This Privacy Notice explains our commitment to your privacy. It details how and why we collect information, how we store it and dispose of it, and your rights to control the data we hold about you.

Any updates will be posted on this web page and where appropriate, may be notified to you by email.

Click here to read the child-friendly version of the Trust’s Privacy Notice.

For 60 years, the Scottish Wildlife Trust has worked with its members, partners and supporters in pursuit of its vision of healthy, resilient ecosystems across Scotland’s land and seas.

The Trust successfully champions the cause of wildlife through policy and campaigning work, demonstrates best practice through practical conservation and innovative partnerships, and inspires people to take positive action through its education and engagement activities. It also manages a network of over 100 wildlife reserves across Scotland and is a member of the UK-wide Wildlife Trusts movement.

We are committed to the safekeeping of personal details of our members, supporters and anyone else whose information we hold. This notice explains how and why we use your personal data, to ensure that you remain informed and in control of your information.

Any references to the Scottish Wildlife Trust, the Trust, or to ‘we’ or ‘us’ refer to:

  • The Scottish Wildlife Trust – a Scottish registered charity (charity number SC005792) and a company limited by guarantee and registered in Scotland (registered number SC040247).


  • Natural Capital Scotland Limited – a subsidiary of the Scottish Wildlife Trust and a private company limited by shares incorporated in Scotland (registered number SC424744).


  • Partnership projects in which the Scottish Wildlife Trust is the lead delivery partner or the provider of a Secretariat function.

We will never sell your personal data.

We collect your personal data in order to process your membership/donation, to keep in touch with you, or for some other legitimate purpose.

We will only ever collect, store and use your personal data when we have an identified purpose and reason to do so. The ICO refers to this as a ‘lawful basis’. Further information about why we collect your personal data is outlined below.

a) To administer your Scottish Wildlife Trust membership

We collect your personal data to administer your membership, which may involve:

  • Sending you your welcome letter, membership card(s), Exploring Reserves guide when you first join us
  • Processing your Direct Debit subscription payments, if you have set this donation process up with us
  • Sending you your membership magazine, Scottish Wildlife; and your regional newsletter (if applicable), three times per year.
  • Sending you your junior membership magazine, Wildlife Watch, four times per year (Family and Watch memberships only).
  • Getting in touch should there ever be any issues processing your subscription payment
  • Sending you details of other membership benefits, including details of AGMS, EGMs and any relevant opportunities to vote
  • Sending you your membership renewal letter.

We use the ICO’s definition of ‘contractual’ for the lawful basis for processing your data for these purposes.

We use the ICO’s definition of ‘legitimate interest’ for the lawful basis for processing your data for these purposes.

i) Joint and family membership

If you are a ‘joint’ or a ‘family’ member of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, we will address communications to all those listed on your membership. If you wish to update this at any point, please let us know.

ii) Gift membership

If your Scottish Wildlife Trust membership was purchased as a gift, we will use the address provided by the purchaser to send you information about our work in the post. If you are the purchaser of a gift membership, we will send you a ‘renewal letter’, when the membership is due to expire, to see if you would like to continue this gift.

iii) When your membership has ended

Unless we hear from you directly, we may continue to send you information about our work for a period of time after your membership has ended.

b) To send you items purchased from our online shop, including event and activity bookings

We collect your personal data to send you:

  • items you have purchased from our online shop
  • information about events and activities you have booked

We use the ICO’s definition of ‘contractual’ for the lawful basis for processing your data for these purposes.

c) To send you information about our work, including our partnership projects

We also collect your personal data so that we can send you information about our work that we feel will be of interest to you. This may include general updates (from the Trust and our partnership projects), fundraising appeals, magazines, campaigning opportunities, membership offers, services, products, newsletters, upgrade and reactivation campaigns, invitations to events, competitions and other activities, as well as information about other carefully selected organisations that we work in partnership with (such as Vine House Farm’s bird seed catalogue).

This information is in addition to that outlined in sections a) and b) and is defined as ‘direct marketing’ by the ICO.

We use a number of different lawful bases as defined by the ICO for processing your data for ‘direct marketing’ purposes:

i) Legitimate interest

This is where we have identified a genuine and legitimate reason for contacting you, which crucially does not override your rights or interests

We use legitimate interest to send you the information listed above by post or telephone (if you are not registered with the Telephone Preference Service, and you have given us your telephone number).

ii) Opt-in consent

This is where you have given us express permission to contact you by particular communication channels.

