Notification of intent to construct new wells and boreholes and the subsequent provision of information

Although the BGS has statutory rights of access to records, core and samples from boreholes drilled to depths greater than 30 m for mineral exploration and 15 m for water supply assessment, most of the records held in our collections are from boreholes of shallower depth, that have been deposited voluntarily.

Please inform us of any drilling work you are undertaking, or planning to undertake using the online notification form.

In addition, please send us any further information, such as borehole logs or other site investigation information; these records are an invaluable source of detailed geological and land use information that can be used to support a wide range of commercial and academic investigations and research.

Please see How to deposit data for further information.

Requirements under the Water Resources Act 1991 and Water (Scotland) Act 1946

Included within the Water Resources Act 1991 are the provisions of section 7 of the Water Act 1945 and certain subsequent legislation dealing with regulations concerning underground water. Section 198 requires that:

  1. the Natural Environment Research Council be notified of the intention to sink new wells and boreholes for water to a depth of 50 feet (15 metres) or more in England and Wales
  2. that journals be kept of the programme of work, including measurements of any water levels and flow rates
  3. that these journals together with details of water levels and yields be provided to the Council at the address below

Section 205 of the Act provides for such information supplied under section 198 to be furnished in confidence if so required. Section 3 and 4 of the Water (Scotland) Act 1946 stipulates similar requirements.

Requirements under the provisions of the Mining Industry Act 1926

The powers vested in the Committee of the Privy Council for Scientific and Industrial Research by the Mining Industry Act 1926 have been transferred to the Natural Environment Research Council by the Science and Technology Act 1965.

The intention of these sections of the Acts is to ensure that all information obtained from the sinking of boreholes and shafts for minerals including petroleum is made available to the British Geological Survey. This information, together with that obtained from the surveys carried out by the staff of the Geological Survey, comprises a considerable volume of data on the geological structure of this country and the nature and extent of its mineral resources. This data is either published or held available for public inspection, except that information communicated as confidential is not divulged without consent.

More information

Leaflets have been prepared for the guidance of contractors and others including the relevant sections of the Water Resources Act 1991, Mining Industry Act 1926, and the Petroleum (Production) Act 1934; these are available on request or from the Legal framework page.

The Natural Environment Research Council is confident that it can count upon the full and willing cooperation of all concerned.

Information should be sent to:

Data Collection Officer
National Geological Records Centre
British Geological Survey
NG12 5GG


Contact Sue Roper (Data Collection Officer)