Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service; 1970s-; Norfolk

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Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service; 1970s-; Norfolk

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Other form(s) of name

  • Norfolk Biological Records Centre

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Dates of existence



The Norfolk Biological Records Centre (NBRC) was founded by Norfolk County Council in the 1970s as a response to requests received by the Natural History Department at Norwich Castle Museum for detailed information about animals and plants in Norfolk and their distribution in the county.
NBRC built on the knowledge-base established by the well- known naturalist, E.A. (Ted) Ellis, during his work as Keeper of Natural History between 1928 and 1956. During the 1940s he began a series of index cards detailing reported sightings of birds, mammals and plants in Norfolk. Much of the early information is a synthesis of reports from journals, newspapers, published books and the natural history collections at the Castle Museum. From the 1950s the records were supplemented by submissions from local nature groups, data from biological surveys and sightings submitted by members of the public. Much of the first hand information comes from the County Recorder Network co-ordinated by the Norfolk and Norwich Naturalists' Society (NNNS). Public sightings are passed to the recorders for verification, who then send these records to NBIS.
In the mid 1970s the centre moved from a concentration of species distribution to indexing the ecology of individual sites. Files were kept on each site and content was collected from a wide variety of sources, including published material. The amount of information varies immensely between sites.
The Centre expanded to operate from Union House in Gressenhall, and launched officially in May 2001. The Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act (2006), which places increased obligations on local authorities to consider biodiversity in all decisions such as planning, led to the decision to transfer the centre from within the Museums and Archaeology Service, to the Department of Planning and Transportation (P & T) at Norfolk County Council in 2006 (P & T changed it's name to Environment, Transport & Development as part of a corporate restructuring in 2010). The centre was re-branded in late 2008 to form the Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service (NBIS), reflecting the wider range of services provided.



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Created on: 05/02/2015 by Droab




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