Using BGS copyright material

BGS Intellectual Property Rights

Our copyright team is here to advise you and provide a licensing service for the reproduction of our published material in hard-copy (paper) or non-manipulable electronic format (e.g. ‘flat’ images).

Published material can include, but is not limited to: 

  • books
  • maps
  • reports
  • geology guides
  • photographs
  • map cross-sections
  • web pages
  • drawings

This chart will help direct you to the most relevant information for your use. For any further queries, please contact the copyright team via

BGS IPR Flow Chart
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BGS Intellectual Property Rights flow chart. If you have any questions or queries, please contact BGS © UKRI.

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Uses of material and acknowledgment

Subject to appropriate acknowledgement and compliance with any specific terms related to the content, BGS gives non-exclusive permission to reproduce, free of charge, for non-commercial private study, research and educational activities and use any BGS copyright figures, sketches, illustrations, diagrams, photographs, map extracts and cross-sections appearing on this website (but excluding any BGS-hosted websites) and/or from any BGS published academic papers, books, reports, guides or maps.

Non-commercial use means any use that is not defined below as commercial.

Commercial use means any internal use within an organisation that receives any direct monetary consideration by offering a service and/or product containing BGS material or derived material e.g.  the sale of a book or newsletter with a charge, even though that charge may not meet the full costs of the publication or use.

Commercial use further includes any indirect monetary advantage or benefit received by any person or organisation by the offering of any service and/or product as described above. Organisations include Government and other local authorities and their contractors.

Subject to where specific permission is granted on this website, no part of any BGS content may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a retrieval system of any nature, for commercial purposes, without the prior written permission of the copyright holder.

Permission to reproduce such material can be granted by BGS IPR ( via specific copyright arrangements relating to individual permissions and/or copyright licences.

The following acknowledgement must accompany reproduced BGS material:

‘Reproduced with the permission of the British Geological Survey © UKRI [year]. All Rights Reserved.’

Where any BGS materials are used as the basis of specifically generated illustrations, please use the acknowledgement:

‘Based upon [source details], with the permission of the British Geological Survey.’

Reproduction of any BGS materials does not amount to an endorsement by UKRI or any of its employees of any product or service and no such endorsement should be stated or implied.

BGS permits and how to apply

Where your use is for the ‘one off’ commercial reproduction of BGS material (e.g. reusing BGS photograph in a book to be sold) we would ask you complete the application form and send it to

One of the team will get in touch with you regarding permission or provide a quote for re-use if relevant.

Download IPR application form

Copyright and scanning licence

If your re-use is for the reproduction of BGS extracts over a number of different instances in the course of a year (e.g. map extracts in client reports), the copyright and scanning licence might be better suited to your needs. Information can be found below. 

A BGS copyright and scanning licence (CSL) is a renewable, annual licence to cover multiple reproductions of extracts from BGS materials (excluding photographs). The licensee chooses the maximum number of reproductions of the extract to be made in a year and can reproduce BGS materials up to that maximum without having to request permission for each reuse.

The CSL is suitable for those who want to photocopy and/or scan  an agreed number of extracts of published BGS maps or other documents (excluding photographs) in a year. They may be reproduced in analogue (paper/hard-copy) or non queryable electronic format (e.g. secured .PDF file) for internal use and for passing on in client reports.

This licence covers a single site/premise. A corporate version of this licence is available, which allows organisations to elect to have multiple sites/premises included on one licence, at an additional cost of £47 + VAT per additional premises.

Available in two scale ranges:

  • 1:625 000, 1:250 000, 1:100 000, 1:63 360, 1:50 000 and 1:25 000 scales
  • 1:10 560 and 1:10 000 scales


Find out more about fees for CSL

If you have any queries or wish to get a quote please contact


  • Any form of reproduction of BGS photographic materials, or reproduction of borehole information provided by the BGS, for which separate permission is required.
  • Attribution of BGS materials as belonging to the licensee.
  • Issuing of any materials in or on which there is false attribution.
  • The retention of scanned extracts for use in the provision of a bureau service for others or for the benefit of or on behalf of others.
  • Any other form of digital/electronic manipulation, for which specific prior digital licence arrangements are required.
  • Any promotional use. Any such use must be agreed separately.

Important points to note

Your use of any materials supplied by BGS is at your own risk. Neither BGS nor UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) gives any warranty, condition or representation as to the quality, accuracy or completeness of the information or its suitability for any use or purpose. All implied conditions relating to the quality or suitability of the information and all liabilities arising from the supply of the information (including any liability arising in negligence) are excluded to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Most BGS maps make use of OS topography, reproduction of which may be permitted by the licences issued independently by the OS. Users who do not have an OS licence to reproduce the topography must make their own arrangements with the OS.

A BGS licence does not authorise the reproduction of Ordnance Survey (OS) maps. Likewise, an OS licence does not authorise the reproduction of BGS material.

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1. BGS copyright figures, sketches, illustrations

This does not include the 'BGS logo + British Geological Survey' identifier displayed at the top of these web pages, which is a Registered Community Trade Mark of UKRI. Use or reproduction of this trade mark for any purpose must be with the prior written permission of BGS – enquiries should be directed to

2. BGS published academic papers, books, reports, guides or maps

The non-exclusive permission to reproduce relates only to map extracts and NOT to reproduction of entire published map sheets.


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