Privacy Policy

Chester Zoo is committed to upholding your privacy and taking care with your personal data as a valued customer, member and user of our website.

We are committed to protecting the privacy of your personal data. We will respect any personal data you share with us and keep it safe. We aim to be clear when we collect your personal data and not do anything you wouldn’t reasonably expect with your data.

Your privacy

Please read this Privacy Policy carefully to understand our practices regarding your personal data and how we will collect, use and store your personal data.  We may update this policy from time to time so please check it regularly. If there are significant updates, we will inform those people with whom we are in regular contact, such as members and email subscribers.

1. Who we are

“Chester Zoo” refers to the following entities:

North of England Zoological Society (NEZS)

The North of England Zoological Society is the organisation that manages the operation of Chester Zoo and our conservation campaign, Act For Wildlife.  NEZS was formed by the zoo’s founder, George Mottershead.

The North of England Zoological Society is a company limited by guarantee and registered in England no. 287902.

Our registered charity no. is 306077 and our VAT no. is 595 7286 79.

If you buy a ticket for admission to Chester Zoo, become a member of NEZS or make a donation, you will be principally dealing with NEZS.

Chester Zoo Enterprises Ltd

Chester Zoo Enterprises Limited is a private company limited by shares, registered in England and Wales with company number 02669535. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of NEZS and its main activities are commercial trading activities including the operation of our shops and restaurants. Chester Zoo Enterprises Limited donates its profits to NEZS.

We refer to these two entities collectively as “Chester Zoo” throughout this policy, and references to “we” and “us” refer to the Chester Zoo entities collectively.

NEZS and Chester Zoo Enterprises Ltd may each be data controllers of your personal data. They each have different roles, but some activities they undertake overlap and personal data may be shared internally for certain purposes.  Information may be shared between them to facilitate, support and integrate their respective activities. Where possible and appropriate, we do try to be clear which entity is collecting your information and to explain which entity does what, but there is inevitably some overlap.

Chester Zoo’s registered office is located at Cedar House, Caughall Road, Upton-By-Chester, Chester, CH2 1LH

2. What personal data we collect and the purposes for which we use it

What personal data do we hold?

Some examples of the type of information we may collect and hold about you are as follows:

  • your full name and your title or an indication of the gender that you most closely associate with;
  • birth date or alternatively a relevant age range;
  • postal address;
  • telephone number(s);
  • email address;
  • records of your correspondence with us;
  • records of your purchases from us;
  • bank or credit card details (if you purchase something from us or donate to us);
  • donation and gift aid details (if you donate to us);
  • information you enter into our websites and digital products and details of how you use those websites and digital products (more details can be found in our cookie policy here: http://www.chesterzoo.org/footer/cookies)
  • dietary, accessibility, and mobility information; 
  • CCTV footage of those visiting our premises;
  • Photographs and digital images of individuals.

But we may also collect, hold and process other personal data where it is appropriate and relevant, for example:

  • details of why you have decided to support/contact us and how you may have heard about us and the work that we do;
  • details of how you would like to be involved and what you intend to do with the information we provide;
  • personal data about you that will enable us to be more precise in what we send you or how we approach you; and
  • for purely business-related reasons, including managing relationships with third party and partner organisations.
  • We will only process sensitive personal data also known as special categories of data (e.g. in relation to your health), with your explicit consent, for reasons of substantial public interests or where necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.

How and why will we use this personal data?

We will use your personal data to:

  • provide you with the information, products or services you have requested from us, including such things as admission to the zoo, specific events that we run, merchandise from our shops, responding to your enquiries and requests, attending educational activities and events, and to tell you about our work and our fundraising;
  • provide you with other information which we feel may interest you.  This may include newsletters, tips, updates, information in relation to fundraising campaigns, voluntary surveys or questionnaires for you to complete, details of relevant volunteering opportunities, and details of any promotions and competitions we are running.  We may also send you details of events we think you may be interested in attending;
  • administer all aspects of being a member of NEZS;
  • analyse and understand how people use our websites and digital products so we can improve and personalise the experience for users and reflect your preferences and previous interactions;
  • keep a record of our relationship with you;
  • improve how we communicate with you, how we fundraise, and how we operate more generally; keep in contact with you in the ways that you have requested or agreed to;
  • personalise our services and communications to you (for example, to ensure that they take into account your location and previous involvement with Chester Zoo);
  • provide you with information about carefully selected third party events, products, campaigns and competitions, but only where you have permitted us to do so;
  • notify you about changes to our services;
  • administer and process payments you make for products, services and charitable donations made to any of our entities;
  • verify your identity where required to use some of our services and benefits;
  • comply with applicable laws and regulations and requests from statutory agencies including for such purposes as health and safety; the detection and prevention of crime and safeguarding; and
  • carry out any obligations or provide you with any other services, functionality or content which you specifically request or agree to.

