NBIS – Terms & Conditions
Terms & Conditions

Users of NBIS data are bound by the following terms and conditions:

The user agrees
1) To use and make copies of the data only for the purpose(s) stated on your submitted enquiry form
2) To not pass any raw data received on to any third parties, unless agreed with NBIS. The only exception being if two or more consultants are working on the same project/contract/planning application/licence
3) To not publish raw NBIS data anywhere – this is in line with the British Standard BS42020:2013, which states that consultants are not expected to include long, uninterpreted species lists from LERCs in their reports, only summarised data, main findings and conclusions. Publishing maps is allowed, but only when acknowledging NBIS and including the relevant OS and other licence statements. When printing a map, you should not release the map into the public domain unless you are printing from the public view.
4) To not release confidential records provided by County Recorders/data owners or sensitive records provided by NBIS within search results. These are for use by the data requestee only and not to be shared with clients or the public. When required as part of the planning process these should both be provided as an addendum only
5) To understand that some data may be withheld or provided at blurred resolution because of their sensitive nature, the requirements of data protection law and/or conditions imposed by their owner
6) If GIS datasets are required, you must be aware these may be based on OS MasterMap and you must have a valid licence to use it. OS licence numbers must be provided as part of the data request, in the notes field
7) To archive the data after 12 months or completion of works, whichever is sooner and to be destroyed after 10 years. It is recommended that, if required, a new search is requested after 12 months since the original request. Please note all emapper links and therefore access to data search request results, will expire after 12 months. Consultants should follow CIEEM guidelines on when data searches should be requested, especially if work is actively being carried out on site. Some experts, national schemes and societies and local recorders will be exempt from this
8) Commercial customers should satisfy themselves by comprehensive, competent, expert and appropriate field surveys, especially for protected and rare species, of what is present before development, or any other work begins. NBIS are providing data for desk assessment or to add to these field surveys
9) To accept that NBIS bears no legal responsibility for the accuracy or comprehensiveness of the records, and accepts no liability for direct, indirect or consequential losses, loss or profit, loss or reputation, interest, penalties and/or legal costs arising from use of the records. Notwithstanding the above, in the event NBIS is found to be liable, such liability will not exceed the fee paid for the services provided. The use of data search services does not in any way replace the need for adequate field survey
10) To notify NBIS of any errors discovered in the records
11) If possible, to supply NBIS any environmental survey records. BS42020:2013 encourages survey data to be made available to LERCs at the time that the ecological report enters the public realm unless there is an explicit contractual restriction on such data release (6.4.7)
12) If chargeable, to pay the fee as quoted, after acceptance of quote and when invoiced in accordance with condition 37
13) Cancellation policy – acceptance of a quote for work is instruction to proceed with that work. NBIS will not cancel or provide refunds after a quote is accepted. In the event that you are unable to pay your debts or have no reasonable prospect of doing so within the meaning of the Insolvency Act 1986, NBIS may terminate this arrangement immediately and seek recovery of fees incurred up to that date
14) To ensure the information provided as part of a data request is true and accurate as far as is known. Failure to provide accurate information may cause delays in receiving quotes or results and may incur extra charges when requoted
15) To accept that NBIS will collect information on record and dataset usage for its own use and to provide as anonymised information to dataset owners on request
16) Users must acknowledge in any publication, whether printed, electronic, internet-based or broadcast, based wholly or in part on NBIS data:
Biological records: “Biological records provided by Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service (NBIS), acting on behalf of the contributing biological recorders, whom whose rights are recognised”. Specific database acknowledgements should also be made when given and are provided as part of dataset metadata information on MyLerc and in the excel output.
Sites or habitats data: "Data provided by Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service (NBIS)". Plus the relevant copyright and licence acknowledgements, these are provided in the bottom left corner of eMapper outputs and will look similar to this 2022 version: "© Crown copyright and database rights 2022 OS 100019340. Open Government Licence. © Buglife, Plantlife (2020), RSPB (Licence), All Rights Reserved. Use subject to full licences."
17) To abide by, in conjunction with observing pt 3) above, the following in terms of the Emapper outputs for commercial and non-chargeable requests other than public request type:
a) Species records with 'Yes' in the 'Sensitive' column are sensitive species records, and must not be released into the public domain
b) You should not amend any part of the downloaded records
c) Data marked as confidential or sensitive must not be released into the public domain, with the exception of the Public Version of the PDF report, which has had sensitive information removed or restricted
d) When printing a map you should not release the map into the public domain unless you are printing from the public view

