The National Federation for Biological Recording was established in 1986. It supported the founding of the Coordinating Commission for Biological Recording (CCBR) in 1990 and was instrumental in the publication of its seminal report, Biological Recording in the UK in 1995.  NFBR was involved in many aspects of the development and implementation of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan process which started in 1994.  NFBR is a founder member of the National Biodiversity Network which was established in 2000, and continues to have a nominated member of the NBN Board of Trustees.  NFBR played key roles in encouraging recording schemes and fostering the establishment of a UK network of local record centres and the creation of the Association of Local Environmental Records Centres (ALERC) in 2009.

In 2011, a new NFBR strategy From Recording to Revelation and implementation plan Towards Joining the Dots were formally adopted by NFBR’s membership at the ‘Future of Biological Recording’ Conference in Bristol.  These documents set out how NFBR, in partnership with others, might take the first steps towards developing a wider, longer term framework for biological recording and information use.

At the NFBR’s AGM in 2012, a formal proposal was adopted to seek charitable status for NFBR and to change the name from National Federation for Biological Recording to National Forum for Biological Recording.  NFBR attained charitable status in 2013 under its new name National Forum for Biological Recording.  

Since then, NFBR has been holding bilateral meetings with a series of key institutions and umbrella organisations to discuss shared values and opportunities for collaboration on projects to improve the capture, management and use of biodiversity information in the UK.  NFBR has met several times with the NBN Trust and is committed to supporting the delivery of the NBN Strategic Action Plan.