Dorset Biodiversity Information System

- Frequently asked questions

What is DBIS?

The Dorset Biodiversity Information System has been established by the Dorset Environmental Records Centre as a means to provide local authorities with relevant information on conservation sites and species in Dorset.

What does DBIS include?

DERC have established agreements with individual local authorities to supply GIS datasets including: Sites of Nature Conservation Interest; Local Nature Reserves; Regionally Important Geological Sites; Conservation Verges; and a wildlife layer which indicates the presence of rare and protected species. These can be used alongside layers for Sites of Special Scientific Interest and international site boundaries.

What do I do if I find a rare or protected species on a development site?

Use the info tool to see the data on that record. The data will tell you when to consult a statutory agency i.e. Natural England (Natural England) or the Environment Agency. It may also suggest who to contact for advice (e.g.Dorset Wildlife Trust).

If there is no statutory consultee or advisory contact what do I do?

There is not a consultee or advisory contact for every record at present. This is a new system which will continue to develop. There are plans to produce advice notes for all the taxon groups but it will take time to put this into place. In the meantime if you want more information about a record, contact DERC with the record number.

There is a species record on a development site but the location details do not match. What do I do?

The GIS data set has been generated from a database which stores most records as 6 figure grid references. This means that most records are accurate within 100m but the symbol may not be in exactly the right place. If there is a discrepancy between the information in the location field (e.g. “Manor Crescent”) and the position of the symbol (e.g. located on Manor Road) the location information is probably more accurate.

How do I see the Advice Notes?

Written advice notes have been developed for some groups of protected species. Use the hot-link tool to click on the symbol for a record and it will take you immediately to the start of the appropriate advice note.

Can I give information about a site to a developer or his/her consultant?

Yes, but we would ask you to recommend that they contact DERC for a standard data search for the development site and the buffer zone. Many developers and environmental consultants already contact DERC directly before submitting an application. We have developed a package which provides more detailed species and site information, together with explanations of the codes used and recommendations on which organisations to contact for further advice.

How do I find a suitable consultant?

The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) maintain a list of professional ecological consultants. You can find out more here: