Privacy Policy

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Who are we? | Our commitment to your privacy | Why do we collect your personnel data? | What kind of personal data do we process? | How do we store your data? | Your rights | Making a complaint | Get in touch | Changes to privacy policy

1. Who are we?

Sussex Wildlife Trust is a conservation charity for everyone who cares about nature in Sussex.We focus on protecting the wonderfully rich natural life that is found across our towns, countryside and coast, increasing people’s awareness and understanding of the natural world, and deepening people’s relationship with it. Founded in 1961 we are the largest local organisation dedicated to protecting the wildlife and natural environment across Sussex.

Supported by some 30,000 members and 450 volunteers we look after more than 30 nature reserves across Sussex covering over 5,000 acres of land.

We create opportunities for people of all ages to learn about nature and connect with it.Over 10,000 children visit our environmental education centres each year, and 5,000 people attend our wildlife events and courses.

We conduct research that supports the conservation of nature in Sussex and engage with policy makers and other organisations to encourage positive change.Our Landowner Advice service works with landowners of all sizes to advise on land management for the benefit of nature.

Over 6 million local wildlife records are held by the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre and our WildCall information service helps the public with all sorts of wildlife and nature conservation questions.

2. Our commitment to your privacy

We are committed to keeping the personal details of our members and supporters safe. This policy explains how and why we use your personal data, to ensure that you remain informed and in control of your information.

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

  • Sussex Wildlife Trust. We are a registered charity in England and Wales, and our registered charity number is 207005
  • Sussex Wildlife Trust Enterprises Limited, our charitable trading company; (registered company number 04537139). The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sussex Wildlife Trust, which trades only to raise funds for our charitable organisation.

3. Why do we collect your personal data?

We use your personal data to keep in touch with you.

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

a) To administer your Sussex Wildlife Trust membership

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

  • Sending you your membership welcome pack 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 renewal letter
  • Getting in touch should there ever be any issues processing your subscription payment
  • If your Wildlife Trust membership was purchased as a gift, we will use the address provided by the purchaser by to send you information about our work in the post.

The ICO define the lawful basis for processing your data for these purposes as ‘contractual’.

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

We collect your personal data to send you:

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

The ICO define the lawful basis for processing your data for these purposes as ‘contractual’.

c) To send you information about our work and ask for your opinion

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 includes your membership magazine, fundraising appeals, events, campaigning opportunities, volunteering, membership, products, 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). From time to time, we may also use your personal data to ask for your opinion about our work.

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

As defined by the ICO, we use two different lawful bases 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 email, text message (SMS) or telephone (if you are registered with the Telephone Preference Service)

We respect your right to update the way we get in touch with you about our work at any time. To amend your communication preferences or update your contact details please contact:

Membership Department

Sussex Wildlife Trust, Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex, BN5 9SD

Telephone: 01273 497527


Our office hours are Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm.

d) If you volunteer with us

If you are a Sussex 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
  • other opportunities for volunteering or supporting or work by sending you our volunteer newsletter
  • dedicated volunteer thank-you events

As defined by the ICO, the lawful basis for processing your data for these purposes is ‘contractual’ (where administering your volunteer record) and ‘legitimate interest’ (when sending you information about our work).

4. What kind of personal data do we process? How do we collect it?

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 financially with a 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 you have given permission for such information to be shared).

b) Additional information

We may also collect additional information about you, which may include:

  • information about your wildlife interests, which you tell us through our Membership Surveys
  • records of donations and pledges
  • 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
  • interactions with us on social media
  • your date of birth and gender

In most instances we collect this data from you directly. Occasionally we also obtain data from external sources. For example, we may check against Royal Mail’s National Change of Address database to ensure that the address we have listed for you is up to date.

We may collect information about certain supporters from public sources including public databases (such as Companies House), news and other media.This will mostly relate to well-known or influential people, and is the exception rather than the rule.

Research and profiling

We may make use of profiling methods to enable us to send you relevant and timely communications.To do this we may use external sources of geodemographic and consumption data such as CACI Acorn and MOSAIC.Examples of such information include newspaper readership, leisure interests and indicators of financial status such as house value.These will be based on your postcode rather than being specific to you as an individual.

Third parties

From time to time we may pay for the contact details of people who might be interested in hearing from us in future. Before we purchase contact information, we always check the wording used when your information was originally collected, to make sure that we only contact people who have actively expressed an interest in receiving information from third parties.

When providing 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.

If you do not wish your data to be collected in any of these ways, or have questions about them, please contact us:

Data Protection Officer

Sussex Wildlife Trust, Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex, BN5 9SD

Telephone: 01273 497527

Email the Data Protection Officer

Our office hours are Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm.

c) Our website, cookies and links to other sites

Our website uses ‘cookies’ to help provide you with the best experience we can. 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

For more information on our Cookies Policy, please click here

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 our website to another website you may be supplying information to a third party.If an external website requests personal information from you the information you provide will not be covered by Sussex Wildlife Trust’s Privacy Policy.

d) 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, and we will only do so with your specific consent and permission. In these situations, we collect the data from you 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 on one of our reserves or during one of our activities. 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.

e) 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.

f) Recruitment and employment

In order to comply with our contractual, statutory, and management obligations and responsibilities, we process personal data, including ‘sensitive’ personal data, from job applicants and employees.

Such data can include, but isn’t limited to, information relating to health, racial or ethnic origin, and criminal convictions. In certain circumstances, we may process personal data or sensitive personal data, without explicit consent.

5. How do we store your data?

a) Security

All of the personal data we process is processed by our staff in the UK. However, for the purposes of IT hosting and maintenance your information may be situated outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). This will be done in accordance 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 Sussex 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 we will pass your credit card details securely to our payment provider.

Sussex Wildlife Trust complies with the payment card industry data security standard (PCI-DSS) published by the PCI Security Standards Council, and will never store card details.

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.


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 Sussex 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.

Sussex 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.

d) Data retention policy

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

6. Your rights

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

  • a) 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 policy, please contact us.

  • b) 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.

  • c) The right to rectification

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

  • d) The right to erase

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

  • e) The right to restrict processing

You can ask us to stop using your personal data.

  • f) The right to data portability

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

  • g) The right to object

You can ask to be excluded from marketing activity.

  • h) 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.

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

7. Making a complaint

Sussex Wildlife Trust wants 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 our Director of Fundraising and Communications.

For further information on how to make a complaint, please see our Complaints Procedure

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

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

8. Get in touch

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

Data Protection Officer

Sussex Wildlife Trust, Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex, BN5 9SD

Telephone: 01273 497527

Email the Data Protection Officer

To amend your communication preferences or update your contact details please contact:

Membership Department

Sussex Wildlife Trust, Woods Mill, Henfield, West Sussex, BN5 9SD

Telephone: 01273 497527

Our office hours are Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm.

9. Changes to this Privacy Policy

We update this policy periodically to ensure it accurately reflects our use of personal data.

This Privacy Policy was last updated on 5 April 2018.