We use opt-in consent to send you the information listed above by post, email, text message (SMS) or telephone (if you are registered with the Telephone Preference Service)

iii) Contractual

This is where we have agreed to send you information as a benefit of your membership.

We respect your right to update the way we get in touch with you about our work at any time.

d) To get to know you better

Your personal data also helps us get to know you better and to develop a ‘profile’ of you on our secure supporter database. This ‘profile’ enables us to send you the information listed above in a timely and relevant way, to suit you. For example, keeping track of the donations you make to our organisation helps us to send you information about fundraising appeals that we feel you would like to hear about, or allow us to ask you for further support. Likewise, keeping a record of your wildlife interests that you may tell us about in one of our Membership Surveys, helps us to send you relevant project updates.

We use the ICO’s definition of ‘legitimate interest’ for the lawful basis for processing your data for these purposes.

e) To enable you to volunteer with us

If you are a Scottish Wildlife Trust volunteer, we collect your personal data so that we can keep in touch with you about, for example:

  • changes to planned volunteer work programmes that you may be taking part in
  • the positive impact you have on our work, by sending you our volunteer newsletter
  • dedicated volunteer thank-you events

We will also collect personal data to facilitate your volunteering, for example:

  • application, reference, skills and disclosure details
  • role capacity
  • declaration of interests
  • attendance, training and performance management
  • annual vehicle checks
  • accident and near miss reports

Where you support our activities in other ways, we might collect, for example:

  • species records (where your name is a required component of the record)
  • photographs
  • information about your volunteering activities e.g. planning submissions

As defined by the ICO, the lawful basis for processing your data for these purposes is ‘contractual’ (where administering your volunteer record) and a ‘legitimate interest’ (where we have identified a genuine and legitimate reason for collecting this information, which crucially does not override your rights or interests).

We may also request and hold sensitive information about you (e.g. about any health issues that may impact your volunteering work) but only with your explicit consent.

a) Basic information

We will usually collect basic information about you, including your name, postal address, telephone number, email address and your bank details if you are supporting us by direct debit.

Most of the time, we collect this data from you directly. Sometimes this is in person; other times, it is over the telephone, in writing or through an email. Occasionally we obtain information, such as your telephone number or other contact details, from external sources (only where we have been assured that you have given permission for such information to be shared).

We also from time to time engage specialist agencies such as Prospecting for Gold to gather information about you from publicly available sources, for example, Companies House, the Electoral Register, company websites, ‘rich lists’, social networks such as Linkedin, political and property registers and news archives.

This research helps us to understand more about you as an individual so we can focus conversations we have with you about fundraising and volunteering in the most effective way, and ensure that we provide you with an experience as a donor or potential donor which is appropriate for you. We shall be relying on legitimate interest to conduct this research.

If you would prefer us not to use your data in this way, please contact us.

b) Getting to know you better

We also collect information about you that helps us to get to know you better. This may include:

  • information about your wildlife interests, which you tell us through our membership and online surveys
  • records of donations you’ve made towards fundraising appeals
  • your preferences of how you would like us to contact you
  • ways you’ve helped us through volunteering your time
  • records of events you’ve attended, or campaigns or activities that you’ve been involved in
  • a note of your intention to incorporate a gift to the Trust in your Will

Sometimes we will collect other information about you such as your date of birth and gender. When we do so, we will be very clear as to why we are collecting such information, and we will only do so with your specific consent and permission.

Once again, most of the time we collect this data from you directly. Occasionally the information we hold for you may be checked against data from external sources. For example, the Royal Mail’s National Change of Address database may be checked to ensure that the address we have listed for you is up to date. We know moving to a new house can be a busy time and appreciate that you don’t always have the chance to send us your new address. By undertaking this exercise, we can update your record without you needing to get in touch. It is also in our interest to do this as it saves money and resources.

We may also collect consumer classification data generated through geodemographic tools (such as Experian’s Mosaic) to help us make more informed decisions around our membership and fundraising activities.

We may also undertake research and record information from public registers and other publicly available sources such as Companies House, newspapers and magazines as well as information related to your wealth.

Other ways in which we collect personal data to get to know you better include:

i) Our website

Our website uses ‘cookies’ to help provide you with the best experience possible. Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer or mobile phone when you browse websites.

