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 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.
Looking after your personal data
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 could each be data controllers of your personal data. They each have different roles, but some activities they undertake overlap and personal data will be shared internally for certain purposes. Information is 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.
The Data Protection Officer is contactable at Chester Zoo’s registered office; Cedar House, Caughall Road, Upton-By-Chester, Chester, CH2 1LH.
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 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);
- dietary, accessibility, and mobility information;
- medical history and treatment details if you receive first aid whilst visiting Chester Zoo
- CCTV footage of those visiting our premises;
- Photographs and digital images of individuals.
But we 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 interest you. This can 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 also send 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;
- analyse visitor behaviour and associated purchases to inform our pricing strategy;
- 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.
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 on an 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 affect 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 can contact you by email, post or 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 Preference Centre.
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).
For full details of where we have relied on a legitimate interest, to process your data please follow this link.
How we collect personal data
We collect information about you:
When you give it to us directly
You 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
When it is available publicly
To gain a better understanding of you, to improve our communications and fundraising approaches we 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 can also access personal data from those accounts or services. (see section 3 above).
When you use our websites and digital products, such as chesterzoo.org
We 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 to help us to understand our website users and 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 also collect your IP address and access times.
We do not and will not sell your information under any circumstances.
Chester Zoo (NEZS) and Chester Zoo Enterprises Ltd shares your personal data between themselves, so if you give your information to Chester Zoo then this can 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 allow relevant staff, consultants and/or external third party 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. Where we have engaged the services of a third party processor we have reviewed their privacy policies and security arrangements and conducted any necessary risk assessments. We also enter into a Data Processing Agreement to ensure that third parties are as committed to the security of your personal data as we are.
We can be obligated to disclose your personal data upon request to regulatory and government bodies as well as law enforcement agencies.
Under the new Government COVID19 guidance, Chester Zoo is required to assist the NHS Test and Trace service by providing the name, phone number and visiting time of all visitors, aged 16 and over, to the zoo. This information will be collected as part of the booking process via our website. We will use legitimate interest as our lawful basis for processing your personal data in relation to this. For those dining at The Oakfield, we are now legally required to collect this data to support the NHS Test and Trace, we will collect this information using the Open Table booking service. Your personal data will be kept in a secure location and will only disclosed to the NHS Test and Track service on request, for up to a period of 21 days, to assist in the containment of clusters and outbreaks of the COVID19 virus.
The personal data we collect from you can 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.
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.
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 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.
We dispose of all personal data in a confidential and secure manner.
Your rights under UK GDPR
The UK General Data Protection Regulation, which came into effect on 1 January 2021, provides you with the following rights:
- The right to be informed
- The right of access to your personal data
- The right to rectification
- The right to erasure
- The right to restrict processing
- The right to data portability
- The right to object to processing
- Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.
Further information can also be found on the ICO website here.
Right to be informed:
The right of access:
You have the right to find out if we are holding personal data relating to you and how we are using it.
The right to rectification:
You have the right to have inaccurate personal data changed or removed. It is important to us that the information that we hold about you is accurate and up to date. Please let us know if any of your details have changed.
If you find any inaccuracies in your personal data you can contact us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please provide the following details so that we can put things right:
- Your name and address.
- Any information that will help us to identify or distinguish you from other people with the same name (e.g. account numbers if these have already been provided by yourself).
- Details of the inaccuracy, whether you want information correcting and what those changes are or whether you want the inaccurate information deleting altogether.
It may take a few days to process your requested changes so please bear with us.
N.B. We reserve the right not to make changes in certain circumstances as defined by the ICO here.
The right to erasure (the right to be forgotten):
You have the right to ask for your personal data to be erased from our records. However, this right is not absolute and we can refuse this request, if this is the case, we will explain our reasons for our decision. Your request, if valid, will usually be processed within a month. If we need longer to process your request, we will inform you at the earliest opportunity and in any case within one month from receiving your request.
The right to restrict processing:
You have the right to ask us to restrict the processing of your data. This is an alternative to erasure and usually a temporary measure to limit the way we use your data whilst another data related matter is being resolved.
The right to data portability:
This right allows you to obtain and reuse the data we hold about you for your own purposes across different services. This would include any data that has been provided by you to ourselves.
The right to object:
You have the right to object to Chester Zoo processing your personal data for the purpose of direct marketing at anytime and also for some other circumstances.
Rights related to automated decision making including profiling:
You have the right to not be subject of decisions based solely on automated processing i.e. without human involvement. For more detailed information about automated decision making refer to the ICO website here.
In most circumstances there is no charge associated with a rights request under UK GDPR. We will only charge a fee if the request is, as the law states “manifestly unfounded or excessive”. If this is the case, we will ask for a reasonable fee for costs associated with the request.
We will need to validate the identity of individuals making a rights request under UK GDPR. Most requests will be processed within a month of validation. Protracted investigations can take up longer, if this is the case, we will let you know within one month that we need more time to process your request and explain why.
Exercising your rights:
You can exercise any of these rights by…
Fair processing notices
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
When we would like to better understand the potential interest of those who may be in a position to support our charity mission
Chester Zoo will not undertake wealth screening activities on our database of members, existing donors and contacts. This is simply not how we do fundraising. However, we do want to ensure that those who may wish to, and are in a position to support at a philanthropic level, can be engaged with in a wholly appropriate way, fitting to their interests and known charitable activities.
