Commercial Data Requests

Biodiversity and farming

Your stewardship package may include conserving habitats, habitat restoration, woodland creation and management, providing year-round food and shelter for pollinators, birds and other wildlife or keeping the character of the local area. Each scheme will be scored against criteria including local priorities, to help maximise environmental benefit. The data available from DERC will help in choosing appropriate priorities for your application. DERC data can help provide evidence for protected species and habitats in your area. To request data please download and complete the Countryside Stewardship Enquiry Form and email to DERC.


Biodiversity and planning

You can find out more about biodiversity and planning in Dorset on the website. In order to comply with all relevant government legislation on biodiversity a Biodiversity Appraisal scheme has been set up for the county. This link provides further links to the Biodiversity Appraisal Scheme, Biodiversity Plan (BP), advice notes and guidance sheets.

The Dorset Biodiversity Appraisal Protocol (General Guidance for Consultants (2020)) follows CIEEM guidelines and advises developers or their agents to contact DERC to obtain existing wildlife records for the site and its environs (section 7). A summary of the data should be included in the ecological report with a discussion of the results.

The British Standard (BS42020) released in 2013 also provides guidance on what information consultants should request from a Local environmental Records Centre (LERC), i.e. species and habitat information to inform desk studies and future fieldwork and assessment (paragraph 6.4.2).

There are several reasons to include data from DERC as part of a BP or EIA:

  • To avoid disturbance to known roosts and other wildlife features
  • To highlight species likely to occur on site and to help plan survey work
  • To give context to the development and aid the interpretation of survey data
  • To encourage appropriate mitigation and enhancement
  • To mitigate against the cumulative impact of development

Consultants are not expected to include long, un-interpreted species lists from LERCs in their reports, only the main findings and conclusions.

BS42020 goes further in encouraging survey data to be made available to the LERCs at the time that the ecological report enters the public realm unless there is an explicit contractual restriction on such data release (paragraph 6.4.7). Since 2014 DERC has extracted data from ecological reports submitted to Dorset Council (formerly DCC) with a Biodiversity Mitigation Plan/Biodiversity Plan. The species data extracted from the reports is helping to provide better information about protected species in Dorset allowing DERC to provide a better response to future data requests.

If you would rather compile and submit your own records, please let DERC know. You can submit your records via Living Record or as an Excel spreadsheet (see example format on our website). If you require any further advice on how to submit your data, please contact the Records Centre Manager.

For those protected species which require a licence, the licensee is required to submit records collected under the terms of the licence to the LERC.


Data requests

For most Biodiversity Plans a consultant is expected to request data within a 1 km or 2 km search radius depending upon the size of the development. A property search is only appropriate for minor alterations to a single property. A larger search radius or additional data may be required for a larger development or EIA (General Guidance for Consultants (2020) section 7).

To request a datasearch please download and complete the enquiry form (PDF) or enquiry form (Word)(revised version February 2020) and return it to us by email or post.

If your enquiry crosses the Dorset boundary, you may need to contact one of our neighbouring Records Centres in the South-west via the South West LRC portal Other LERC contact details can be found via the ALERC website

Charges for data requests

The costs will vary depending upon the information requested and how much data is available. Costs reflect the time taken to manage, extract and provide the information. Most requests from consultants cost £120 – £340 + VAT. If no data is found there will be no charge.

The process is shown below:

Dorset habitats Site map
Site map Site map
Site map

DERC Surveys and Reports

Our Ecologist, Bryan Edwards, is an experienced surveyor who has been working in Dorset since 1991. Bryan has undertaken detailed habitat and species surveys for a wide variety of clients, both within and outside of Dorset including Dorset County Council, Dorset Wildlife Trust, English Nature, National Trust and Plantlife. Habitat surveys include basic Phase I vegetation surveys and full National Vegetation Classification (NVC) surveys. Surveys of lichens and bryophytes have included both site surveys and individual species surveys.

Examples of some recent survey reports are shown opposite (click for full versions).

DERC has contributed to many Dorset projects, collating and analysing data and producing maps and GIS datasets. These include the Dorset Biodiversity Audit and Natural Value: The State of Dorset’s Environment. Both can be accessed through the Dorset Wildlife Trust website.

If you have a project for DERC, contact the Records Centre Manager for a quote.

2013 Townsend Lichen & Bryophyte Survey 2014 Corfe Castle Lichen Survey