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Centre for Environmental Data and Recording

CEDaR collects, stores, manages and releases information on the wildlife of Northern Ireland and its coastal waters.

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Centre for Environmental Data and Recording

CEDaR is the Local Environmental Records Centre for Northern Ireland and its coastal waters, working in partnership with Northern Ireland Environment Agency, National Museums NI and the recording community. CEDaR helps to gather and record information about local wildlife and habitats. This information is stored on our databases and shared widely to inform policy, decision-making, environmental management, research, planning and conservation.

CEDaR supports species and habitat identification and recording through various means, such as publications, the Habitas suite of websites, training courses, CEDaR Online Recording, signposting surveys and schemes, supporting BioBlitzes, developing recording initiatives, etc. The aim and objectives of CEDaR underpin the supply of environmental data needed to implement the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Strategy and support good land, freshwater and marine management and planning.


The aim of CEDaR is, To collect, collate, manage and disseminate robust (verified and validated) spatial data sets to facilitate biodiversity initiatives, (local, national and international).

Therefore, it is the role of CEDaR is to further develop an effective, efficient, flexible and scalable solution for delivery of environmental data and recording activity (increasingly interpretation of that data or information) in support of a growing range of legislative and international drivers in Northern Ireland.


In order to fulfil the above aim, the following objectives have been developed:

  1. Provide a customer-focused Record Centre for NI spatial data sets.
  2. Support environmental recording community to ensure a flow of validated, fit-for-purpose data to the central databases and other dissemination portals.
  3. To manage and maintain spatial data sets.
  4. To manage and maintain existing and new web products for our customers.
  5. To enable access to data (and information) by various audiences.
  6. To undertake agreed actions in relation to legislative requirements.
  7. To undertake an agreed number of appropriate interpretation initiatives in collaboration with the recording community and other partners.
  8. Outreach.

Submitting Records to CEDaR

All biological records submitted to CEDaR are verified by local experts, stored on our databases and made available to view on the NBN Atlas Northern Ireland.

You can submit your records in a variety of formats

CEDaR Online Recording

Read an overview of how to use the CEDaR Online Recording website here.

Submit records for a single species or a list of species to us online using the CEDaR Online Recording website.

Data submitted to CEDaR Online Recording is governed by the following Terms and Conditions.


Submit records in the field, using the iRecord app:


You may send us a spreadsheet including a list of records.

Complete the CEDaR Records Submission sheet or send your own sheet which includes the following information:

  • Species name
  • Location name
  • Grid reference or Lat/Long
  • Date
  • Your name
  • Comments

Send your completed spreadsheet by email

CEDaR provides access to information on the wildlife of Northern Ireland and its coastal waters. Whilst ensuring the confidentiality of sensitive biological records, information is released in response to an Information Request.

If the enquiry is commercial, a charge may be made. This charge is based on the time required to process the request. The income generated through information requests is made available to the Environmental Recorders’ Group (ERG) Fund.

There are two separate forms for requesting information from CEDaR, one for terrestrial and freshwater data and one for marine data. Please choose the one relevant to you and click on the link to download:

An example of a completed marine form is available here.


Frequently asked questions

  • What is an Information Request?

This is a formal request made to CEDaR by, for example, environmental consultancies, groups or individuals seeking environmental information.

Typical requests include:

General species information.

Records for species of known conservation status, for example, in a specific locality.

Records showing the distribution of a particular species in a specific area, or throughout Northern Ireland.

Records for all species in a specific area.


  • Is there a charge?

Commercial Enquirers

If a commercial organisation requests information, and there are records available, there is a charge. This charge is based on the time taken to process the request (not for the records themselves). The nominal charge rate is available on request.

The income generated through information requests is specifically made available to members of the Environmental Recorders’ Group (ERG).

Non-Commercial Enquirers

Information is provided free of charge to non-commercial enquirers, for example, voluntary, educational or research groups or individuals.


  • What geographical area does CEDaR cover?

