National Biodiversity Network

Last updated

The National Biodiversity Network (UK) (NBN) is a collaborative venture set up in 2000 in the United Kingdom [1] committed to making biodiversity information available through various media, including on the internet via the NBN Atlas—the data search website of the NBN. [2]



It is estimated that up to 60,000 people routinely record biodiversity information in the UK and Ireland. Most of this effort is voluntary and is organised through about 2,000 national societies and recording schemes. The UK government through its agencies also collects biodiversity data and one of the principal elements for the collation and interpretation of this data is the network of Local Environmental Records Centres. [3]

In 2012, it had been listed in the top 1,000 UK charities that raised most donations. [4]

NBN Trust

The NBN Trust [1] —the organisation facilitating the building of the Network—supports agreed standards for the collection, collation and exchange of biodiversity data and encourages improved access. The present partnership consists of over 200 public and voluntary organisations and individual members.

The NBN Atlas currently holds over 230 million species records from over 900 different datasets (September 2020). [2] Data on the NBN Atlas can be accessed by anyone interested in UK, Northern Ireland and Isle of Man wildlife and can be searched at many different levels, as it allows the viewing of distribution maps and the downloading of data by using a variety of interactive tools. The maps can be customised by date range and can show changes in a species’ distribution.

The organisation believes that, by providing tools to make wildlife data accessible in a digitised and exchangeable form and by providing easy access to the information people need, wise and informed decisions can be made to ensure the natural environment is protected now and for future generations.

In April 2017 the NBN Atlas replaced the NBN Gateway.


The National Biodiversity Network Trust employs a team to facilitate and co-ordinate its growth and development and is referred to as the 'Secretariat'. The NBN Trust is a registered charity. [5]

See also

Related Research Articles

The Wildlife Trusts Wildlife and nature charity in United Kingdom

The Wildlife Trusts, the trading name of the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, is an organisation made up of 46 local Wildlife Trusts in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and Alderney. The Wildlife Trusts, between them, look after more than 2,300 nature reserves, covering around 98,500 hectares. As of 2020, the Trusts have a combined membership of over 870,000 members.

Woodland Trust Woodland conservation charity in the UK

The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the United Kingdom and is concerned with the creation, protection, and restoration of native woodland heritage. It has planted over 50 million trees since 1972.

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is a conservation charity based in Devizes, England which owns and manages 40 nature reserves in Wiltshire and Swindon. It also works to encourage Wiltshire's communities to live sustainable lifestyles that protect the environment.

The Avon Wildlife Trust aims to protect and promote wildlife in the area of the former county of Avon — now Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, in England. It has its headquarters in Bristol and runs wildlife centres at Folly Farm, Somerset and Feed Bristol, Frenchay, North Bristol.

The Biological Records Centre (BRC) established in 1964, is a national focus in the UK for terrestrial and fresh water species recording.

NatureServe Non-profit organization

NatureServe, Inc. is a non-profit organization based in Arlington County, Virginia, US that provides proprietary wildlife conservation-related data, tools, and services to private and government clients, partner organizations, and the public. NatureServe reports being "headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, with regional offices in four U.S. locations and in Canada." In calendar year 2011 they reported having 86 employees, 6 volunteers, and 15 independent officers.

Global Biodiversity Information Facility Aggregator of scientific data on biodiversity; data portal

The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) is an international organisation that focuses on making scientific data on biodiversity available via the Internet using web services. The data are provided by many institutions from around the world; GBIF's information architecture makes these data accessible and searchable through a single portal. Data available through the GBIF portal are primarily distribution data on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes for the world, and scientific names data.

The UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) is a collaboration centre of UN Environment Programme, based in Cambridge in the United Kingdom. UNEP-WCMC has been part of UN Environment Programme since 2000, and has responsibility for biodiversity assessment and support to policy development and implementation. The World Conservation Monitoring Centre was previously an independent organisation jointly managed by IUCN, UN Environment Programme and WWF established in 1988. Prior to that, the Centre was a part of the IUCN Secretariat.

