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Privacy Notice

Version 1, last updated 8th November 2018

This privacy notice sets out the basis on which we will process any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us.

Who we are

The UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS) assesses trends in the abundance of butterfly species within the United Kingdom. It is run and funded in partnership by Butterfly Conservation, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the British Trust for Ornithology, and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC):

  • CEH is a wholly owned research centre of the Natural Environment Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation.
  • Butterfly Conservation is a charity dedicated to halting and reversing declines in butterflies and moths. Registered Charity Number 254937 (England & Wales), SCO39268 (Scotland).
  • British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) is an independent charitable research institute combining professional and citizen science aimed at using evidence of change in wildlife populations, particularly birds, to inform the public, opinion-formers and environmental policy, and decision-makers. Registered Charity Number 216652 (England & Wales), SC039193 (Scotland).
  • JNCC is the public body that advises the UK Government and devolved administrations on UK-wide and international nature conservation.

The UKBMS also benefits from a number of ‘Transect Coordinators’, ‘Wider Countryside Champions’, and BTO ‘Regional Organisers’, who are volunteers on behalf of the above organisations to support other volunteers in participating in the UKBMS.

The UKBMS partners are joint controllers for all processing of personal data for the purposes of the UKBMS.

Why do we collect personal information and who do we collect it from?

The UKBMS partners collect personal data in order to administer, run and share results of the UKBMS, to evaluate how the scheme is being used and to maximise its effectiveness.

In data protection terms we are using the ‘legal basis’ of ‘public task’ for collecting, processing and sharing (see below) your personal data.

We may collect your personal data if you are a

  1. scheme participant
  2. land owner or land manager of locations where butterflies are monitored through the UKBMS and/or
  3. user of the data, e.g. if you download UKBMS data or complete a data request form

The specific personal data we collect and how we process it varies across these three situations as set out below.

Collecting personal data from scheme participants

The data we will collect

When you submit data to the UKBMS, your name will be included alongside the survey information (including location and time of record) to form the ‘biological record’. You may be contacted with queries about the records you provide for the purpose of validating and verifying the survey data. We are also collecting your personal data to provide you with information and feedback on the scheme and its conservation and scientific context.

We will collect the following personal data about you:

  • name
  • contact details (e.g. email address, postal address, telephone number)
  • location and date of any biological records you submit

In addition to this information, when you visit the UKBMS website (including your online account), we also collect information automatically about visits to the site using Google Analytics and in our server logs. This includes

  • Your IP address
  • The pages you request, when you request them, and how you interact with them
  • The type of device and browser you use

We use this information to support our work in various ways including monitoring website performance, improving design, protecting against malicious behaviour and obtaining summary statistics on website usage.

How are we storing your information and will we share it?

All of your personal data that we collect electronically and by paper copy will be stored securely for as long as you are signed up with the scheme. If you no longer wish to contribute records to the UKBMS and would like your personal data removed, please contact transect@butterfly-conservation.org so we can do this. Your account will be deleted after six months of your request or by end of the following March to allow us to resolve any queries we may have on records you have already submitted. However, note that the component of your personal data that forms the biological record (i.e. your name, and the location and time of the record) will be kept permanently as part of the scientific dataset.

Volunteers (e.g. Transect Coordinators, Wider Countryside Champions, Regional Organisers) and contractors working for us (e.g. if someone were employed to run a training course for the scheme) may receive your personal details to enable them to carry out their role.

We may pass your records and contact details to an external record verifier who may get in touch for the purpose of validation and verification of records. This communication will primarily be through the iRecord system (www.brc.ac.uk/irecord) that provides a verification system for the UKBMS and other biological surveys.

Biological records produced by the UKBMS will be disseminated to other organisations and individuals worldwide for purposes of scientific research and will also be disseminated worldwide for public access and use under OGL (Open Government License) or a CC-BY licence, for example via the NBN Atlas. Your name may be included as part of the scientific records in these datasets.

Other than as set out above, and except where we have a legal obligation to so do, we will not share your personal data with anyone else or transfer your data outside the European Union.

Collecting personal data from land owners and land managers

The data we will collect

We are collecting your name and contact information in order to request access to carry out a butterfly survey on your land in future years. We will also keep with your personal data any additional information you have provided regarding any access restrictions.

How are we storing your information and will we share it?

Your personal data will be stored securely on a UKBMS database while butterfly monitoring is being carried out on your land, for five years after the last survey and then deleted. The data will be accessible by the volunteer surveying your land, any new volunteer intending to take over surveying the site, and UKBMS Partnership staff, for the purposes of running the UKBMS and the specific purposes set out above. It will not be used for any other purposes.

Collecting personal data from UKBMS data users

The data we will collect

When you request data from the UKBMS, we will record your name and contact details, together with the data you requested and the reason for the request.

We use the contact details you provide to fulfil your request. We may contact you with queries about your request to enable us to provide you with the data you need. We may also contact you to discuss the details of your use of the dataset in order to make you aware of opportunities and benefits of research advice and collaboration.

In addition to this information, when you visit the UKBMS website, we collect information automatically about visits to the site using Google Analytics and in our server logs. This includes

  • Your IP address
  • The pages you request, when you request them, and how you interact with them
  • The type of device and browser you use

We use this information to support our work in various ways including monitoring website performance, improving design, protecting against malicious behaviour and obtaining summary statistics on website usage.

How are we storing your information and will we share it?

Your personal data will be stored securely on a UKBMS database for 10 years after your data request has been fulfilled. The data will be accessible by the UKBMS partnership staff for the purposes set out above. It will not be used for any other purposes.

Your rights and our contact details

You are entitled to access any of your personal data that we hold. You can view and edit the personal data we hold of yours within the UKBMS online data input site, by logging in to your account on the UKBMS site at www.ukbms.org.uk/mydata. Alternatively, please contact transect@butterfly-conservation.org with as much detail as possible on the information you would like us to provide and we will respond within one month.

You have the right to object to the processing of your personal data where we have relied on public task as the lawful basis for processing. You also have right to request that we restrict or stop processing, rectify or delete your personal data. Where the personal data we hold has not been supplied by yourself, you are entitled to ask how we obtained the personal data. Please contact Mark Hinder - UKRI NERC (mark@nerc.ac.uk) if you wish to progress any of these rights and your request will be considered within the provisions of the GDPR.

You can request that your UKBMS user account is cancelled at any time by emailing transect@butterfly-conservation.org.

If you have any concerns about how your personal data is being used, we will try to answer any questions you have. You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office. You also have the right to an effective judicial remedy against decisions of the Information Commissioner’s Office, or against the UKBMS partners.

Changes to the privacy policy for the UKBMS

This Privacy Policy may be updated from time to time. The latest version will always be available at www.ukbms.org/privacy-notice. If changes are made to this privacy policy in the future, a prominent notice will be posted on the website.


The UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme is organized and funded by Butterfly Conservation (BC), the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). The UKBMS is indebted to all volunteers who contribute data to the scheme.