Local Wildlife Sites Information

Heather Planting at Layer Breton Heath LoWS

Local Wildlife Sites (LoWS), previously known as Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) or County Wildlife Sites (CoWS) are areas of land with significant wildlife value. Use our LoWS finder tool to find sites near you. Partners of Essex Wildlife Trust Biological Records Centre can also access full LoWS citations online - just register on this site and contact us to request access.

For more information on LoWS click here.

Data requests

Essex Wildlife Trust Biological Records Centre can provide a range of data provision services to suit your requirements. If you require more detailed information or have a request that is not covered by the services below please contact us.

Data searches for consultants: Please complete the data search request form below and send it to us for a quote. All data search queries should be directed to records@essexwt.org.uk or 01621 862999. We work with other records centres in the East of England to standardise our services and run cross boundary data searches where necessary. Our Pricing Policy and standard charges can be accessed below. For more information on our data search service please click here.

Please note that there is no one source of protected species information in Essex, and all available sources of data should be consulted to obtain a comprehensive dataset for your area. For other sources of records in Essex please click here.

For details of data that we hold please see our metadata statement. More information on our partner organisations can be found here.

Information for Local Authorities and other organisations

Local authorities wishing to obtain data are encouraged to sign a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with us. This provides a cost effective way of obtaining data from us on a regular basis, and allows data provision to be tailored to the recipient. Data provided via an SLA typically covers the information included in the East of England Standard Minimum Service guidelines for records centres as a minimum, but additional support and information can be provided according to organisational requirements.

For information on Essex Local Wildilfe Sites (LoWS) please visit our LoWS finder page. Full Local Wildlife Site citations are also freely available online to our data partners, just register as a user and contact us to request access.

We are currently developing new tools and datasets to help organisations to get the most out of the data they receive. We can also offer training and workshops to planners tailored to individual requirements.

Please contact us if you would like to find out more about Service Level Agreements, bespoke datasets or training opportunities.

See also our useful links for planners

Information for Not-For-Profit Organisations

We do not ordinarily charge for data requests from not-for-profit organisations, however we may not have the resources to process all requests for data from not for profit organisations. If you are intending to put in a funding bid for a project that is likely to involve the use or provision of our data, we advise that you contact us beforehand, and factor the costs of extracting data for the project into the bid in order to ensure that we have the resources necessary to support the project.

We will endeavour to respond to all requests so please contact us if you have a data query or project proposal.

If you hold data for Essex that you are able to share we can make our data available to you via a data exchange agreement. Partner recording organisations with a current data exchange agreement are able to:

  • Access our datasets and services free of charge in exchange for sharing data with us
  • Create local group pages and customised online recording forms for their surveys
  • Get help with surveying and project work
  • Have access to digitised records from all our partner organisations
  • Access full Local Wildlife Sites information online

Please contact us for more details about data exchange agreements.

A list of our current partner organisations can be found here.

CIEEM Guidelines - Accessing and using Biodiversity Data

CIEEM Guidelines for Accessing and Using Biodiversity Data

CIEEM (the Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management) published new guidelines for Accessing and Using Biodiversity Data in March 2016 as part of its Technical Guidance Series. These guidelines are aimed at those who are using biodiversity data to support the development planning process (e.g. local planning authorities and ecological consultants). The guidelines can be accessed from the technical guidance section of the CIEEM website, http://www.cieem.net/technical-guidance-series-tgs-.

Biodiversity Offsetting policy - how to avoid net biodiversity loss

Biodiversity offset policies may inadvertently incentivise behaviours which actually accelerate biodiversity loss, according to new research.

Partnership projects

Orchards East is an exciting new HLF funded project to survey orchards in the East of England region. Essex Wildlife Trust Biological Records Centre is working with other records centres... more

Essex Wildlife Trust has been working with the invertebrate conservation charity Buglife on their B-Lines initiative, identifying and developing wildflower-rich habitats across Essex as... more Wildflower meadow in Stebbing, Essex.

The Blackwater Estuary is a key Living Landscape area within Essex. Through this Living Landscape and in partnership with Maldon District Council and Butterfly Conservation, Essex Wildlife Trust... more Brimstone butterfly. Photo: Jim Higham