Tech Trust is a UK-based charity and social enterprise that aims to help other charities and not-for-profit organisations increase their impact through more effective use of Information Technology.

Carers Trust

The Carers Trust is a charity in the United Kingdom which supports carers. It works with a network of partner organisations to help carers with the challenges of their caring roles.

The Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) is a registered British charity dedicated to the conservation of bats and their habitats in the UK. BCT was founded in 1991 and is the only national organisation solely devoted to bats. Its vision is a world where bats and people live in harmony. BCT currently has a membership of around 5,600, including individuals, families, teachers and youth workers and corporate businesses.

rECOrd (Local Biological Records Centre)

rECOrd is a Local Biological Records Centre (LRC) serving Cheshire, Halton, Warrington and Wirral - 'The Cheshire region'. It provides a local facility for the storage, validation and usage of Cheshire-based biological data under the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) project. It is one of a number of local Biological Records Centres across Britain which together aim to give complete geographic coverage of the UK.

Wildlife and Countryside Link (Link) brings together voluntary organisations in the UK to protect and enhance wildlife, landscape and the marine environment and to further the quiet enjoyment and appreciation of the countryside. Link currently has 49 members who collectively employ 9,600 full-time staff, have the help of 170,000 volunteers and the support of over 8 million people in the UK. Members are united by their common interest in the conservation and enjoyment of the natural and historic environment.

World Database on Protected Areas

The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) is the largest assembly of data on the world's terrestrial and marine protected areas, containing more than 260,000 protected areas as of August 2020, with records covering 245 countries and territories throughout the world. The WDPA is a joint venture between the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre and the International Union for Conservation of Nature World Commission on Protected Areas.

Greenspace Information for Greater London (GiGL) is the environmental record centre for Greater London. It collates information about wildlife, parks, nature reserves, gardens and other open spaces, and makes it available to partner organisations and environmental consultants through its website. Public access to the website is restricted to information not considered sensitive. GiGL works with over 50 partner organisations in London.

Biological recording is the scientific study of the distribution of living organisms, biological records describe the presence, abundance, associations and changes, both in time and space, of wildlife. There has been a long tradition of biological recording in the United Kingdom dating back to John Ray (1627–1705), Robert Plot (1640–1696) and their contemporaries.

Franklyn Hugh Perring PhD, OBE was a British naturalist, regarded as "one of the most influential botanists and nature conservationists of the 20th century".

Marsh Christian Trust is a national charity in the United Kingdom, based in London. It was founded in 1981 and is a registered charity under English law.

<i>Orobanche reticulata</i> Species of flowering plant

Orobanche reticulata is a species of broomrape known by the common name thistle broomrape. It is a parasitic plant whose host is normally the creeping thistle. It is native to the lowlands of Western Europe and Central Asia, but in the United Kingdom it is a rare and protected plant, growing only in Yorkshire, on grassland sites such as Quarry Moor.

Ocean Biodiversity Information System Online marine biology database

The Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS), formerly Ocean Biogeographic Information System, is a web-based access point to information about the distribution and abundance of living species in the ocean. It was developed as the information management component of the ten year Census of Marine Life (CoML) (2001-2010), but is not limited to CoML-derived data, and aims to provide an integrated view of all marine biodiversity data that may be made available to it on an open access basis by respective data custodians. According to its web site as at July 2018, OBIS "is a global open-access data and information clearing-house on marine biodiversity for science, conservation and sustainable development." 8 specific objectives are listed in the OBIS site, of which the leading item is to "Provide [the] world's largest scientific knowledge base on the diversity, distribution and abundance of all marine organisms in an integrated and standardized format".


  1. 1 2 "". 2013-06-26. Retrieved 2013-07-08.
  2. 1 2 "NBN Atlas - UK's largest collection of biodiversity information". NBN Atlas. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  3. "NFBR LRCs Contact Database". Archived from the original on 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2013-07-08.
  4. "Britain's top 1,000 charities ranked by donations. Who raises the most money?". the Guardian. 2012-04-24. Retrieved 2019-02-12.
  5. "Charity Details". Retrieved 2018-06-27.