Our cookies help us:

  • Make our website work as you’d expect
  • Remember your settings during and between visits
  • Improve the speed/security of the site
  • Allow you to share pages with social networks like Facebook
  • Continuously improve our website for you
  • Track traffic levels on the website and on particular pages

For more information on our Cookies Policy, please click here.

ii) Third parties

From time to time we may obtain contact details from a third party for people who might be interested in hearing from us in the future. Before we process such contact information, we will always check that there is a lawful basis for us to do so – e.g. that each person has given sufficient permission for their data to be shared with us, or that the third party is acting in good faith and the Trust has a legitimate interest in processing the information.

If you have provided permission for third party organisations to share your data, you should check their Privacy Policies carefully to understand fully how they will process your data

c) Sensitive personal data

We do not normally collect or store sensitive personal data (such as information relating to health, beliefs or political affiliation) about supporters and members. However, there are some situations where this will occur.

When we do so, we will be very clear as to why we are collecting such information (e.g. dietary requirements for an event you are attending), and we will only do so with your specific consent and permission. In these situations, we will normally collect the data from you (or your parent/guardian) directly.

If you are a volunteer then we may collect extra information about you, for example:

  • references
  • criminal records checks
  • details of emergency contacts
  • medical conditions

We may also collect sensitive personal data if you have an accident whilst on Trust premises. This information will be retained for legal reasons, for safeguarding purposes and to protect us (including in the event of an insurance or legal claim). If this does occur, we’ll take extra care to ensure your privacy rights are protected.

d) Children and young people

In line with data protection law, we will not collect, store or process your personal details if you are under 13 years of age; unless we have the express permission from your parent or guardian to do so.

If we have the permission of your parent or guardian, and you are a Wildlife Watch member, we will capture your date of birth at the point of joining. This is so that we can send you information that we feel is suitable to your age.

For further information, please see our Safeguarding Policy.

We work with a number of trusted third-party service providers who we may need to share your data with. We require them to have appropriate controls in place and to agree to act only in accordance with our instructions to ensure your data is secure and appropriate controls are in place. All third parties that we work with in this way are subject to pre-contract scrutiny and, where possible, we will always have a written contract in place with clear data protection clauses before we share any data with them.

The third parties we work with at no point ‘own’ your data, so you will never hear from them independently and they will always delete your data from their systems or retain only anonymised data when they have completed the task in hand. We always send your data to partner organisations securely, to minimise the risk of it being intercepted by unknown individuals and/or organisations.

Where these third parties are acting as data controllers, they are required to handle your personal data in accordance with all applicable data protection laws. For further information about how they do this, please refer to their privacy policies.

We only share your information with third parties in the following circumstances:

i) with your consent;

ii) to agencies engaged to administer or undertake fundraising, wealth profiling and marketing activities on our behalf;

iii) to agencies engaged in advertising on our behalf (e.g. Facebook, Google), for example to exclude existing members from membership recruitment advertisements;

iv) to agencies who require aggregate information about our users in order to carry out the work that we are contracting them to do. For example, marketing consultants, advertisers and our website developers. Note that aggregated information is always anonymous;

v) to any successor organisation carrying on our charitable activities following a reorganisation or merger;

vi) if we require to do so in order to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation; to enforce the legal terms applying to the use of this site, or to protect the rights of the Scottish Wildlife Trust or users of the site. This includes exchanging information with other organisations to help prevent the risk of fraud or credit risk; or

vii) to funder organisations if we are required to provide information (e.g. supplier invoices) as a condition of funding in order to substantiate costs relating to a project.

a) Security

All the personal data we process is processed by our staff in Scotland. However, for the purposes of IT hosting and maintenance, your information may be situated outside of the UK or European Economic Area (EEA). Where we transfer any personal data outside the UK or EEA we will ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place in order to protect your personal data and only transfer data in compliance with guidance issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Electronic data and databases are stored on secure computer systems and we control who has access to information (using both physical and electronic means). Our staff receive data protection training and we have a set of detailed data protection procedures which personnel are required to follow when handling personal data.

b) Payment security

All electronic Scottish Wildlife Trust forms that request financial data will use the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol to encrypt the data between your browser and our servers.

