First time creating a new Place

I have just created a new place for the Bann Estuary Special Area of Conservation in Northern Ireland. (I know we are supposed to be restrained in creating new places but this is my first ever so I think I am within the guidelines!) It is an officially recognized conservation area (see and a place where I have made quite a lot of observations myself. I noticed I was not able to designate a Parent place for it and the only options that would autofill in this field were in Canada. I guess this is because I log in through Is there a way for me to add the parent place that gets around this? In any case I’m not entirely clear how to identify the parent. Is it the smallest “official” place that includes all of the new place?


You need to type in the name of parent place you wish to use, you can search for it in existing places.

Looks like we do restrict parent places on our network sites (eg iNatCA). I’m not sure we should.

Anyway, if you log in to and go to your place ( you should be able to add any place from around the world as its parent. Look for the “Edit place” link on the right-hand side of the place page.

That’s usually the best way to go. If the entire boundary is in a county level place (I think that would the “district” in Northern Ireland) then make that the parent place. If it’s in multiple county-level places, then you’d go to the state/province level, which in this case would be Northern Ireland.


Thank you @tiwane. I was able to add Northern Ireland as the parent place in that way. The site is in the district of Causeway Coast and Glens, which does not seem to be an offficial place on iNat (although I do see it suggested sometimes as a location when I’m entering an observation). I see you do have a borough of Coleraine, which is now part of C C & G after a local government reorganization in 2015. The current districts are listed at From a quick look you don’t seem to have any of these as official places. If you want to reflect the official administrative divisions these are probably what you should be using. I might be able to track down KMLs for them if that would help.

Added a github issue about the parent place restriction:

Places like the districts in question here are what we call “standard” places and we soure them from GADM. Unfortuantely we can’t just update standard places piecemeal, they would all have to be updated, which is a pretty herculean task.

Thanks @tiwane that makes perfect sense and I can see it would indeed be a mammoth and never-ending task to update these boundaries piecemeal. I did take a look at GADM and I see that the current official district boundaries are actually their Level 2 divisions. Strangely the names are missing for 2 of these, “Causeway Coast and Glens” and “Lisburn and Castlereagh”. Their level 3 divisions are the old districts which iNat is using but which I don’t think have any legal existence any more.

Anyway it seems like there is no pressing need for iNat to do anything about this. I will change my place’s parent place to Coleraine which is the smallest containing standard place under your current system.

Thanks also for raising the issue about restricting parent place choices.

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