BSBI Distribution Database (DDb)

BSBI's database (DDb) contains more than 40 million plant records, including historical records from herbaria and published catalogues and more recent survey data compiled for our Atlas projects and on-going recording. The database is used to generate our public taxon distribution maps, which show occurrence records at up to tetrad (2km square) resolution.

Access to the underlying database is available to our County Recorders and taxonomic experts. External researchers and conservation workers may also be granted access, on a case-by-case basis. To discuss use of BSBI data for your project please contact Kevin Walker. BSBI members who are actively contributing records to BSBI surveys should contact their local County Recorder.


MapMate has been widely used by BSBI recorders and still accounts for the large majority of recent records.  There is an efficient automated mechanism in place to transfer MapMate data from recorders to our central database (DDb).  The BSBI MapMate support website includes training videos on creating species richness maps and a page of custom queries that can be useful to plan recording. The development of both website and handbook has been kindly supported by Scottish Natural Heritage.

The following spreadsheets (.xlsx format) were created by Andy Amphlett to assist in importing data to Mapmate:


iRecord is an online system for biological recording designed and maintained by the
Biological Records Centre at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. Although originally designed for the submission of single wildlife sightings, it is increasingly being used as a way of submitting, managing and sharing records.

The iRecord mobile recording app can be a convenient way to enter records directly in the field.

Botanical occurrence records and validation annotations submitted to iRecord are shared with BSBI and automated included in our database. At present records are transferred twice a year, but we plan to enable frequent (daily or weekly) synchronisation by the end of 2020. Many BSBI County Recorders are also iRecord verifiers for their county.