Services for the Public, Research and Conservation Users

Merseyside BioBank is a one-stop shop for information on the natural environment and biodiversity, resources and expertise for North Merseyside. Make use of our services by contacting us by email.

These services are usually free to not-for-profit organisations, charities, the public and local naturalists. There is a charge for commercial and profit making use which helps us to resource our free support to the wider public, research and charitable sector. Please see our charging policy for details.

If you require one or more of our services or are unsure about whether we can help you, please get in contact with us. We regularly expanding on our services in response to the needs of our users and welcome any feedback that you are able to provide. The options below are broad outlines of ways we may be able to support your interests or work.

Accessing Data & Information

Species Information

Individuals and organisations can request information free of charge for personal interest, to better understand species distribution in your local area, for research and education purposes (including; MSc and PhD) and for conservation purposes such as targeting habitat enhancement or management or wildlife projects.

We hold millions of observations of species covering all taxonomic groups across Sefton, Liverpool, Knowsley and St Helens collated from a wide range of local and national sources.

This information is largely accessible to anyone free of charge for non-profit use though limits on full resolution data may be applied where sensitive species are concerned or may be at risk.

You can access reduced resolution species data without contacting us via the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas. Or, full resolution and bespoke services by contacting us to discuss your interests or requirements.

Habitat and Environmental Information

As with species observations we hold extensive coverage of habitat information for the North Merseyside area. This information comes from commissioned surveys and local projects or in-house data capture. We hold other information including;

  • Aerial photography for North Merseyside with the first run in 1945 and subsequent runs around a decade apart,
  • Local Wildlife and Geological Sites boundaries and citations on behalf of the Local Sites Partnership,
  • Liverpool City Region (LCR) Ecological Network Core Biodiversity Areas,
  • Ecological Network Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs),
  • Merseyside Ancient Woodland Inventory (and 2022 National Update)

As with species data the above information can be accessed free of charge by non-profit individuals and organisations. We can also provide a summary report which draws together species and biodiversity information for your area of interest (an expanded version of our ‘standard search’ for commercial users).

Habitat and other environmental information is currently only available by contacting us directly.

 I.T. Training & Support

We understand that many biological recorders do not have the time and expertise to make the most of Information Technology to collate, manage, analyse and report their data. We attempt to provide all of the IT support that an individual biological recorder, student or biological recording group might need;

Web Hosting & Services

We can provide website support and hosting for local biodiversity and natural history related groups or projects as required. Free hosting with us will be in the form of a subdomain of our main site although we can help you obtain a domain name or alternative at your preference.

In addition to full site support we can offer pages and signposting on our own site for your projects or provide web-space for online mapping or other web-based resources.

GIS Training

We can provide training in the practical application of QGIS for biological recording related activities such as capturing and mapping habitat or species data. This includes support for the use of the QGIS FSC BioLinks toolset.

Training is typically aimed at absolute beginners or those with some knowledge of GIS but not practical or recent experience. If you have particular needs in mind then get in touch!


Typically aimed at local naturalist groups we can provide mapping of your data for publication in either hardcopy or in the form of hosted online web-atlas’. We work closely with you to ensure that you are happy with the layout and design of the maps which can be altered to fit your purpose and use.

We can also map out data which you query from us to help you to visualise the record or species distribution.

Our mapping services can also include various data visualisations and limited analysis such as biodiversity hotspot mapping. We are continuously working to develop our offer in this area so please do get in touch if you have ideas or questions.

Training in Biological Recording & Software

We offer a Foundations in Biological Recording Course aimed at introducing new and potential volunteers or naturalists to biological recording to enhance their positive impact for wildlife conservation.

We also offer training in the use of biological recording software and ‘toolkits’ and we can provide practical training in the use of field and desk-top software (both on and off-line) including but not limited to;

  • iRecord (website and app)
  • iNaturalist (website and app)
  • Gilbert 21 (offline and app)
  • Recorder 6 (offline)
  • National Biodiversity Network Atlas (website)
  • Global Biodiversity Information Facility (website)
  • Microsoft Office (Excel)

We can also provide broader overviews of things like the UK data flow network; how data is accessed and shared, who uses it, what for and what quality controls are in place.

Other Support

Data Hosting

One of our main functions as a Local Environmental Records Centre is the curation of biodiversity data, wildlife observations, in the same away you might imagine the responsibility of a natural history museum is the curation of specimen collections.

Our role is to ensure that data and digital observations are managed and retained into the future and remains accessible and available to future generations.

In that respect we can help to digitise and ensure the longevity of your observations and other biodiversity information. If you have information either as an individual or as a group that you would like us to hold for you then please do get in touch.

Data Transformation

In the collation of information we have developed various processes for the conversation of one data type into another.

We can offer this as a service to groups or individuals assisting in the conversion of information from, for example, wildlife notes to spreadsheet or GIS layers.

Please get in touch to discuss your individual requirements or interests.

Informing Conservation Decisions

Our role is unique in that we are the sole records centre and are the primary supplier of biodiversity information to local authorities and statutory agencies in the area we cover. As such you can use us as a service to ensure that your wildlife observations are used to greatest impact for the protection and enhancement of local biodiversity.

If you do not see the particular solution or tool you require available on our website, please get in touch. We are always looking to develop our resource package in response to feedback.