Martin Horlock, the chair of the Association of Local Environmental Records Centres (ALERC) said “we are naturally disappointed that the lead public sector body for nature conservation in England has terminated access to important wildlife information, and that it feels that its evidence strategy is not heading in the same direction as our members', their partners and recorders who provide them with data. Despite the decision, our members will continue to work with other national and local partners, and will participate in several other projects with NE’s national and local teams that are in the planning stages or already in progress. We will now take some time to assess the full ramifications of the MoA termination for our members and partners, and will publish the results. We will also be making a formal response to NE, Defra and the Secretary of State.”
The decision does not necessarily mean a complete end to NE – LERC relations, as NE intend to offer LERCs the opportunity to bid for Open Data grants in the future. However it will have a significant impact on data access to NE at a national level and will require local Area Teams to make their own funding agreements with LERCs where they need to continue accessing their services.