CEDaR’s remit relates to the collation of records from Northern Ireland and its coastal waters. For information concerning the Republic of Ireland, please contact the National Biodiversity Data Centre (NBDC), Waterford.

For certain groups, CEDaR may hold limited data for the Republic of Ireland. Although these records have been collated through the personal interest of individual recorders, for example, on holiday, they can only be released with their prior approval. Please note that CEDaR does not actively collate or disseminate data sets that specifically relate to the Republic of Ireland.


  • What is the procedure when requesting information?

Choose the Information Request Form relevant to your enquiry from the choice above and proceed accordingly.

Email the completed form to us or post to CEDaR, marking the envelope ‘Information Request’.

An accompanying annotated map can be scanned and attached to the email. A map is important for most enquiries and is vital where more complicated outlines are involved.


  • How long, on average, does it take for a request to be processed?

Normally, CEDaR staff will respond to a request within seven working days.


  • If CEDaR does not have any data for an area, does this mean there is no information available?

No, not necessarily. There may be information held by another organisation or individual. If that is known to be the case, you will be informed and given the appropriate contact details.


*Please note that CEDaR does not comment on or interpret the data resulting from a data search.

This fund is currently closed for new applications. ERG Members will be notified by email when the fund is re-opened

The Environmental Recorders’ Group (ERG) was established to provide a forum for people in Northern Ireland who are interested in environmental recording. The group meets twice yearly for discussions, and to share ideas and expertise.

Membership is free, and an application form can be downloaded via the link below.

Any statutory or voluntary organisation, local society or individual interested in environmental recording may join ERG.

An ERG Grant scheme (ERG Fund) has been set up to encourage biological and geological recording in Northern Ireland. Priority is given to projects which support the objectives of the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Strategy. Every registered member of ERG is eligible to apply for an ERG Grant once per year.


  • How can I apply for an ERG Grant?

 To apply for an ERG Grant, please download and complete the ERG Fund Application Form (PDF) and return it to:
Damian McFerran, CEDaR Records Centre Manager, 153 Bangor Road, Cultra, Holywood, Co. Down, BT18 0EU

When filling in the form please refer to the Guidelines for ERG Grants (PDF). Remember to enclose three quotes for the costs associated with your suggested proposal.

  • Is there a limit to the amount of money I can apply for?

The upper limit for each grant is £1,000.

  • What is the deadline for submission of applications for an ERG Grant?

There is no closing date for applications.

  • Who decides which applications for an ERG Grant are successful?

The CEDaR Management Group, which comprises representatives of the Department of Natural Sciences, National Museums Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, considers all applications received and makes the final decision as to whether an application is successful or not.

  • When can I expect to hear if my application has been successful?

A final response to an ERG Grant application should be received within two months of receipt.

  • Do I need to provide a report about my project when I claim the ERG Grant?

Yes, a written report which sets out the results of the project should be submitted when the grant is claimed. There is also a requirement that any records made during a project supported by an ERG grant, or made using equipment acquired by means of an ERG grant, should be passed to CEDaR. Any specimens collected should also be lodged in the collections of the National Museums Northern Ireland. The CEDaR Management Group may set out additional conditions for any individual grant application.

  • Can I volunteer with CEDaR?

If you wish to assist CEDaR get in touch with us here.

Taking part in a survey is a way for you to become more involved with biological recording and become a Citizen Scientist. You will be asked to follow certain methodology to collect data in a standardised format to enable more robust analysis. Surveys can be on a local, national, all-Ireland or international scale. For information on recording schemes and surveys of other species groups please contact us for more information.

Live Surveys

  • Daubenton’s Waterways Survey: Bat Conservation Ireland piloted the Daubenton’s Bat Waterway Survey based on the Bat Conservation Trust (UK) methodology in 2005. The survey has been continued annually in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland since 2006.  The aim is to assess levels of activity of Daubenton's bat. Trend information from 2006-2019 indicates that species is currently stable.