The General Data Protection Regulation

The General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR governs the way in which all organisations, including the Bristol Naturalists’ Society, stores, protects and processes personal data. It also requires organisations to state the basis upon which personal data is held and or processed.


The basis upon which the BNS holds members’ data under the GDPR is that it is in the Legitimate Interest of both the Society and its members to do so. It enables the Society and its members to function in pursuit of the interest and hobby they share. This sets out the basis upon which the BNS processes your personal data.

Personal Data

The personal data held by the BNS is as follows:

  • Members’ names,
  • Members’ addresses,
  • The e-mail addresses of those members who have them and who choose to supply them,
  • The telephone numbers of those members who choose to supply them,
  • The bank details of some members, where relevant.

Data Controller

Thus, the Bristol Naturalists’ Society (Registered Charity Number: 235494) is a Data Controller for the purposes of the Data Protection Act (1998) and the General Data Protection Regulation (2018). It collects and holds members’ details, as listed, because the Society needs to be able to identify its members in order to ensure they receive the entitlements that membership confers upon them, such as use of the Society Library.

Data Processor

The BNS is also a Data Processor. Members’ addresses are required in order to send out the publications produced by the Society on behalf of its members. These include the monthly news bulletin, Bristol Naturalist News, and the annual Proceedings of the Society i.e. Nature in Avon and the Avon Bird Report, to which all members are entitled free of charge. E-mail addresses or telephone numbers are held, when supplied, to enable the Society to remind members of forthcoming events or to notify them of changing circumstances, for example, the need to cancel an advertised event.

Your personal data is securely held by the Society on the BNS database and will only be used in the execution of Society business and the furtherance of its activities.

The BNS uses members’ details in the following ways:

  • To process your membership payment each year;
  • To process your ‘Gift Aid’ payment every year (if applicable);
  • To send you the monthly newsletter (Bristol Naturalist News) listing BNS activities and events;
  • To send you the Proceedings of the Bristol Naturalists’ Society, now known as
  • Nature in Avon and the Avon Bird Report, produced annually;
  • To notify you of changing circumstances, e.g., the cancellation of events;
  • To update your information.

Third Parties

The personal data listed is securely held on the BNS database. However, the Society uses third party providers to deliver part of the services it offers to its members. These are:

  • Mailchimp – used to deliver some reminders to members by e-mail.
  • Lloyds Bank – to process membership fees and some other payments.
  • Pixelfish (website management) – to process membership requests
  • Stripe Inc – to process membership payments
  • The Avon Ornithological Group (comprising representatives of the Bristol Naturalists’ Society and Bristol Ornithological Club) – at the time of the distribution of the jointly produced Avon Bird Report.

Changes to Your Information

The BNS will retain the information given until such time as a member requests an amendment, e.g., a change of address or, changes to Gift Aid eligibility, or the member resigns from the Society. If you would like to either: see the information that the Society holds relating to you or change the details we hold relating to you, please contact the BNS.

You have the right to ask for access to your data and where data is found to be inaccurate to have that data corrected. In certain circumstances you have the right to have data held about you erased, or the use of it restricted. You may be able to object to processing and may also have the right to have your data transferred to another data controller.

You also have a right of complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at if you think we have not dealt with your information in a proper manner.

You can ask to see what information we hold about you and have access to it. You can do this in the first instance by contacting the BNS Data Controller using the contact details above.