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

Important Notice - Please Read


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. 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

Important Notice - Please Read



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.

Please contact us if you would like to find out more about Service Level Agreements.

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.

Important Notice - Please Read

Important Notice Please Read

Please note that from the 30th September 2021 Essex Wildlife Trust will no longer be operating a Biological Records Centre and will no longer offer commercial biological data services to consultants and others.

Essex Wildlife Trust would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your business and support over the past years.

Essex Wildlife Trust recognises that the county needs a fully functional Local Environmental Records Centre (LERC) which meets all our needs, is fully functional in the policy and decision-making arenas and supports and celebrates biological recording and the recording community. Environmental data has a critical role to play in the planning and decision-making processes.

Essex needs a LERC which fulfills current needs and can evolve to meet the challenges in the emerging policy environment we face. We wish to collaborate with all partners in seeking a solution to a problem which we are committed to help resolve and we offer our resources and goodwill.

Mark Iley, Landscape Conservation Development Manager



Where to access data going forwards:

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.

Essex Field Club offer an Essex Biological and Geological Records Centre Service to help you undertake ecological desk studies and obtain specialist species reports which can be accessed here. Additional sources of records are listed on this page.

You can look up basic information on Local Wildlife Sites in Essex here. Please contact the relevant Local Authority for more information on Local Wildlife Sites in your area of interest.

Please contact Place Services at Essex County Council for information on Special Roadside Verges in Essex.

Note regarding the records submission function of this website:

This website will continue to work but may not be maintained - please do check back for any future updates.

All previously submitted records and any new records submitted to this website will be shared with iRecord. Please mark any records that you would not like to be shared at full resolution with iRecord as Sensitive and choose the appropriate resolution for blurring. Please delete any records that you would not like to be shared with iRecord. You can do so by going to My Records and selecting the "Edit this Record" button for the record of interest.

If you would like to use iRecord going forwards, you can retain access to your pre-existing records by registering on iRecord using the same email address as you have used to register on this website. The iRecord registration page can be found here

Please don't hestitate to get in touch at records@essexwt.org.uk with any queries you may have.


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