Data Advisory Group (Working Group)

  • DAG Co-chairs: Richard Ostler (Rothamsted Research) & Sophia Ratcliffe (National Biodiversity Network)
  • Secretariat Lead: Stephen Turner
  • Secretariat Support: Emily Trill

The Data Advisory Group (DAG) is a collaborative forum which was set up to increase awareness of environmental observations and to bring organisations together to discuss data sharing initiatives at the UK, EU and global level.

The UK Vision for Data Sharing
"People/organisations in "UK plc" actually share and reuse environmental observation data to inform policy decisions, expand knowledge, contribute to international activities, stimulate markets for innovation, improve operational capabilities and improve their responses to the changing environment." 
Sharing Environmental Observation Data Think Tank 2008

UKEOF began by articulating the issues and produced a paper, Sharing Environmental Observation Data - the Issues, which outlined the legal, institutional, cultural and technical aspects of data sharing. In September 2008, the paper was presented at a Think Tank with Bob Watson and senior government officials to highlight the issues and agree a vision.

Following consultation at a Data Solutions Workshop, the DAG was established.

DAG Role

Through the DAG, UKEOF provides a neutral space to discuss and coordinate knowledge exchange between data and information initiatives. It is vital to understand the policy and practice of existing initiatives to enable the UK environmental data and information resources to be used effectively.

As part of regular DAG meetings, members provide updates about their organisations' initiatives to inform the wider community of developments, events or new areas of work.

One of the mainstays of the programme was the development and operation of the UKEOF Environmental Observations Activity Catalogue, developed in the early days of UKEOF and operated  until 2022. The DAG were consulted about technical developments to meet the expressed needs of users of the catalogue.


The DAG has produced a series of Advice Notes, setting out the basic principles for data and information collection, management and application in a series of key areas:

DAG Advice Note 1 cover    DAG Advice Note 2 cover    DAG Advice Note 3 cover

DAG Advice Note 4 cover    DAG Advice Note 5 cover    DAG Advice Note 6 cover

Other outputs


Members are representatives of the broadest environmental data and information community and /or those with specific technical and/or policy relevant roles at a UK, European or international level. Participation is open to central and local government, academia, and research, the private and voluntary sector from across the devolved administration.

Membership is flexible so if you would like to get involved or find out more information please contact the secretariat on

Current member organisations are:

  • British Library (Rachel Kotarski & Jez Cope)
  • British Oceanographic Data Centre (Clare Postlethwaite)
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Tim Ashelford, Ellie Martell, Andrew Wharrad, Sonia Williams)
  • Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Northern Ireland (Iain Davies, Martin McAleese, Wendy McKinley)
  • Environment Agency (James Finigan)
  • Geospatial Commission (Kathryn Buttle)
  • HR Wallingford (Quillon Harpham)
  • Joint Nature Conservation Committee (Melissa Lawrie)
  • Marine Environment Data and Information Network (Gaynor Evans)
  • Met Office (Stuart Matthews)
  • National Biodiversity Network (Sophia Ratcliffe)
  • Natural England (Matthew Funnell)
  • Natural Resources Wales (Barnaby Letheren)
  • Office of National Statistics (Adam Dutton)
  • Rothamsted Research (Richard Ostler)
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council (Victoria Bennett)
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Peter Singleton)
  • Scottish Government (Shona Nichol)
  • Semantics Arts (Peter Winstanley)
  • UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (Mike Brown)
  • UK Hydrographic Office (Dave Tomaney)
  • ELIXIR Europe, University of Leicester (Jonathan Tedds)
  • University of Nottingham (Jeremy Morley)
  • Welsh Government (Oliver Massey)

Terms of Reference

Further links