For the avoidance of doubt, we do not use personal data for automated decision-making which produces legal effects or similarly significantly affects individuals. However, we may use profiling techniques in certain circumstances for the purpose of evaluating personal data to provide you with more targeted advertising and for the purpose of segmenting our database of visitors and supporters so that we can communicate with you in the most relevant way possible. In some cases we use cookies to do this.  Our Cookies Policy explains in further detail the types of cookies we use to allow us to do this. 

3. Fundraising

Charitable giving is very important to our ability to achieve our mission of preventing extinction.  We carry out a variety of marketing activities to seek individuals’ support for our work, ranging from appeals for small one-off donations, to larger fundraising initiatives for specific conservation projects. We want to ensure that we are contacting you with tailored and appropriate communications, and ensure we direct our resources and fundraising activities as efficiently and effectively as we can.  We also want to communicate with you from time to time to thank you for your support and tell you what we have achieved with the help of your donation.

Chester Zoo is wholly committed to good fundraising practice and as such we’re signed up with the Fundraising Regulator, an independent body who set and maintain the standards for charitable fundraising.

The role of the Fundraising Regulator is to:

  • Set and promote the standards for fundraising practice (‘the code’ and associated rulebooks) in consultation with the public, fundraising stakeholders and legislators
  • Investigate cases where fundraising practices have led to significant public concern
  • Adjudicate complaints from the public about fundraising practice, where these cannot be resolved by the charities themselves
  • Operate a fundraising preference service to enable individuals to manage their contact with charities
  • Where poor fundraising practice is judged to have taken place, recommend best practice guidance and take proportionate remedial action

4. What lawful bases do we rely on to use your personal data?

The legal bases that we rely on for processing your personal data are:

You have provided your consent to us using your personal data for a specific purpose:

We will ask for your consent to use your personal data to send you marketing emails. You always have the right to withdraw your consent at any time.

It is necessary in connection with the performance of a contract with you:

Sometimes it is necessary to process your personal data so that we can enter into contractual relationships with you.  For example, if you purchase something from our website, or become a member of Chester Zoo (NEZS), or donate online, we will require your personal data to enable us to perform our agreement.

It is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which we are subject:

This would include where we have to retain certain records, for example, to manage health and safety, for the detection and prevention of crime, safeguarding obligations, for maintaining suppression lists to ensure we comply with marketing laws, for tax reasons (such as those related to gift aid donations) and undertaking due diligence before accepting certain donations or entering into certain relationships.

It is within our legitimate interests.

Applicable law allows personal data to be collected and used if it is reasonably necessary for our legitimate interests or a third party’s legitimate interests (as long as the processing is fair, balanced and does not unduly impact individuals’ rights).  We will rely on this ground to process your personal data when it is not practical or appropriate to ask for your consent, and where we are confident that this will not impact your rights.

Our legitimate interests include raising funds for a wide range of activities to support our charitable objectives. We also have a legitimate interest in publicity and income generation, campaigning and fundraising in order to support these objectives and undertaking due diligence to establish the provenance of donations that are made, or may be made, to us.

Where you have provided your details to us, we may contact you by email, post and phone for certain marketing and fundraising activities as set out below (but we will explain this to you at the point that we collect your details). You can opt out of this activity, or select your communication preferences at any time by visiting our website.

We will also rely on our legitimate interests for the proper administration of Chester Zoo, and to manage our operations (for example, maintaining appropriate records and databases, for the detection and prevention of crime and safeguarding all those who access our premises and facilities).

When we process your personal data to achieve such legitimate interests, we consider and balance any potential impact on you (both positive and negative), and your rights under data protection laws. We will not use your personal data for activities where our interests are overridden by the impact on you, for example where use would be excessively intrusive (unless, for instance, we are otherwise required or permitted to by law).

