advice can be found by following this link. For further information please contact +44 1624 685835 or email:

Tree Protection, Felling and Health – For all enquiries regarding tree protection and felling licences, and also tree health and diseases (including Dutch elm disease, Phytophthora ramorum and ash dieback), contact the Forestry Amenity and Lands Directorate on +44 1624 801263 or email:

  • For further information on tree protection, information on the felling of trees and applications forms click here 
  • For additional information on Dutch elm disease on the Isle of Man click here


Government property available for rent:

The Isle of Man Food Park is a bespoke food production hub for the Island’s food Sector. DEFA have a number of plots available for development by food production companies. Please contact Colin MageeEstates Shared Services e-mail Telephone +44 1624  685862 for more information.

For information on food business development issues please contact Andrew Lees Food Business Development Manager e-mail telephone +44 1624  695735.

The Department of Economic Development - Owns a limited number of industrial properties which are rented out to businesses. For more information please contact or telephone +44 1624 687184 

The Department of Infrastructure - Also manages a number of industrial sites and may from time to time have available units. For more information contact or telephone +44 1624 686610.

Other Services and permits

Game Licences  - Licences for shooting game or dealing (selling) in game are required annually from DEFA. Game Order open season dates and application forms can be downloaded. For further information telephone +44 1624 801263 or email:

Government Laboratory - Provides a testing service for a range of agricultural materials.  In most instances, these services will incur a charge, please contact the Laboratory direct. We are situated at Old Nobles Hospital site at the end of Ballakermeen Road, Douglas. Telephone +44 1624 642250 or email:

Gun licences  - The Firearms Licensing Department of the Isle of Man Constabulary is responsible for all firearms licensing matters, including the vetting of applications, issue of certificates, and enforcement of firearms legislation. All farmers should be aware of restrictions on: Shooting game, shooting on Sundays, shooting close to roads, shooting wild geese, firearm security, insurance, dogs, night shooting of rabbits. For more information please email: or telephone +44 1624 631378 or click here.

Legal Searches - DEFA is able to provide legal searches in respect of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy ('BSE') burials, trees registered under the Tree Preservation Act 1993, Wildlife Act Designations, Protected Species and Management Agreements under the Wildlife Act 1990, Registered Heath under the Heath Burning and Destruction Act 2003, various Environment Directorate Notices and radioactive substances (caesium levels in soil). A legal search form can be obtained via email:, telephone +44 1624 685835 or downloading the Search Request Form.

Pest control - Environmental/Public Health Unit – If you have a rodent problem, the Pest Control Section provides a free service for public health pests i.e. rats, mice and cockroaches. DEFA also provides free rodent bait for those that have the necessary accreditation. For more information please contact: ehenquiries@gov.imor telephone +44 1624 685894. 

Pest control – Wildlife - licencing control of other wildlife in specific circumstances – advice is available if you have a problem with a bird not covered by the general licences. For more information please contact: or telephone +44 1624 685740. 


Agriculture, Environmental Conservation & Horticulture – The Isle of Man College in conjunction with the Department of Economic Development run Level 2 and 3 diploma qualifications in Work-Based Agriculture and Work-Based Environmental Conservation starting in October each year. The diplomas are one, two or three year part time courses for agricultural and environmental conservation apprentices.  For more information please contact Isle of Man College +44 1624 648200 or see website 

Horticultural courses – The Isle of Man College now offer full time Practical Horticulture Skills Diploma courses for school leavers. For more information please contact Isle of Man College +44 1624 648200 or see website 

Marketing courses – A subsidised marketing course designed for anyone running a business, including farmers and producers who may be thinking of diversifying their activities or who wish to gain a better understanding of marketing and of the help available to new and established businesses on the Island. These courses are usually held in March each year. For further information please contact –  or telephone +44 1624 685856 


Protection of Water - Some farm waste materials such as silage  effluent, waste milk and slurry can, if released into watercourses, seriously damage the environment as well as causing a health risk to the general public. The Isle of Man Water and Sewerage Authority's 'Code of Good Agricultural Practice for the Protection of Water' is available for download or email: or telephone +44 1624 695735. 

Watercourses - The Manx Watercourse Management Guide is a free information leaflet, which summarises the rights and responsibilities of riparian landowners, and provides a code of good practice and contact details for further advice and information. It can be downloaded here. Farmers wishing to apply for DEFA consent to remove material from riverbeds can also download a consent form from this page. For telephone enquiries call +44 1624 685857. 


Protected sites for nature conservation - If you are a landowner or manager of land that has been designated an Area of Special Scientific Interest ('ASSI') then certain activities require the consent of the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture ('DEFA') prior to the work commencing. For information about see designated sites  or contact Aline Thomas for advice telephone +44 1624 695737 or email

Protected species - Lists of protected species can be found in the Wildlife Act 1990 available on the Tynwald website. For advice on managing land with protected species contact +44 1624 695737. 

Wildlife Act - Management Agreements issued under Section 30 of the Wildlife Act 1990, are available for supporting appropriate land management practices on land with semi-natural habitats and native species. For further information please contact Aline Thomas telephone: +44 1624 695737 or email:

Wildlife Act - Pest control of protected species. The application form for this and for shooting in the Curraghs (Curraghs Acquisition Act) can be found on the information page. For further information telephone +44 1624 685835 or email:

Other contacts

CompanyTelephoneAddressWebsite & Email Address
Central Marts +44 1624 822372 Website:

Department of Environment Food and Agriculture 

+44 1624 685835



Thie Slieau Whallian, Foxdale Road, St Johns, Isle of Man IM4 3AS


Isle of Man Farmers’ Market - Sheila Gawne

+44 7624 454549


Isle of Man Food & Drink Festival – Audrey Fowler 

+44 1624 685856


Isle of Man Creamery 

+44 1624 632000 


Isle of Man Farming and Wildlife Group (FWAG) Paul Fletcher 

+44 7624 463032


Isle of Man Government 


Isle of Man Meats 

+44 1624 674346


Laxey Glen Mills 

+44 1624 861202


Manx NFU –Andrew Cooper

+44 1624 662204


Royal Manx Agricultural Show – Carol Kennaugh

+44 1624 801850 


Southern District Agricultural Show – Sarah Comish 

+44 7624 494497



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