What is the British Geological Survey?

The British Geological Survey is a world-leading geological survey. It focuses on public-good science for government, and research to understand earth and environmental processes. It is the UK's premier provider of objective and authoritative geoscientific data, information and knowledge to help society to:

  • use its natural resources responsibly
  • manage environmental change
  • be resilient to environmental hazards

As a public sector organisation BGS is responsible for advising the UK government on all aspects of geoscience as well as providing impartial geological advice to industry, academia and the public.

The BGS is part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), which is the UK's main agency for funding and managing research, training, and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. The NERC reports to the UK government's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

We also undertake an extensive programme of overseas research, surveying and monitoring, including major institutional strengthening programmes in the developing world.

Our annual turnover is in the region of £45m, about 50 per cent of which comes from NERC's Science Budget, with the remainder coming from commissioned research from the public and private sectors. Further details may be found in our Annual Report.

Our headquarters are at Keyworth, near Nottingham, and we have a regional offices at Edinburgh, Wallingford, London and Cardiff. The BGS also has a presence in Belfast through the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland. BGS offices and departments.


Photograph of Keyworth site
Photograph of Edinburgh site
Photograph of Wallingford site
Photograph of Cardiff site