NBIS data provision
• Environmental Information isn't covered by Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, it is covered by the Environmental Information Regulation 2004 (EIR).
• On most occasions FOI/EIR requests are not appropriate and should be avoided where at all possible.
• Environmental information should always be requested through NBIS enquires service.
• FOI/EIR have a turnaround time of 20 days, NBIS generally provides results to most requests within a couple of days.
• The EIR, and guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), establish the right for public authorities to charge (commercial rates) for environmental information. If a public authority has an established mechanism for people to request environmental information (as NBIS has), then one can direct people to use that mechanism.
• FOI requests have an exemption regarding material loss to the data owner. As we normally charge for environmental information and as we have transparent mechanisms for its supply, at cost, then this cannot be circumvented by raising a FOI request.
19) Individual biological records cannot be copyrighted, given ownership or intellectual property. However, where these data have been collated in a way that creates or implies ownership: All data remains the intellectual property and, in the ownership, and copyright of the original recorder(s). NBIS follows best practice in treating all records in accordance with the original recorder(s)'(or their subsequent custodian - such as the County Recorder) wishes, including recognising the rights of recorder(s) to control their records. NBIS will seek permissions where necessary and acknowledge the recorder(s) where appropriate and feasible. For further details of legal rights and best practice, please see the following links: IPR of the data recorder; NBN data ownership 2019; Archive discussion on permission to share and use existing data
20) Ownership of data is not transferred by this agreement. Duplication or sale of all or parts of these data provided by NBIS is not permitted
21) Data request results will not include any personal data. If you require a recorder’s name for records verification or further information, permissions will need to be given by the relevant County Recorder
22) The completeness, currency and resolution of the NBIS database is dependent on the verified biological records received or on the latest spatial datasets available. Please see our annual metadata summary of currency and resolution by taxon group and more detailed metadata for all the species and spatial datasets that NBIS provides as part of its data enquiries service. Our metadata statement includes details of specific known data gaps, with which you should be familiar with before using or interpreting our data
a) The results of any search will reflect only those data currently contained within the database, which in no way purports to be a complete reflection of everything which may occur, nor does recorded presence imply current, continuing or breeding presence
b) Similarly any gaps in the data (species, habitats, protected sites or other) or the lack of records for a specific taxon or location does not infer absence
c) NBIS excludes data recorded at >2km resolution from data enquiries due to poor quality of the data. Data displayed in enquires at resolution >2km, will be because the data has been blurred due to sensitive species restrictions
d) The Living Map habitat data is derived from remotely-sensed satellite imagery and therefore has limitations. Estimates of overall accuracy are 80%, although this can vary significantly depending on the habitat category or geographic location
e) Boundaries of sites should be considered as indicative and not definitive
f) Please be aware that for some species groups or locations you may need to contact other organisations to obtain data which we may not hold
g) Marine searches – Land located data searches, where the search area encompasses the marine environment, will be charged at our standard rates and may include records from the marine environment, most commonly marine mammals. Marine located data searches are welcome for a nominal charge but are likely to produce limited or no records. Customers wishing to submit a marine located data search are recommended to head to the following websites in the first instance (starting with MarLIN), with any NBIS data supplementing data from these portals: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/; https://portal.medin.org.uk/portal/start.php; https://nbnatlas.org/; https://obis.org/ (international and therefore data here likely to be better found via one of the other UK data portals listed here)
23) NBIS makes every effort to collate as many records as possible but if you know of any datasets we are lacking OR have records we have not been sent then please do point this out to us

