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Here you can find information on how Forestry and Land Scotland handles the information received from our website and social media users.

Why collect personal data?

We only collect information we need. We use this to:

  • make site improvements
  • respond to your queries
  • send newsletters you've subscribed to
  • publish your comments on our pages
  • improve our service

What's collected?

We collect different types of information for different reasons. This includes:

Website visits

We use Google Analytics, a third-party service, to understand how you use our website. We do this using cookies and page tagging using Google Tag Manager. No one is identified using the information we gather, and we hold onto it for 38 months. We only share this with essential users at the Scottish Government and the private company that helps us manage our website.

Data collected by Google Analytics may be transferred outside the UK and EEA for processing. Find out more here.

We also use a tool called Hotjar, which allows us to capture helpful data about the way people use our website. This includes 'heatmaps' that tell us where people click the most on our web pages, as well as screen recordings of cursor and scrolling movement, and also polls and short feedback surveys. This data is completely anonymous and not connected to any identified individual users.

User research

We will occasionally invite users to sign up for in-person testing, in which case we will ask for some personal information such as names, phone numbers and email addresses. This information will be processed through Hotjar, and shared with our private digital agency. The information will always be deleted when our studies are completed, and used for no purpose other than for organising in-person user testing.

Videos and Social Media Plugins

Our website displays some videos and social media tools that are managed by companies like YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter and Facebook. These platforms capture certain data about how they are used. As we don’t manage those platforms ourselves, your use is subject to their own privacy policies. These providers make certain data available to us, so that we understand how you use them on our website, but we don’t share that information with anyone outside of Forestry and Land Scotland.

Newsletter subscriptions

We use MailChimp, a third-party service, to send email newsletters you've signed up to receive. We collect your name, email address and subscription preferences, and which emails you open. This helps us to improve the newsletter content and format. You can choose to unsubscribe at any time by clicking the 'unsubscribe' link in the newsletter.

When you unsubscribe, it’s important that we retain your data to be sure we have a record of your subscription changes. It’s also important that we don’t delete your data without your consent. If you would like us to delete your data, you can ask us to.

Queries and feedback

If you contact us with a query or feedback, via email, social media or in our website comments, we collect your email address and other personal information contained in the message. We might pass this on to other authorised people within the organisation so we can help you.

Website comments

We use a Facebook plugin, a third-party-service, to power website comments. If you leave a comment, we have access to your name and a link to your public profile as displayed on Facebook. We keep this until the page or comment is removed. You can delete your comments or ask for them to be removed at any time.

Website contact forms

For various campaigns and circumstances, we occasionally capture personal data, including images, using contact forms in our website. This data is captured using a tool called Breezing Forms, and is stored in our website’s database. It is used only by the managers of each campaign, and accessible to Forestry and Land Scotland, our digital agency, and our hosting provider. This data is used only for the stated purpose on each form, and will be deleted either upon request, or upon conclusion of each individual campaign.

Other websites

Sometimes we link to other websites. We encourage you to read the privacy policy of any external websites you visit from our pages.

Data security

Cyber Essentials Plus BadgeWe work hard to ensure high standards of data security. Forestry and Land Scotland is Cyber Essentials Plus certified by accreditation body, IASME Consortium. Cyber Essentials is a Government backed scheme run by the National Cyber Security Centre, part of GCHQ.

Information management

Isoqar 27001 certification logo

Cert No. 19644

Forestry and Land Scotland Digital Services hold an ISO 27001:2022 certification (certificate number 19644). This is one of the most widely recognised standards for Information Security Management Systems (ISMS). Complying with this standard shows our commitment to best practices in crucial areas:

  • Data transmission
  • Storage
  • Access controls
  • Management of third parties
  • Incident management
  • Tracking of threats

How to contact us about your data

You have a right to access your personal data and ask us to see the data we hold about you. You will not have to pay to get your data. In some cases, however, we may refuse your request in line with the DPA.

You can contact our Data Protection Officer at:

Head of Records and Data Protection
Forestry and Land Scotland
Apex 1
99 Haymarket Terrace
EH12 5HD

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can contact the Information Commissioner if you are concerned about how we process your data. To lodge a complaint with the independent Information Commissioner (ICO), please go to