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Data request terms and conditions

Suffolk Biodiversity Information Service (SBIS) handles requests for ecological information, releasing data from a range of sources. SBIS subscribes to the Standard Data Enquiry Service agreed across the East of England.

Access policy

  • Enquirers should request data by email or by using the data request form on our website before a data search is initiated. Where the data search extends into an adjoining county, enquirers consent to SBIS providing the search information to the appropriate Local Environmental Records Centre (LERC) so that a cross-border search can be initiated.
  • SBIS will provide a quotation (see charges below). Once the quotation has been accepted, either by email or filling out our online acceptance form, the data search will be started.
  • SBIS will provide access to data subject to any conditions imposed on its use by the Data Protection Action 2018, Environmental Information Regulations 2004, Copyright and Intellectual Property Right law, or by the data owners. Restrictions on the release of information may therefore apply.
  • SBIS will release data request results as soon as possible and within 10 working days of receipt of the quotation acceptance unless an extension of time is needed.
  • SBIS will not normally comment upon the significance of the data released. It will supply raw data from its databases and leave their interpretation to the recipient. SBIS may however supply contextual information (if it has any) that it considers may be useful to their understanding.
  • Your personal details will only be used by SBIS and will not be passed on to any third party, except for the purposes of completing the data search (such as invoicing). We will never sell your contact details to another organisation.


  • SBIS may charge for the time taken to search for and collate the ecological information. Any such charge goes towards recovering administration costs of the service and to the maintenance and development of SBIS and its records. No charge is made for the data itself. All charges will be subject to VAT. Payment will be requested by invoice.
  • Commercial users: Commercial bodies, consultants, non-supporting bodies, those undertaking sponsored research (e.g. University research sponsored by a client) and any user that does not qualify as a non-commercial user (see below) will be charged at £140 + VAT for the first hour (with a minimum charge for one hour) and £100 + VAT per hour for subsequent hours or part hours charged pro rata.
  • Small search charge (for example a data request for a single species group): £70 + VAT.
  • Batch data requests (up to five sites with identical search parameters ordered together): two sites £259 + VAT, three sites £378 + VAT, four sites £497 + VAT, five sites (max.) £616 + VAT
  • Non-commercial users: Charges may be waived for bona fide non-commercial users who will use the data for non-commercial purposes. These include non-sponsored researchers, teachers and students; members of the public; charitable or voluntary nature conservation organisations and natural history societies. Enquirers may be asked to provide credentials.
  • SBIS Supporters: Organisations or individuals who support SBIS financially, by data supply or in-kind will be entitled to services agreed on an individual basis.


  • It should be noted that the absence of a record in response to a data search does not imply that a species or important habitat does not exist within the search area.
  • Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of all data provided, SBIS can accept no responsibility for any costs, damages or liabilities whatsoever arising from the use of data provided by SBIS or for any omissions or inaccuracies within it.

Data release terms and conditions:

By accepting a quote enquirers agree that they have read and understood the Access Policies and Charges set out in this document and accept the conditions below.

  1. Data are supplied on condition that they are only for the use of the enquirer and their client (if commissioned) and only for the purpose specified at the time of the enquiry. Data will not be stored beyond the life of the project for which they were acquired.
  2. Data may be used as required in support of the planning process, but will not be made public in any other documents or in any other media without written permission from SBIS. If items of a sensitive nature are indicated by SBIS, published grid references will not locate them with accuracy greater than 1km without written permission from SBIS.
  3. Data will be stored in a manner that prevents their use and distribution beyond those permitted by conditions 1 and 2 above.
  4. The enquirer agrees not to modify the factual content of the material supplied and not to copy directly any parts of the material that have been identified by SBIS as not to be copied (e.g. Ordnance Survey based maps, where licensing restrictions apply, or material of a sensitive nature). This applies regardless of the medium of the supplied material, be it paper or electronic.
  5. Data used in any form of document will have their source acknowledged as indicated by SBIS.
  6. All rights in the data are reserved. Ownership of data is not transferred by this agreement.
  7. The enquirer will indemnify SBIS against any claims made against SBIS or any of its employees for any loss or damage arising from the supply of data to the enquirer pursuant to this agreement.
  8. Data held by SBIS, although verified as far as may be possible, are not definitive.
  9. There may be data concerning items in the ecological environment that are as yet unknown to SBIS and which were not recorded in SBIS at the time of this enquiry and for which SBIS cannot be held liable.
  10. Some data may be withheld because of their sensitive nature, the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018 and/or conditions imposed by their owner.
  11. Where the search has been completed as a cross border data search, the enquirer accepts the Terms and Conditions of the other LERC. (Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service website; Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Environmental Records Centre website)
  12. 30 day payment terms