NBIS enquiry service
24) Data enquiries must be made using the NBIS MyLERC online form.
25) All enquiries must meet NBIS Data request ecological conditions for NBIS commercial searches (Best practice, data and ecological standards). If a request does not meet these conditions but can be justified as ecologically appropriate NBIS will carry out the search. This will be at the discretion of NBIS staff and follow appropriate consultation
26) Very large searches will need to be run without habitat data and results for sites, species and habitats provided as GIS rather than an emapper link
27) The provision of data as part of custom searches is at the discretion of NBIS staff, and data will not be provided where it is not appropriate or proportional to the stated use
28) We do carry out searches for FEPs, but data should always be sought from other organisations who hold more relevant data for this type of request and be supported by sufficient survey
29) If you are a householder we do not accept data requests from householders for planning purposes (as per professional guidance) - we request that you direct data requests via a professional (e.g. an ecological/environmental consultant, land agent or solicitor) instead – this is so that we can provide the best possible data as a commercial request
30) The data request form will not allow users to submit multiple searches in one request. Each search will need to be submitted as a separate data request
31) NBIS will accept individual searches for multi-part polygon, line or point features only when they are part of a single planning application, single contract or single mitigation or survey licence, and the outer search buffers are shown to merge. To submit searches for multi-part sites into My LERC they must be a single multi-part or polyline feature in a GIS shapefile. Polygons must consist of three or more points and include no overlapping lines when drawn. If the outer buffers of two search sites do not merge, they should be submitted as a separate data request.
Separate data requests should be submitted for:
1. multi-part or polyline requests that are part of the same planning application or contract when the outer buffers do not merge
2. multi-part or polyline requests that are NOT part of the same planning application or contract, which may or may not overlap but need to be separate searches
3. Multiple individual searches from different planning applications or contract from the same data requestor
Full guidance click here
32) Our service aligns with the East of England Region Standard Service, including the cross-boundary search agreement with other East of England Local Environmental Records Centres. Some larger cross-boundary searches may involve charges by the relevant adjacent records centre(s). The adjacent records centre(s) will return results for their area to their timescales but always to maximum of 10 days
33) All charges will be reviewed periodically. Inflation increases will typically be made every 12 months
34) All charges are subject to VAT
35) Commercial data enquiries will continue to be dealt with on a ‘first come – first served’ basis
36) Where charges are made, they are for the time taken to collate, manage, process and analyse data and for the IT systems that create the results provided, rather than for the information itself
37) Payments will be requested by invoice from Norfolk County Council; if you have a purchase order, please provide this number when completing the online form. The invoice will state the date by which payment must be made and the methods of payment available. If you fail to pay the invoice as required, interest will be payable at the rate of 8% from the due date until payment, in accordance with the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998
38) In the unexpected and unlikely event where agreed timescales for providing results to customers are not met by NBIS, due to factors outside our control, NBIS will provide a proportional discount to customers, based on number of days late
39) Species lists can only be requested commercially when part of a package, not as custom requests
40) Mitigation Licences and Licences to interfere with setts or survey packages must match to only the “mitigation licence” reason for request. Only in exceptional circumstances when ecologically justifiable will an exemption be made

My LERC/eMapper System Requirements
Online data requests will be through My LERC and data will be received using eMapper. The minimum system requirements needed to request and receive searches using this software are:
• Internet access, via a modern browser which supports HTML5 (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Internet Explorer 10 or higher).
• A minimum connection speed of 1 Mbit is recommended for eMapper.
• Adobe Reader or another PDF viewer, as reports are provided in PDF format.
• Microsoft Excel 2003 or later as reports are in Excel ‘XLSX’. Earlier versions can download an add-on that enables viewing of the newer format. There are also free office packages such as LibreOffice which can open XLSX files.

The use of My LERC, including your personal information, data protection, cookies etc are covered by the Cofnod My LERC privacy policy


41) Any complaint in relation to the services provided will be dealt with in accordance with the Norfolk County Council Compliments and Complaints Policy
42) We shall not be in breach of these terms and conditions or otherwise liable for any failure or delay in the performance of our obligations if such delay or failure results from events, circumstances or causes beyond our reasonable control. The time for performance of our obligations shall be extended accordingly
43) Your data request using the online form, these terms and conditions, our quote and your acceptance constitute the entire agreement for provision of these services by us. Neither party relies on any statement, representation, assurance or warranty set out elsewhere
44) If any provision or part-provision of our agreement becomes invalid, illegal or unenforceable, it shall be deemed deleted, but this will not affect the validity or enforceability of the rest of the agreement
45) Any notice to be given by you or us in connection with our agreement shall be in writing and sent by email to enquiries.nbis@norfolk.gov.uk (for us) or to the email provided in your online request form (for you). A notice is deemed to have been received at the time of transmission if sent on a weekday between the hours of 09:00 and 15:00 or, if sent outside these times, at 09:00 on the next weekday
46) Our agreement and any dispute or claim arising out of it (including non-contractual disputes or claims) shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England. We irrevocably agree that the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with our agreement, its subject matter or formation