There are a number of individuals who could make a huge difference to our mission of preventing extinction, and we would like to better understand their potential interest in our organisation and activities. Before reaching out to these individuals about supporting our work, we may seek publicly available information to help us understand those who may choose to support us and to ensure we make requests to those who may be both able and willing to give. We may also ask an 3rd party fundraising organisation to support this activity, providing we have assurance that they are working to our fundraising values.
In such circumstances we may collect information including; the individual’s previous interactions with the Chester Zoo, current and past job title(s), details of other offices held, place of business, companies owned, business networks, hobbies or interests, philanthropic activities and publically declared wealth. We may also use publicly sourced images to help identify individuals who attend our events.
We use a variety of public access sources to obtain such information including newspaper websites, business publications, the official websites of companies, charities and foundations, and the following:
• Charity Commission: Register of Charities in England and Wales—http://beta.charitycommission.gov.uk/
• Scottish Charity Regulator: Register of Charities in Scotland—https://www.oscr.org.uk
• Companies House: Register of UK Companies — https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk
• Trustfunding: Database of grant-making charitable trusts —http://trustfunding.org.uk/
• LinkedIn: Business-focused social network —https://www.linkedin.com/
• Who’s Who: Autobiographical entries of influential people —http://www.ukwhoswho.com/
We consider that it is in our legitimate interest to collect and use this information and, if we deem it appropriate, to use our mutual connections to engage these individuals. After contacting such individuals, we shall ask for their consent to continue to contact them in relation to opportunities to support our mission. If we decide not to contact an individual or they tell us they do not wish to be contacted at any time, we shall delete any information collected, only retaining key identifying information to ensure they are not contacted or considered for contact in the future.
We may also use these sources when undertaking due diligence to detect fraud, money laundering and credit risk in order to protect the reputation of the charity.
Communications and marketing
We can contact you by post and telephone, and, where you have provided consent, by e-mail, to let you know about our events and activities (including 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 email@example.com It can 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.
We use HGEM to aggregate and analyse online reviews or posts you have made on TripAdvisor, Google, Open Table or Facebook, this is to ensure that we maintain a world-class visitor attraction through identifying trends in visitor feedback.
We 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 contact that child after their 18th birthday, to check if they wish to maintain their relationship with us.
First aid and medical treatment
If you receive first aid or medical treatment whilst visiting Chester Zoo we have a legal obligation to collect your personal information to record and manage your injury and/or treatment.
As a rule, Chester Zoo collects personal information directly from you. If you are unable, for whatever reason, to provide this essential information, we can ask a relative or friend accompanying you to provide it.
We share your personal information with our employees to assist us with recording and managing your treatment and/or injury. We use OSHENS by Optima as our third party software provider to report injuries sustained and treatment received at Chester Zoo.
In most cases, your data will be deleted after 3 years after any incident or treatment.
Some areas of our premises are equipped with CCTV. Where in use, CCTV cameras are there for the protection of all customers, staff and third parties, and to protect against theft, vandalism and damage to Chester Zoo goods and property.
Generally, recorded images are routinely destroyed and not shared with third parties unless there is suspicion of a crime, in which case they will be turned over to the police or other appropriate government agency or authority.
This section is not meant to suggest that you will in fact be monitored or your actions are subject to constant surveillance. It is meant to bring to your attention the fact that such monitoring can occur and results in the collection of personal information.
When you adopt one of our animals, as part of your contract we collect your personal information to manage the adoption process effectively. This information includes your name, address, telephone and email of both the adopter and the third party purchaser.
We collect personal data directly from yourself or by a person who has purchased the adoption on your behalf, and store it in an on-site database.
If you chose to do so, we will display your name on a plaque near to the enclosure of your chosen animal as a ‘thank you’ from us. We will also use your information to ensure that you receive your Z-magazine, to notify you when your adoption is ending and to process the adoption payment.
In most cases, your personal information relating to the adoption will be deleted one year after the adoption has ended.
To effectively manage a membership contract, we collect and maintain different types of personal information in respect of those who are purchasing or receiving a membership. Personal data including name, address, date of birth, telephone number; email address, bank account details, method and date of payments, contact details of a carer, Gift Aid status and member’s photos.
One of your member benefits is to receive our digital members magazine every quarter, but if you would prefer not to just let us know.
We are legally obliged to keep any financially related personal information for seven years, other personal information is deleted one year post membership with photographs being deleted six months after you membership has lapsed.
Chester Zoo App
When you use the Chester Zoo App, depending on what you consent to, your name, email address, height, date of birth, location and marketing preferences are processed for app functionality, marketing and push notifications. The content of the app is deemed to contain no objectionable material and is suitable for any child over 4 years old. If you are allowing a child under the age of 13 to use the app on your device, please give the necessary consents prior to passing the device to a child. Any data you submit will be stored securely in the a UK database for a period of 2 years from the time you last used the app after which time it will be securely deleted. If you opt in for marketing via the app we will continue to process your data for this purpose until you opt out.
Managing your data effectively and securely is important to us and we welcome any feedback. If you are not satisfied with our actions following your request to exercise your rights under the UK GDPR, you can write to The Data Protection Officer, Chester Zoo, Cedar House, Caughall Road, Chester, CH2 1LH.
If you aren’t entirely satisfied with our response to your request you can contact the ICO and report your concerns. You will find the link to the ICO website here.
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.