Members of the public have the right to access environmental information held by public authorities across England, Wales and Northern Ireland under the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004.
Our maps and data are not classified as environmental information under EIR.
Environmental information comprises:
- The state of elements of the environment, such as air, water, soil, land, fauna (including human beings).
- Emissions and discharges, including noise, energy, radiation, waste and other such substances.
- Measures and activities such as policies, plans, and agreements affecting or likely to affect the state of the elements of the environment.
- Reports, cost-benefit and economic analyses.
- The state of human health and safety, and contamination of the food chain.
- Cultural sites and built structures (to the extent they may be affected by the state of the elements of the environment).
Our map data merely shows that a topographical feature exists in a particular geographic position and does not declare either the state of a feature or whether any activity has an effect upon it.
Requests for access to our mapping data under EIR will, in the majority of cases, be treated under the section 6 (1) (b) exception under EIR.
Access to information under the EIR is subject to exceptions. If an exception applies, access to the information may be refused. Some exceptions in the regulations are subject to a public interest test. This means that we must explain why the public interest in withholding information outweighs that of disclosure. There is a general presumption in favour of disclosure.
Although we do not normally charge for providing information in accordance with the Environmental Information Regulations, the regulations do allow us to apply a fee for ‘making environmental information available’.
Making a request
If you are unable to find the information you require from our products, website, publication scheme or previous EIR requests, you may make a request under the EIR.
There are no restrictions on how to make a request under the EIR, however making a request in writing ensures that we have an accurate record of your request.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has a useful guide: how to access information from a public body which provides useful information to consider when making a request.
You can make a request for information (or make a complaint regarding a previous request) using our form on our Freedom of Information requests page.
Please make sure you:
- Make your request in writing (via our contact form at the above link or by post).
- Are specific about the information you require.
- Include your name and email, or postal address so that we can reply in full.
- State in your application if you prefer your information in a particular format.