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Environmental Code for Land Used for Motorised Events

The use of land, both in public and private ownership, to hold motorised events, has a long history in the Isle of Man. The purpose of this Code is to provide guidance to those involved in off-road motorsport as to activities which can be seen as ‘sustainable’ and not result in unacceptable levels of environmental damage or disturbance. Activities which are seen as sustainable are those which provide for the needs of the present generation, but which do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs. 

Although the majority of off-road motorsport involves motorcycles, this Code is provided to cover all motorised access including 4 x 4 vehicles.

It is in the interests of landowners, participants in events, and the public at large, that sites used for organised events are managed in such a way as to minimise environmental impact.

The adoption of the Code by the main motorised sport clubs and associations on the Island is a recognition that the environmental factors involved are appreciated and their importance accepted. Following the Code will minimise the risk of the Wildlife Act or the Inland Fisheries Act being broken.

Also, the Department, clubs and associations support the concept of carbon neutral events and are working together on ideas to achieve this.

Organised Events Procedures

Whenever an organised event is proposed the organisers will carry out the following procedures:- 

Prior to Event

Consult with the landowner and/or tenant at an early date. Where DEFA land is involved, complete and submit an application form a minimum of 4 weeks before the event and, if applicable, seek approval from the tenant prior to approaching the Department. 

All route reconnaissance requiring vehicular access and any route clearing work to be agreed with DEFA. High visibility jackets to be worn at these times.

Where events involve the use of land adjacent to private households, event organisers should notify the occupiers of the event to minimise any inconvenience. Where events involve use of the Public Rights of Way network, event organisers should contact the Highways Division of the Department of Infrastructure.

On the Day

Signs indicating that an event is in progress to be erected at the main entry points on the day of the event. 

Organisers to ensure that an adequate number of marshals are available to patrol all main access points around the route.

Adequate provision to be made for handling any accidental spillage of fuel/oil. This is especially important adjacent to watercourses. 

Insist riders/drivers keep to an agreed course and spectators keep clear of sensitive areas. 

Ensure all vehicles not taking part are parked sensibly and are not causing obstruction to the highway or damaging soft verges. Encourage car sharing to minimise the number of vehicles on site.

Where DEFA land is involved, consultations to take place between Forestry Directorate and Inland Fisheries section. For privately-owned land, organisers are strongly advised to contact these sections directly. This consultation should identify sensitive areas and potential hazards. 

A map detailing the intended course to be submitted together with the completed application form.

Where DEFA land is involved, a notice(s) to be erected on site 7 days prior to the event advising the public of the event, to include specified date and organiser’s contact number.

Prior to the event, the course to be marked out on site using ‘tiger tape’ or similar at main junctions to ensure the route is clearly defined for participants. Any known hazards to be identified and demarcated, together with any sensitive areas.

Where a watercourse or drainage ditch previously identified as being of a sensitive nature is to be crossed, provide temporary crossing points (use pallets or double-walled plastic pipe). Plan routes to minimise the crossing of such watercourses. Avoid using areas where Japanese Knotweed grows (For further advice contact Freshwater Fisheries). If events are to take place in known public water supply catchment areas, the event organisers must contact the Isle of Man Water Authority.

After the event

Carry out a full reconnaissance of the course and remove ALL marker tape, signs and litter. Any damage to gates, walls, fences etc. to be reported to the landowners. Litter removal to be completed within 48 hours or as soon as practically possible. 

Contact the landowners when the site has been tidied to discuss any outstanding problems, including the repair of any land damaged during the event. 

Assess the overall impact of the event and make recommendations for future events.

For further advice regarding event planning please contact the Event Safety Advisory Group, +44 1624 685881.

Informal Access & Recreational Use

The Environmental Code is not intended to provide advice on recreational driving and riding on the Island. Much of this is covered in the Green Lane User Code, copies of which can be obtained from the Forestry Directorate, +44 1624 685835, the Highways Division, +44 1624 686665.

Contact for more information

Hills, Forests and Glens

Thie Slieau Whallian

Foxdale Road

St John's

Isle of Man


Telephone:+44 1624 685835

Email:Send Email

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