5. How we collect personal data

We collect information about you:

When you give it to us directly

You may give us your personal data in order to receive information from us; visit our facilities; buy products or services from us including such things as purchasing, administering and renewing membership; when you volunteer with us or take part in any of our community programmes – such as Wildlife Connections (or request information about these); when you donate to us; when you respond to a survey or when you otherwise engage with us on our websites and digital products.

When a third party provides us with your personal data

Your personal data may be shared with us by third parties in certain circumstances. This may include (but is not limited to) individuals who may purchase gift membership on your behalf, ticket agencies that may sell tickets to access Chester Zoo or specific events run there, schools or other institutions who work with us or receive our services, by mutual contacts who recommend you to us or buy goods and services on your behalf or as a gift, and by our partners who may host and run events (or help to run and host events) at our premises, or run competitions or prize draws jointly with us.  Where appropriate you should check any Privacy Policy of any third party when you provide your personal data to them in order to understand fully how they will process your personal data.

When it is available publicly

We may combine personal data you provide to us with personal data available from external publicly available sources such as Companies House and published articles and newspapers. Depending on your privacy settings for social media services, we may also access personal data from those accounts or services.  We use this personal data to gain a better understanding of you, and to improve our communications and fundraising approaches (see section 3 above).

When you use our websites and digital products, such as chesterzoo.org

We may collect personal data about you when you use our websites and digital products. Whenever you input personal data into our website (for example, if you become a member or renew a membership online or otherwise support us through our website, book a visit online or download any of our resources), we will collect the personal data that you give to us.

We use “cookies” to identify you when you visit our websites and digital products.  Amongst other things this helps us to understand our website users and may enable us to improve the website experience for you and/or other users.  Please refer to our Cookies Policy for details on how and why we use this data.

We may collect other personal data from your use of the websites, such as your IP address and access times.

We may link our websites directly to other sites.  This privacy policy does not cover external websites and we are not responsible for the privacy practices or content of those sites.  We encourage you to read the privacy policies of any external websites you visit.

6. Communications and marketing

We may contact you by post and telephone, and, where you have provided consent, by e-mail, to let you know about our events and activities (and we may also mention those of third parties, particularly where they are collaborating with us or sponsoring our events) that might be of particular interest to you; retail offers and promotions, or about the work of Chester Zoo more generally; and to provide you with information about and the opportunity to participate in our fundraising activities.  We provide the opportunity for you to opt-out from receiving our marketing communications every time we contact you.

You can opt-out from receiving our marketing communications, or update your contact preferences at any time by logging into and updating your account here. Or emailing your requested changes to marketing@chesterzoo.org It may take a few days to process your preference changes so please bear with us.

Social media targeting

If you are a social media user, we will use certain social media tools as part of our relationship with you.  These tools include such things as Facebook and Instagram Custom/Lookalike Audiences, Google Customer Match/Similar Audiences, Twitter Tailored/Lookalike Audiences and LinkedIn Matched Audiences.

Through using these tools, we will provide some of your data to the social media platform / organisation to allow them to identify your social media profile with them.  The social media platform / organisation will then show you relevant advertisements relating to Chester Zoo which we think you will be interested in seeing on your newsfeed.

The social media platform / organisation will also use your profile to identify those with similar characteristics to you who we think may also be interested in finding out more about Chester Zoo, our work and the events here at the zoo.  These identified individuals will then be shown advertisements about Chester Zoo on their newsfeed.  This activity is governed by the social media platform’s own privacy policy and terms and conditions, so please do refer to these documents if you require any further information about this activity.

7. Data sharing

We do not and will not sell your information under any circumstances. 

We may, in certain circumstances, receive your details from charitable giving platforms such as Just Giving, in accordance with a particular platform’s privacy policy. For example, where you donate to Chester Zoo through an online platform, they may then give us your address so that we can write to you and say thank you. Please do review any such policies before giving your data to these platforms, to ensure that you are happy for your data to be shared in this way.

Chester Zoo (NEZS) and Chester Zoo Enterprises Ltd may share your personal data between themselves, so if you give your information to Chester Zoo then this may be shared with Chester Zoo Enterprises Ltd, for example.  Your personal data will only be shared between the entities for the purposes set out this policy. 

