The distribution maps we use on this site combine NatureSpot records collected on this web site with those submitted to the National Biodiversity Network. The NBN Atlas is an innovative website that serves as a warehouse for biodiversity records. Data is submitted to the NBN by hundreds of local and national recording centres, allowing an overall picture of a species' distribution to be mapped.

    Each species page has both a Leicestershire and Rutland distribution map, with NatureSpot records in red and NBN records as green squares. The UK map only includes NBN data.

    As soon as you submit a record to NatureSpot, a new 'dot' appears on the map.

    Most NatureSpot records have a 6 or even 8 number grid reference - equating to a 100m or 10m square. When the map is large, these very small squares wouldn't show up so they are displayed as a larger dot. If you zoom in, the actual size of the square becomes more apparent. The NBN data however is displayed as larger squares so we can't say exactly where the species was seen - just that it was found somewhere within that square.

    Why are there few records in Leicestershire and Rutland even for common species?
    There are several reasons:

    • NBN is relatively new and not all collected records have yet been submitted. This is improving over time.
    • Some recorders submit data to NBN with restricted visibility, so these records may not appear in our 2km squares.
    • other than for birds, there are relatively few people collecting records
    • many of the smaller groups of animals are hard to identify so get ignored
    • common species are so familiar they often get ignored by wildlife recorders

    Why are Leicestershire and Rutland grouped together?
    County boundaries are often changed to fit political ideas. Rutland has in the past been a part of Leicestershire, even though it is a separate county now. To avoid confusion and to provide consistency, all biological recording in this country adopts fixed boundaries based on the old Watsonian Vice Counties. In this system, Leicestershire and Rutland are treated as one area called Vice-County 55 (VC55).