Biological Records Centre

The Biological Records Centre (BRC), established in 1964, is a national focus in the UK for terrestrial and freshwater species recording. The BRC works closely with the voluntary recording community, principally through support of national recording schemes and societies.

See our booklet reviewing the first 50 years of BRC.

The work of the BRC is a major component of the National Biodiversity Network.


The BRC is supported by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), a not-for-profit research institute which receives support from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) National Capability (NC) fund.

News from the Biological Records Centre

Turnip Sawfly (Athalia rosae) - one of the species that has been sequenced for Darwin Tree of Life

The Darwin Tree of Life is a large collaboration between 10 different Universities and research institutes. The goal of DToL is to determine the complete genome (DNA) sequence of every species in the UK. It is only 20…

02 November 2022

The British Dragonfly Society's Annual Meeting & AGM is open to anyone with an interest in dragonflies and wetland conservation

29 September 2022

Natural History Museum, London

The National Biodiversity Network Conference 2022 will be a face to face event in the Flett Theatre at the Natural History Museum in London.

24 August 2022

What we do

Working in partnership with more than 80 recording schemes and societies, BRC provides a national capability to support and encourage biological recording for a wide range of plant and animal groups, improving how data is collected, made available and used. 

BRC helps the recording community to publish atlases, data and other online resources to provide essential information which informs research, policy and the conservation of our heritage of wildlife. As part of this work we provide website hosting and development support.

We apply innovative use of technology and science excellence to help harness the enthusiasm and knowledge of naturalists, and enable them to collate and analyse their records.

Many CEH staff contribute towards the work of BRC; they are listed on our staff page

Why we do it

The historical legacy of biological recording in Britain and Ireland is unique and inspiringMany naturalists are committed to studying our flora and fauna, and BRC’s work helps to ensure that we make the most of their observations. The vast datasets built up through the expertise and commitment of the volunteer recording community enables a range of ecological questions to be  addressed.

The value of recording data is enhanced through innovative use of technology and analytical methods, plus integration with other data sources on the ecology of species and the physical environment.

Distribution trends derived from the large-scale and long-term datasets provide evidence for many purposes, particularly in relation to understanding impacts of climate and habitat change, to informing policy to reduce negative impacts.




People have been recording their observations of wildlife for hundreds of years, and the technology and support networks available today make this easier than ever.




The aim of BRC’s publication and research work is to help link volunteer recording efforts to those of research scientists, and develop innovative observational projects that add new insights into large-scale biological processes.




The BRC provides support for over 80 national recording schemes and societies, applying innovative use of technology and science excellence to help improve how data is collected, made available and used.