Norfolk Biodiversity Information Service (NBIS) is a Local Record Centre holding information on species, geodiversity, habitats and protected sites for the whole of the county of Norfolk. NBIS is a member of the Association of Local Environmental Records Centres and operates within the guidelines of the National Biodiversity Network. NBIS functions with guidance from a Steering Group, serving the need for environmental information in Norfolk through the collection, collation, assessment and interpretation of high quality data.


NBIS provides:

·         A single source of environmental information for Norfolk

·         Collation of available data for Norfolk

·         Validation and evaluation of these data

·         Identification of gaps in knowledge – taxonomic, geographical and temporal

·         A permanent and secure location for data

·         Improved flow of data from individual recorders to users at both local and national levels

·         Quick and easy access to information for all


NBIS Facebook wall

Species of the Month - Marsh Harrier


Have you seen a Marsh Harrier this month?

Click the picture and let us know (or use buttons below):

Our species of the month for November is the Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

After becoming extinct in the UK due to persecution and habitat loss by the late 19th century, these birds have been a huge conservation success story, with over 100 females nesting in Norfolk each year. The best places to see them are close to wetlands, where they usually nest - the Fens, the Broads and the Norfolk coast. However they can also be seen further inland and will sometimes breed in arable fields. They can be seen all year round.

The largest of the harriers, they can be recognised by their gliding flight with their broad wings held in a V-shape and by their lack of a white rump. Males are a reddish brown colour with grey wings and black wingtips. Females are chocolate brown and lighter on the top of their head, chin and shoulders.

Marsh harriers are territorial. They nest on the ground, often in reedbeds and feed on small mammals and birds.

Please record sightings (with a photo if possible) using our online recording form below:

Species of the Month - Wasp


Have you seen a wasp this month?

Click the picture and let us know (or use buttons below):

Our Species of the Month for September are the Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris) and the German Wasp (Vespula germanica)

These two related species feed the larvae in their nest with caterpillars and other insects, and in return the larvae provide tham with a sweet saliva. They often seem to suddenly appear in September as this is the time that the queen stops laying eggs. The workers' time is no longer spent feeding the larvae and so they start searching for other sweet foods for themselves - this could include your pint of cider or your jam sandwich!

Wasps, unlike bees, can use their sting multiple times. This makes them more likely to sting than a bee. However they are unlikely to do so unless threatened by a sudden movement or violent behaviour.

The two species are commonly found and look very similar. The best way to tell them apart is that the Common Wasp (top photo) has an anchor shaped black mark on the front of its head, while the German wasp (photo to left) has three small dots (this difference is particularly obvious in females).

Please record sightings (with a photo if possible) using our online recording form below:


Local Sites in Positive Conversation Management (PCM) – 2013/14 Norfolk figures released (30/10/14)

Local authorities should take note of the below figures for the government biodiversity indicator Single Data List (SDL) 160; especially as government guidance only published on 13th October 2014 states that public authorities can use this indicator to measure their commitment to the “biodiversity duty”, part of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 - more details about this guidance here.
On behalf of Norfolk County Council, NBIS undertakes the analysis of this indicator (with assistance from Norfolk Wildlife Trust) and reports the findings directly to Defra, as required under the SDL.  The 2013/14 figures (for the period of 5 years up to March 31st 2014) have recently been reported on and can be viewed for Norfolk and by district in the PDF download ‘SDL-160 2013-14 district summary’. A map of sites in and NOT in PCM for the whole of Norfolk can be downloaded here: ‘SDL-160 2013-14 Results Map’.  A PDF showing the changes in PCM over time is available to download here: ‘PCM Trends 2014’.
Any questions please email NBIS on nbis@norfolk.gov.uk

back to top


The October E-Bulletin ("Biodiversity News in Norfolk"): available to DOWNLOAD NOW (30/10/14)

Download and read no. 39 here. 

You can also fill in our reader survey for the E-bulletin here.

Sign up for our monthly e-bulletin - get the latest biodiversity news by clicking here and sending

back to top


A collection of interesting national biodiversity news from Sept/Oct (30/10/14)

NNNSI "Urban Invaders" Invasive Alien Species Survey

Humans are increasingly moving species outside their natural range, sometimes deliberately and sometimes accidentally. In the absence of their natural enemies, some species can spread rapidly and cause problems. These species are termed

Invasive non-native species are considered to be one of the most important causes of biodiversity loss worldwide, second only to habitat destruction and fragmentation.
They can also have significant economic impacts. One recent estimate put their cost at almost £2 billion a year in the UK alone!

Urban areas are a hotspot for invasive non-native plants. Our new survey - Urban Invaders - aims to help improve the quality of our data on some of the most damaging invasive plants found in Norfolk. We need YOU to help by telling us when
and where you see them.


New Zealand Pigmyweed/Australian Swamp-stonecrop (Crassula helmsii)
Floating pennywort (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides)
Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)
Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica)
Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima)

Download the Urban Invaders Leaflet here

NBIS Hedgehog Survey


Have you seen me this spring?

Click the picture and to let us know (or use buttons below):

Hedgehogs appear to be declining in the UK at the same rate as tigers are globally— at around 5% per year.   There may be less than a million left in the whole of the UK*.

 The hedgehog was voted “Britain’s National Species” after a recent poll organised by the BBC Wildlife Magazine, reflecting its popularity.
Please help us learn more about hedgehog populations in Norfolk by sending in your sightings.

Any records you send to NBIS will assist with an action plan to help safeguard Norfolk’s hedgehogs.:

Norfolk Species Surveillance Network

NBIS needs you!

Norfolk Species Surveillance Network 


NBIS are continuing to develop their Multi-taxon species monitoring initiative known as the Norfolk Species Surveillance Network (NSSN), launched in 2013.

We are expanding this network and the recording levels on them, hence needing as many people as possible to volunteer to monitor species change across Norfolk.  We are looking for individuals or local parish/conservation groups to get involved.  No previous experience of the methodology is necessary, just a passion for wildlife.


Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Gaywood Valley Living Landscape, 10am-1pm every Monday
Free weekly activities in the Gaywood Valley, based from Reffley Community Centre.

Syndicate content