Getting data from GCER

Each year GCER produces hundreds of data search reports for ecological consultancies and other commercial data users. We can provide:

  • Maps and descriptions for non-statutory sites
  • Lists and/or distribution maps for rare, protected and notable species
  • Maps and citations for statutory designated wildlife areas
  • Landscape-level maps of habitats, Nature Improvement Areas and Strategic Nature Areas
  • Combined reports listing, or mapping, any of the above
  • GIS mapping, analysis and interpretation of wildlife data, including raw data provided by the client

Contact us for a quick quote for any of the above; in most cases consultant's searches fall within a basic minimum hourly or two-hourly rate. See below for a rough guide to how much a search is likely to cost.

..... Speed up data requests:

  • Not sure about which LERC to contact? check here first
  • Make it clear on the request form which categories of information you need e.g. "bats only", "Local Sites only", "all designated sites and species" etc.
  • Specify a central grid reference point for radius searches. If in doubt, grab a grid reference here
  • Specify a date range or cutoff date (e.g. "records from the last 10 years") if you don't want lots of much older records included in your search results
  • Include a map and/or GIS polygon layer (.shp preferred) if you'd like the search to relate to specific area(s) rather than a central point
  • Check that your instructions are the same on the map as on the request form!

Alternative data request form downloads

Right-click on the required link below and choose "save link as" (or the equivalent command for your browser).
Older Word files .doc
Open Office Open Document .odt
Pages for MAC .pages
Portable Document Format .pdf
Plain text .txt

Data search charges

Like the majority of LERCs, GCER charges for commercial data searches and applies a reduced rate for data partners. We aim to keep our standard commercial data searches as quick and cheap as possible whilst ensuring that records are clearly-presented, well-validated and as comprehensive as data sources permit.

Central government funding for LERCs has reduced in recent years and we do not get any grant aid. Commercial data searches are therefore an important element of our income, enabling us to continue to operate and offer the benefits of having a central point for collating, validating and providing biological data.

Data searches for ecological consultants are prioritised above other work. We aim to respond to all requests within 48 hours and complete all searches within 10 working days (the average is 4 days). Data searches are already prioritised, so we don't have a "fast track" option - effectively they're all fast-tracked as far as is possible. However, we try to order our work according to the urgency of the request, so if you need something extra quickly it is worth asking if it can be given the highest priority.

We charge for time spent on GCER services; the actual data is not chargeable as such. Thus, a complicated search resulting in thousands of records may cost only twice what a complicated search resulting in hundreds of records costs, as the overall search effort is similar and only the subsequent processing and interpretation of the records takes longer. We find that most searches fit within a one- or two-hour rate.

From 1st April 2018 our charges will increase in line with inflation and rising costs. Our minimum search fee for commercial data searches will be £110, covering the first hour. Many searches for 2km radius or less fall within this rate. More lengthy requests are then charged at £75 for each extra hour. These might include wider or more complicated search areas, searches in areas of especially high biodiversity, mixed or complex searches, and requests involving extra interpretation, GIS layers or maps.

The day rate for projects, multiple searches, extra interpretation work or other longer tasks will be £360.

For the first time we will be adding a lower rate for small, administrative, 'add-on' or similarly less time-consuming tasks, of £30. This will represent a saving on the minimum one-hour rate for some customers who only need copies of things, small additional amounts of work or other short requests. However, in some cases it will be an addition, as we have not always had to charge for this in the past. We believe this to be a fairer approach to charging.

These rates do not include VAT, which in most cases will need to be added.


Utilities, consultancies and other regular commercial users of GCER data can benefit from a longer-term Agreement. This cuts down on administration for us, and provides users with a set number of data searches, licence to use our GIS layers (see below) or other services which would otherwise necessitate a lot of separate data requests. Agreements such as these offer savings of up to 25% compared with individual, one-off requests.

We also operate reduced-rate Agreements with local authorities, parish councils and project partners. See here for more information.

If a search finds no relevant records at all, the fee will be waived except where a specific report is needed to confirm the absence of data.

Aerial photography with highlighted water features

GIS data

GCER produces a range of original vector GIS layers, including Key Wildlife Sites, Strategic Nature Areas, historic habitat mapping and Phase 1 Habitat Survey. Some are available for public download (e.g. the Strategic Nature Areas). Some may freely be viewed online as part of GCER's online maps. Other key datasets are only available under licence from GCER, usually as part of a Service Level Agreement. If you'd like to arrange an Agreement for this or other services please contact us.