If you use a credit card to donate, purchase a membership or purchase something online, some of the information you provide to us (name/address/transaction amount) will be passed securely to our payment provider (WorldPay) who will then ask you to provide your credit card details. Once your credit card details have been processed, our payment provider will provide us with the payment status – i.e. if the transaction has been successful or not. Other payment methods (e.g. Paypal) are handled in a similar manner.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust website does not collect or process your credit card details. The payment method is recorded on our supporter database; but no credit card information is ever stored by the Trust.

Of course, we cannot guarantee the security of your home computer or the internet, and any online communications (e.g. information provided by email or our website) are at the user’s own risk.

c) Wildlife webcams

Some of our premises have wildlife webcams that are streamed live onto the Scottish Wildlife Trust website. There is a very small chance that you may be recorded on one of these cameras when you visit the sites.

The wildlife webcams are there in order to provide people with the opportunity to watch wildlife wherever they are the in world. Footage from these cameras is only stored temporarily at the site of the camera and in the instance that a person has been captured on the camera, the footage will be recorded over unless flagged for review.


Some of our premises have CCTV and you may be recorded when you visit them. CCTV is there to help provide security and to protect both you and the Scottish Wildlife Trust. CCTV will only be viewed when necessary (e.g. to detect or prevent crime) and footage is only stored temporarily. Unless it is flagged for review CCTV will be recorded over.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust complies with the Information Commissioner’s Office CCTV Code of Practice, and we put up notices, so you know when CCTV is in use.

e) Data retention policy

We will only use and store information for as long as it is required for the purposes it was collected for. We continually review what information we hold and delete what is no longer required.

For further information, please see our Data Retention Policy.

We respect your right to control your data. Your rights include:

i) The right to be informed

This privacy notice outlines how we capture, store and use your data. If you have any questions about any elements of this notice, please contact us.

ii) The right of access

If you wish to obtain a record of the personal data we hold about you, through a Subject Access Request, we will respond within one month.

iii) The right to rectification

If we have captured information about you that is inaccurate or incomplete, we will update it.

iv) The right to erase

You can ask us to remove your personal details from our records.

v) The right to restrict processing

You can ask us to stop using your personal data (but we may continue to hold it where we have a lawful basis).

vi) The right to data portability

You can ask to obtain your personal data from us for your own purposes.

vii) The right to object

If you feel that the processing impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms. You can also ask to be excluded from marketing activity.

viii) Withdraw consent
Where we are relying on consent to process your personal data.

ix) Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling

We respect your right not to be subject to a decision that is based on automated processing.

Please note we do not take any decisions about you where none of our employees or any other individuals have been involved in the process.

We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access your personal data (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is a security measure to ensure that personal data is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it.

For more information on your individual rights, please see the Information Commissioner’s Office.

If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please contact:

Data Protection Officer

Harbourside House, 110 Commercial Street, Edinburgh EH6 6NF

The Scottish Wildlife Trust want to exceed your expectation in everything we do. However, we know that there may be times when we do not meet our own high standards. When this happens, we want to hear about it, in order to deal with the situation as quickly as possible and put measures in place to stop it happening again.

We take complaints very seriously and we treat them as an opportunity to develop our approach. This is why we are always very grateful to hear from people who are willing to take the time to help us improve.

Our policy is:

  • To provide a fair complaints procedure that is clear and easy to use for anyone wishing to make a complaint.
  • To publicise the existence of our complaints procedure so that people know how to contact us to make a complaint.
  • To make sure everyone in our organisation knows what to do if a complaint is received.
  • To make sure all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely way.
  • To make sure that complaints are, wherever possible, resolved and that relationships are repaired.
  • To learn from complaints and feedback to help us to improve what we do.

All complaint information will be handled sensitively, in line with relevant data protection requirements.

Overall responsibility for this policy and its implementation lies with the Chief Executive.

For further information on how to make a complaint, please click here.

Information Commissioner’s Office

For further assistance with complaints regarding your data, please contact the Information Commissioner’s Office, whose remit covers the UK.

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow SK9 5AF

Telephone: 0303 123 1113


We are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of any other websites linked to our website. If you have followed a link from this website to another website you may be supplying information to a third party.

Get in touch

Should you wish to find out more about the information we hold about you, or about our privacy notice, please contact us:

Telephone: 0131 312 7765


Harbourside House, 110 Commercial Street, Edinburgh EH6 6NF

Our office hours are Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.


Printed copies of this Privacy Notice are available on request.

We update this Privacy Notice periodically.

Last updated: June 2024

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