Today the National Biodiversity Network Trust (NBN Trust), a charity that promotes and facilitates the collection, sharing and use of wildlife data, has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £190,500 to explore how it can become more sustainable.
In particular, the NBN Trust will have the resources to be more responsive to the needs of users of the online NBN Atlas – the UK’s largest collection of biodiversity information – and keep up to date with rapidly changing technological advances, as well as enthusing and engaging more people about the wonders of British wildlife.
Currently the NBN Atlas holds approximately 220 million species records across 43,000 species in 800 datasets. Correctly resourced, the NBN Atlas aims to be the single source of high-quality wildlife data at the national level. Making it the leading website to share, view, analyse and use this data for everyone from school-children, students and academic researchers to commercial users, government agencies and the general public.
Already, anyone can access the NBN Atlas free of charge and use the ‘Explore Your Area’ functionality to discover more about wildlife in their locality or access information about local green spaces. In addition, the wildlife information currently shared on the NBN Atlas is helping to protect British endangered species – such as red squirrels, hedgehogs and natterjack toads – and their habitats from being developed and built-on.
As the National Biodiversity Network is a partnership and membership organisation – including Friends of the Earth, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), and the National Trust – all 140 partners and 200 members will benefit from a more resilient NBN Trust too.
Dr Jo Judge, CEO of the National Biodiversity Network Trust says:
“The NBN Trust is delighted to have received this support, made possible thanks to players of The National Lottery. With this funding we can begin to make our charity more resilient for the future.
“It will enable us to further develop the NBN Atlas, which is a tool that enables everyone, both within and outside the Network, to share, visualise and analyse information about the UK’s precious wildlife. Collecting and sharing data about the UK’s wildlife is vitally important to ensure robust evidence is available for use in policy, planning and conservation decisions.
“Additionally, we hope this National Lottery Heritage Fund grant will enable us to engage new audiences through developing an educational portal for the NBN Atlas to tie in with the national curriculum as well as developing the NBN Atlas to inspire and captivate the general public’s interest in biodiversity and the natural world around them.”
Jonathan Platt, Head of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, East Midlands, says:
“It is great that, thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to help the NBN Trust build its financial resilience, a vital facet of any organisation. The type of greater understanding achievable through an improved NBN Atlas, utilising latest technology and well-maintained data, will in turn support the resilience of the UK’s nature and wildlife. Supporting the UK’s natural heritage is a priority for The National Lottery Heritage Fund.”