Whilst we may allow our staff, consultants and/or external service providers acting on our behalf to access and use your personal data for the activities we have described in this policy (e.g. to provide services or products to you, deliver mailings, to analyse data and to process payments), we only permit them to use it to deliver the relevant information, goods or services, and only if they apply an appropriate level of security protection.

We may need to disclose your personal data upon request to regulatory and government bodies as well as law enforcement agencies. 

The personal data we collect from you may be transferred to, shared and/or otherwise processed by organisations or companies outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”).  Where your personal data is transferred outside the EEA, we will take reasonable steps to ensure that the recipient implements appropriate measures to protect your personal data (for example, by entering into EU Commission approved standard contractual clauses).

Unfortunately, the transmission of personal data via the internet is not completely secure.  Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your personal data transmitted to or via our websites and digital products; any transmission is at your own risk.  If you have any questions about the international data transfer of your personal data, please contact us using the details below.

8. Children's data

We may collect and manage personal data about children in some circumstances, such as where children participate in activities at Chester Zoo (such as educational and learning activities, or zoo ranger or junior member events or competitions) or have requested to receive certain communications from us, such as newsletters.  Those aged under 13 are not permitted to receive our newsletters, or enter any competitions or prize draws with us.  We will not knowingly have any other direct contact with those aged under 13.

Where consent is required to process children’s personal data and the child is under 13 years, where appropriate we shall seek consent from a parent or guardian, or shall ensure such consent is in place before any data is shared with us. We shall only hold personal data about children that is absolutely necessary for the purpose of the event/programme that they are applying for or participating in.

Where a parent or guardian gives consent on behalf of a child, we may contact that child after their 16th birthday, to check if they wish to maintain their relationship with us.

9. How we keep your personal data safe and who has access to it

We are committed to ensuring that there are appropriate technical controls in place to protect your personal data including protection from misuse and unauthorised access.  For example our network is protected and routinely tested.

Your information is only accessible by staff and contractors who are bound by appropriate policies and procedures to protect your information.

10. Your rights

Please note that you may only use/ benefit from some of the following rights in limited circumstances.  For more information, we suggest that you consult guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protectio... - or please contact us using the details in section 12 below.

Right to restrict processing

In certain circumstances as outlined in the ICO guidance referred to above, you have a right to require us to stop processing your personal data in a particular way.

Right to erasure

You have the right to request that your personal data is erased from our records in certain circumstances.

Right of access

You have a right to ask for a copy of the personal data we hold about you.  If you want to access your personal data, please send a description of the personal data you want to see and proof of your identity by post to The Data Controller, Chester Zoo, Cedar House, Caughall Road, Chester CH2 1LH.

Right to rectification

We also want to make sure that your personal data is accurate and up to date.  Please let us know if your details change.  You may also ask us to correct or remove personal data which is inaccurate.

Right to object

You can also opt-out of receiving all or some of our marketing/ fundraising communications or request that we stop processing personal data about you for certain purposes at any time by contacting us using the details below.

Right to data portability

In certain circumstances you have a right to data portability which means we will provide you (or a third party you nominate) with your personal data in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.

11. Complaints

If you are unhappy with the way in which we have handled your personal data please contact us using the details below.

Please let us know if you have any queries or concerns about the way that your personal data is being processed by us by contacting us on the details below.  You are also entitled to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office.  For further information see the Information Commissioner’s guidance here.

12. Data retention

We keep personal data for as long as there is a need to keep it in connection with the purposes for which it was collected.  We may keep your personal data after a particular matter or exchange has concluded but purely for record keeping purposes and to be able to respond to queries.  In some cases, we are also obliged to retain your personal data to comply with legal or statutory obligations (for example, to keep records of contractual or financial matters).

In the event that you ask us to stop sending you marketing communications, we will retain certain details, such as your name and email address, but only to ensure that you are not contacted again.

13. Contract

For all enquiries in respect of this privacy policy, please contact marketing@chesterzoo.org

14. Websites and digital products

In this policy “websites and digital products” refers to all our websites, including the primary Chester Zoo website found at https://www.chesterzoo.org/ and all our digital products, such as email, applications and digital channels, including social media.

15. Changes to this privacy policy

We keep our privacy policy under regular review.  This privacy policy was last updated in May 2018.