Lisa Kerslake`s presentation

Practical challenges in the use of
biodiversity data – an ecologist’s
Lisa Kerslake
Director and Principal Ecologist
Swift Ecology Ltd.
• Nature Conservancy Council
• Notts County Council (County Ecologist)
• Northumberland Wildlife Trust (Conservation
• North and East Yorks Ecological Data Centre
Biodiversity Data User Group
• BTO (representing a Specialist Society or Recording
• GiGL
• Lisa Kerslake (CIEEM-nominated independent
• Minerals Producers Association Biodiversity Group
• NBN Trust
A personal reflection...
• E
• Moa
Protected species......
• E
• Moa
......but also wildlife sites
• E
• Moa
Data searches
• Data supply from LRCs (and other data
• Practices of ecological consultants
Sources of data
National Biodiversity Network (Gateway)
National Schemes and Societies
Local Record Centres
Local groups/Wildlife Trusts
Current issues/challenges
• Usefulness/relevance of data provided to
• Quality of service to user
• Threats to service
“The concept of local records centres is that they hold local records. An
LRC search is the standard for most requirements. Whilst I have
some sympathy for groups using selling data to fund conservation
work, I have no sympathy for those that are surprised when we do
not ask for their data. My clients have to get an LRC search, and we
already lose some work to sub-standard local consultancies that do
not buy records. Adding the additional cost of bat (or badger, bird,
reptile etc etc) is just not reasonable. The only option is for LRCs to
hold all data!”
General Issues
Variability of product
Variability of service
Specific Issues
Cost and response time
Multiple charges for full search
Cross boundary searches
Nil result searches
Service level agreements
Quality and relevance of data
Terms and conditions
LRCs under threat
Ecological Consultants and Data
• Lack of proper (or any) data search
• Inadequate interpretation of data
• Non-submission of records to LRCs
Reasons for non-submission of records
1 Too time consuming – no simple or standard way of
doing so
2 No reciprocal benefit
3 Client objections (copyright issues)
CIEEM PGS 7 – Model Service Agreements
“Scientific data collected during the course of the contract will be made
available to appropriate biodiversity record centres in order to better
inform future ecological surveys. If a client has any objection to this
they must inform the consultant in advance in writing”
• LPAs requiring data gathered in support of planning
applications to be submitted to LRCs (by condition?)
• LPAs requiring developers to undertake data search in
the first place, paid up front direct to LRC
• Local authority ecologists (where they exist) rejecting
reports without valid data searches
• Agreement on data searches in relation to householder
applications/small developments - ALGE
• Raising awareness/training for consultants – CIEEM
• Accreditation
• Accreditation
• Online simplified data submission for consultants
• Incentives to data providers
• Filtering/interpretation of data
• Action on poor practice in local area
• Agreements with adjoining areas
• Constitution
The biggest challenge….?

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