Privacy Policy

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Who are we? | Our commitment to your privacy | What information do we collect | How we collect information about you | How your information is usedWho your information is shared withData storage and security | Lawful basis for using your information | Your rights | 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 38,000 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 and our WildCall information service helps the public with all sorts of wildlife and nature conservation questions.

We also host a number of partnership projects including:

  • Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre (, the local provider of environmental data and information services for Sussex.
  • Sussex Local Wildlife Sites Initiative (, which maintains a functioning Local Wildlife Sites system for Sussex
  • Sussex Flow Initiative (, a natural flood management project working with and restoring natural processes to reduce flood risk within the River Ouse catchment, in Sussex.
  • Gatwick Greenspace Partnership, a community project that works to benefit people, wildlife and the countryside between Horsham, Crawley, Horley, Reigate and Dorking.

2. Our commitment to your privacy

We are committed to keeping the personal details of our members, supporters and users of our services 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 collect some or all of the following information, depending upon the purposes outlined in section 5:

  • Your name;
  • Your contact details – postal address, telephone number, e-mail address, social media identity;
  • Your date of birth;
  • Your gender;
  • Your preferences of how you would like us to contact you;
  • Records of our correspondence with you ;
  • Your bank or credit card details where these are used to make a payment;
  • Records of membership subscriptions, donations or pledges;
  • Records of purchases made from our online shop;
  • Tax-payer status to enable us to claim Gift Aid;
  • Ways you have helped us through volunteering your time;
  • Records of events you have attended, or campaigns or activities you have been involved in;
  • Interactions with us on social media;
  • Information about your wildlife interests;
  • Photographs of you taken during an event or activity, with your permission
  • Photographs or videos your you supply for publication are credited with your name;
  • If you use our Landowner advice services, including Sussex Flow Initiative, we may collect information about your land or garden;
  • Information about your activities on our website(s) (such as IP address and location) and the devices you use to access these;
  • User names and passwords;
  • CCTV images from Sussex Wildlife Trust locations;
  • If you share biological wildlife records with us then your name is included with the record alongside the date and location information of your observation;
  • Where you have left us a legacy, information regarding next of kin or executors ;
  • If you own or manage a Local Wildlife Site we collect records of land parcels in your ownership;
  • Special category data may be collected if you volunteer with us. This may include information relating to health, racial or ethnic origin, criminal records checks, references and details of emergency contacts;
  • We may also collect special category 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 assist 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;
  • Special category data such as dietary requirements or accessibility needs may be collected if you register to attend our events.

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.

Special category data

We do not normally collect or store special category 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.

Recruitment and employment

In order to comply with our contractual, statutory, and management obligations and responsibilities, we process personal data, including special category 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 special category data, without explicit consent.


If you apply to be a trustee of the Trust, we will need to collect additional information about you, in line with Charity Commission guidance, to enable us to make a decision about your suitability as a trustee.

4. How we collect information about you

From you directly

Most of the time your data is collected as a result of your interaction with us. This could be if you join as a member, make a donation, register for an event, make an enquiry, purchase something, use our advice or information services, supply biological records, register as a volunteer, apply for a job, comment on our blog or otherwise provide us with your personal information. Sometimes this data is collected in person; other times it is over the telephone, in writing, through an e-mail or online.

From Third Parties

We collect data if you donate through third parties such as Just Giving, or register for events through third parties such as Zoom or Eventbrite, and provide your consent for your personal information to be shared with us.

If your membership was purchased as a gift your personal details will have been provided by the gift purchaser.

We collect data on e-mail open rates and interaction through third party e-mail providers such as Mailchimp.

SxBRC uses an online forms service called Cognito to capture data requests, including people’s names and contact details.

From time to time we may pay for the contact details of people who might be interested in hearing from us in the 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.

Through partners or suppliers working on our behalf

We use the services of trusted partners or organisations to help us recruit new members and supporters and to raise funds. When we work with other organisations or individuals in this way, we always set up a written contract with them to protect your data.

From other external sources available to the public

We occasionally obtain information from external sources, such as Directory Enquiries for telephone numbers, or 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, search engines and social media. This will mostly relate to well-known or influential people, and is the exception rather than the rule.

The Local Wildlife Sites Initiative uses the HM Land Registry portal to obtain information on ownership of registered land which includes basic information about you, i.e. landowner name and postal address, as listed in the register.

When you visit our websites

On the websites we maintain (,,,, and we gather information which might include which pages you visit most often and which of our areas of work are of most interest to you. We may also track which pages you visit when you click on links in emails from us. Our websites use ‘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, unless the third party has been identified as a data processor acting on our behalf – see section 6 below.

5. How your information is used

Sussex Wildlife Trust and its partnership projects use the information you provide to us for one or more of the following purposes:

  • To administer your Sussex Wildlife Trust membership, including sending your membership pack and membership communications, and getting in touch regarding any membership queries;
  • To send you your membership magazine. This sometimes includes advertising or inserts from our partners (such as the Vine House Farm bird seed catalogue) but this communication will always come from Sussex Wildlife Trust.
  • To administer your donations or support your fundraising, including processing Gift Aid;
  • To process payments, including Direct Debits;
  • To send you items purchased from our online shop;
  • To manage our events and communicate with you about the events you have booked;
  • To ask for your opinion about our work;
  • To communicate with you about hiring our event or meeting spaces;
  • To keep in touch with you as a volunteer;
  • To provide you with the data, services, products or information you asked for;
  • To respond to any enquiries or complaints you make to us;
  • To process your application for a job or volunteering position, including Trustee applications;
  • To keep a record of your relationship with us;
  • To understand how we can improve our services or information by conducting analysis or market research;
  • To record your intention to remember us with a gift in your Will, and to communicate with you appropriately;
  • To send you information about our work that we feel will be of interest to you. This is defined as ‘marketing’ and includes information about events, fundraising appeals, campaigning opportunities and volunteering. We ask you to ‘opt-in’ to give us permission to send you such information by post, telephone, e-mail or SMS;
  • To comply with contractual, statutory and management obligations relating to job applicants and employees;
  • To comply with contractual, statutory and management obligations relating to our governance;
  • To enable attribution and verification of biological records;
  • To contact biological recorders about their observations, for data management and verification purposes;
  • If specifically requested by you, to enable other members of the Sussex biological recording community to contact you about biological recording activities or events;
  • To communicate with landowners and land managers in relation to the Local Wildlife Site survey, review and selection process and site management;
  • If you own or manage a Local Wildlife Site, to request permission to access the land for survey purposes, and to notify you of survey results and designations decisions;
  • If you own or manage a property adjacent to a Sussex Wildlife Trust reserve, to contact you in relation to activities or works affecting the local area.

