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Biological Records Centre

Tracey Hirst 4.3.10

The Sheffield Biological Records Centre manages information on the wildlife and habitats of the Sheffield Metropolitan District, which includes part of the Peak District National Park.  It is based in the Ecology Unit office in Meersbrook, Sheffield.

The Records Centre holds extensive information on over 500 of the city's best wildlife sites, and over a million records of individual species.  The data are stored in paper files, GIS (geographic information system) and a RECORDER 6 database.

The earliest records date from the late eighteenth century, but most are from recent years.  Habitat and species surveys are carried out every year, generating new records and keeping the database up to date.

Sheffield Biological Records Centre has been collecting information about species, habitats and sites since 1964, making it one of the oldest Local Record Centres in the UK.  Most of these records are generated by the Sorby Natural History Society.

The Sheffield Biological Records Centre is part of the Yorkshire and Humber Environmental Data Network and a member of ALERC, the Association of Local Environmental Records Centres.

Tracey Hirst 08/03/2010

Use of the Records

Biological records are an extremely valuable resource.  The City Ecology Unit uses them as a basis for advising our departments and members of the public on subjects including planning applications, land management, biodiversity conservation, invasive species control and climate change mitigation.

Information held at the Biological Records Centre is also used by a wide range of individuals and organisations, including students, schools, naturalists, land owners, reserve managers, wildlife conservation organisations, natural history societies and ecological consultants.

Send us your records!

We are interested in receiving your records of wildlife in Sheffield.  The basic requirement of a good record are the 'four W's' (what, where, when, who) plus any useful information.



Species or habitat (send a photo if you are not sure)


Site or address where you made the observation



A grid reference or post code is useful

In my garden at Handsworth S13 8HN, Grid Reference SK405 862


Date or year

3 June 2010


Name and contact details of the observer

Mr J Smith, Handsworth, Sheffield


Other useful information

2 visited our back garden to feed on cat food in a dish

If you are sending more than a few records there is a downloadable template spreadsheet at the bottom of the page on which you can enter your data.   Send us your records by either post or email to the contact details below.

Access to Data

The information held in the Sheffield Biological Records Centre is in the public domain, although information about sensitive species such as badgers, rare nesting birds and rare plants has controlled access.  Species records will be publicly available on the National Biodiversity Network Gateway (NBN) website at a reduced resolution.

Access to non-sensitive information is free by appointment with a member of staff.  Use of consumables (photocopies, CDs) is charged at cost.

Records Centre staff can undertake data searches on your behalf, preparing reports, species lists, distribution maps and information on statutory and non-statutory sites.  Examples can be downloaded below.  Charges for this service are outlined in the data request form below, searches outside of those outlined may be possible by prior arrangement and agreement of costs.  The Biological Records Centre does not normally apply a charge for students and voluntary groups, however, it will still be necessary to fill in a search request form/sign up to the conditions of data supply.

To make an appointment to visit the Biological Records Centre please contact:

Sheffield City Ecology Unit
Parks and Countryside Service
Meersbrook Park
Brook Road
S8 9FL

Telephone: (0114) 250 0500 or (0114) 273 4481


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  • Modified: Jan 25, 2013 9:26:32 AM