What is SERC?

Who are we?

Set up in 1986 as a joint venture between Somerset Wildlife Trust (SWT) and Somerset County Council, the Somerset Environmental Records Centre (SERC) is a not-for-profit partnership organisation hosted by the Somerset Wildlife Trust.

SERC is hosted by Somerset Wildlife Trust and together with our partner organisations, guide the development of the record centre through our Executive Group. The SERC governing document, the Prospectus, can be accessed here.

SERC has been the main centre holding data on wildlife sightings, types of environments and geological information for Somerset and provides Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), service level agreements (SLAs) and data searches to a mix of public, private and charitable organisations that include Somerset Wildlife Trust, Somerset Council, Exmoor National Park Authority, the Environment Agency, South West Water, Wessex Water and commercial ecological consultancies.

Although we make charges for most of our services, SERC is a not for profit organisation and the charges are based on our time, not the data. Enquirers seeking data for non-commercial activities, such as wildlife recording, conservation work and academic research, can sometimes access our data for free.

The income from our SLAs alongside our data searches cover the core funding required to operate SERC. We work in close collaboration with our partners on biodiversity strategy for the county and the Southwest region; including the local biodiversity action plans, the Somerset Notables List, locally designated wildlife and geological sites (LWS, LGS), the Local Nature Partnership (LNP), Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) and the Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS).

Another major function of SERC is the management of the LWS and LGS survey programmes. Reviewing local sites against the county criteria and proposing any changes to designations of sites. With over 2000 local sites, and having the third highest number by county, this requires a great deal of staff time and effort.

SERC is a member of the Association of Local Environmental Records Centres and has close links with Specialist Groups within Somerset to help plan county activities, share species and habitat knowledge and data, and develop a good network of advice and support.

What area do we cover?

SERC covers the administrative county of Somerset – this does not include North Somerset or Bath and North East Somerset – for these areas you will need to contact Bristol Environmental Records Centre. If you right click the image and open in a new tab, you can zoom and pan the county to get a better idea of our boundary.

Somerset Environmental Records Centre (SERC) is hosted by Somerset Wildlife Trust.
A company limited by guarantee and registered in England No 818162.
Registered charity No. 238372 | VAT Reg. No. GB 691 6995 71