LRERC collects, collates and standardises information on habitats and species within Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
We collate information from various sources including:
- The County Recorders' Network and local naturalists
- LRERC staff, partners and contractors
- The local online recording site NatureSpot
- Ecology consultants
- The National Biodiversity Network, iRecord and national recording schemes
- Members of the public and community surveys
Whenever possible, data is verified by local or national experts. Most of the source documents are available on request, as an electronic copy or scan.
We provide information and share our records with:
- Local planning authorities
- Environmental consultants
- Local naturalists
- Members of the public
- Neighbourhood plan groups
- Local and national recording schemes and the National Biodiversity Network
The information we hold
As of September 2022, LRERC holds digitised records of over 2.7 million species and over 6,000 locally designated sites.
LRERC was formed in the 1990’s and inherited a significant paper archive from the Leicestershire Museums Service at that time, with paper records from the 1950’s onwards. This is a unique archive containing species records and habitat/land use surveys and is used regularly to:
- support research
- identify land use change over a period of 40+ years
- identify historic locations to help rediscover species not recorded recently
We also have a survey programme which complements our archive.
Habitat and site information
LRERC maintains the register of Local Wildlife Sites for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
An explanation of locally designated sites can be found on our Charging and data supply policy document.
Our primary sources for Local Wildlife Site information are consultants’ reports, LRERC site visits and historic Museums Service surveys. We also collate habitat information, primarily from recent LRERC surveys, but also hold data from independently commissioned habitat surveys and historic field-by-field surveys carried out by the Museums Service.
LRERC holds species records across all taxonomic groups. These records date back several centuries, although the majority of our records are post 1980.
As of summer 2022, 67 taxonomic groups are represented within our database, with birds and flowering plants having the most records (over 900,000 and 700,000 respectively).
You can request and download data through our online form, giving access to an interactive map that allows you to filter and display records over maps or aerial photos - this speeds up our response time to you.
We only hold information for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (VC55). If your data search crosses our boundary, you will also need to contact the neighbouring Local Environmental Records Centre via the ALERC website.
The contents of a data search vary for different customers, and an explanation of the results and details of our costings for ecological consultants can be found within our charging and data supply policy:
Members of the public
Are you interested in wildlife close to your home? We’re able to provide you with a list of all species that have been recorded within 500 metres of your house - it won’t give you the precise location of the species but it will let you know what’s been recorded before for you to look out for. Why not see how many of the species you can re-find? Remember to send us your new records! Request a data search - use ‘Package P’.
Parish councils and groups
If you are a parish council or official parish group preparing a neighbourhood plan, we can also complete a data search for you. Request a data search - use ‘Package NP’.
The County Recorders’ Network
Leicestershire and Rutland has a group of over 20 expert local naturalists who oversee the records for each group of species. These are known as County Recorders or County Co-ordinators and are all volunteers. The County Recorders’ Network supports LRERC with the verification of species records and can sometimes help with identification.
If you wish to speak to a County Recorder, please email email@example.com in the first instance and we can ask the relevant County Recorder to contact you.
Local recording groups
There are many local recording groups in Leicestershire and Rutland, some cover certain geographical areas and others focus on specific taxonomic groups.
If you’re interested in finding out more about local groups, please contact us and we’ll send you a current list.
You can help us increase our knowledge of species distribution in Leicestershire and Rutland by sending your records (with photo evidence if you have it) to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are doing a lot of recording or have a large number of records, please contact us for a template spreadsheet.
Alternatively, you may wish to submit your sightings to NatureSpot. Records added to NatureSpot are sent to LRERC and incorporated into the county database on an annual basis.
We are currently unable to provide any formal volunteering opportunities. From time to time we may have projects that you are able to contribute to - please note that these will be desk-based data extraction opportunities, not surveying. Please contact us if you are interested in discussing this further.
Our strategic documents, including guidelines for the selection of Local Wildlife Sites and our biodiversity action plan, can be found here on the Biodiversity Strategy page.
From 2021, LRERC aims to produce a short annual report covering the achievements and progress made each year.