5.1 Research and Profiling

We may make use of profiling methods from external sources of geodemographic and consumption data such as CACI Acorn and MOSAIC to help us identify the demographic profile of our supporters, in order to target our marketing more effectively. Examples of such information include newspaper readership, leisure interests and indicators of financial status such as house value. These will be based on postcodes rather than being specific to any individual.

5.2 Social Media

We use social media platforms including Facebook and Instagram to communicate with our existing and potential supporters. We use both paid ads and unpaid organic posts on the platform. We use cookies to measure the success and effectiveness of our paid advertising by ensuring that our ads are served to the relevant people.

We also use Facebook pixel to retarget to supporters who have previously engaged with us through our website.

These cookies also help us to build custom audiences and lookalike audiences so you can receive relevant adverts from us when you use Facebook. This is so we can raise awareness among users of Facebook who share similar interests to you. Your data is sent in an encrypted format that is deleted by Facebook if it does not match with a Facebook account.

Read Facebook’s privacy policy

6. Who your information is shared with

We will never sell or trade your personal data. We may share personal data with subcontractors or suppliers who provide us with services. When we work with other organisations in this way, we always set up a written contract with them to protect your data. 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 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.

6.1 Payment processing

If you use a credit or debit card to donate, buy a membership or purchase something from us we will pass your credit card details securely to our payment provider. 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. 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. 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.

If you set up a Direct Debit, your data will be shared with BACS (Bankers Automated Clearing Services) only for the purposes of claiming Direct Debit payments.

6.2 Sending communications

We use the services of third-party data processors for certain tasks. For example, this might be a mailing house who sends your membership magazine to you, on our behalf.

We also use the services of third-party software providers as data processors for sending e-mail communications, including confirmation and reminders for events you have booked through these platforms.

6.3 Administering Gift Aid

If you have made a Gift Aid declaration, we will disclose the information you have provided to HMRC in order to reclaim Gift Aid on your donation(s).

6.4 Biodiversity Record Centre Data Requests

To collect and store the basic personal data required to fulfil our data request service, Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre uses a third-party online service provider Cognito Forms, who act as a data processor on behalf on Sussex Wildlife Trust.

6.5 IT and Digital Consultants

We use the services of third party contractors to deliver IT support, and to help us manage our website and deliver digital communications.

6.6 Freelance Photographers

We use the services of freelance photographers to document some of our events and activities. Your photograph will only ever be taken and used with your permission. We have written contracts with our photographers to protect this form of personal data.

7. Data storage and security

All 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 data protection procedures which personnel are required to follow when handling personal data.


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.

Data retention policy

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

8. Lawful basis for using your information

We will only ever collect, store and use your personal data when we have a clear justification for doing so. The General Data Protection Regulation and UK data protection legislation refer to this as a ‘lawful basis’. For the data processing activities described in this policy we rely on the following lawful bases:


Consent is used when we ask you for permission to use your information in a certain way, and you agree to this. For example, in order to send you marketing material we ask you to ‘opt-in’. Where we use consent as a lawful basis you have the right to withdraw consent at any time.

Legal Obligation

To comply with legal or regulatory obligations we may need to share your information with bodies such as the Charity Commission, Fundraising Regulator or Information Commissioner.


We use your information on a contractual basis when purchase something from us, such as membership, a service or an event.

Vital Interests

We may need to use your information where it is necessary for us to protect life or health. For example, in the event of an emergency on one of our reserves, or a safeguarding issue requiring us to share your information with emergency services.

Legitimate Interests

Legitimate interests means that we can process your personal information if we have a genuine and legitimate reason and we are not harming any of your rights and interests. For example, holding your personal data to respond to an enquiry or to send you a thank-you letter. In order to determine this we undertake a ‘balancing exercise’ to evaluate the impact of processing data in this way.

9. Your Rights

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The right to rectification
    If we have captured information about you that is inaccurate or incomplete, we will update it.
  • The right to erasure
    You can ask us to remove or randomise your personal details from our records, where possible.
  • The right to restrict processing
    You can ask us to stop using your personal data.
  • The right to data portability
    You can ask to obtain your personal data from us for your own purposes.
  • The right to object
    You can ask to be excluded from marketing activity.
  • 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.

10. Contacting us

To amend your communication preferences or update your contact details

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

Membership Department

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

Telephone: 01273 497532

Email: [email protected]

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

To ask questions about this Privacy Policy, or the ways in which we collect, store and use your data:

Data Protection Officer

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

Telephone: 01273 497532

Email: [email protected]

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

To make a complaint

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

For information on how to make a complaint, please see Complaints Procedure | Sussex Wildlife Trust

Overall responsibility for our Complaints Policy and its implementation lies with our Director of Business Support.

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
Email: [email protected]

11. 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 7 October 2021.