The information gathered and managed by DERC can be made available to many different groups and for many different purposes. Members of the public are welcome to make enquiries to DERC on animals, plants or habitats in Dorset. The DERC office is always busy but we endeavour to get back to people within the week with an answer, or to pass on the query to someone who may be able to help. Please complete a General Enquiry Form and return to DERC.

There is usually no charge for providing information to members of the public or students or for research or conservation projects. Charges will apply for commercial datasearches and for some other large data requests to help us cover our time and costs.

Commercial users (including consultants, landowners & agents involved in development or Countryside Stewardship applications) please click here


Non‐commercial users

Data can be provided in different ways:

  1. Species list for a site e.g. if you regularly visit a Local Nature Reserve and would like to know what wildlife has been found there, DERC can provide a species list.
  2. Site list for a species, if you are interested in a particular species, e.g. the advent of Himalayan Balsam along Dorset’s waterways, DERC can provide a list of records as an Excel file.
  3. Dot map for a species, alternatively the data could be portrayed in a species dot map (see examples):

Validation and verification of data

All the data that comes into DERC goes through validation and verification procedures. Verification is a species identification check and is done by a dedicated group of county recorders. Validation includes checks for grid reference, date errors and other anomalies. These processes do mean that data is not immediately available from DERC but the data on the DERC database is generally accurate and reliable.

Wildlife data held at DERC is extensive but not comprehensive and we always welcome more records, especially for vulnerable or protected species.

Data sources

DERC receives data from the Dorset Wildlife Trust, Dorset County Council, Natural England, the Environment Agency and many others. DERC also works with most of the local recording groups including the Dorset Bird Club, Dorset Bat Group and Dorset Flora Group. If you would like to get involved see our Local Groups pages or Links page for more information.

Distribution dot maps