Privacy Notice

Who we are

The Plant Health Centre (“us” or “we”) is a virtual centre of expertise made up of collaborators from  The James Hutton Institute (“Hutton”),  Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh (“RGBE”), Scotland’s Rural College (“SRUC”), Forest Research (“FC”), University of Stirling (“Stirling”), University of Strathclyde (“Strathclyde”), University of Edinburgh (“Edinburgh”), Natural Environment Research Council (“NERC”) as represented by its component body the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (“CEH”), University of Exeter (“Exeter”) and Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (“SASA”).  We are joint controllers over any personal data we process about you for the purposes set out in this Privacy Notice. 

This privacy notice outlines what personal data the Plant Health Centre collects from you and how we use your personal data collected (i) through your interaction with this website and its sub-domains (the “websites”), including when you submit online enquiries, surveys or questionnaires; (ii) when you communicate with us other than via the website e.g. using post, email or the telephone and (ii) when you enquire, register and/or attend any events that we may host or organise. 

If you have any concerns about the Plant Health Centre’s processing of your personal data or you have a general enquiry in relation to data protection please contact the Data Protection Officer at The James Hutton Institute on or by telephone 01382 346814.

What is personal data?

Personal Data: means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.

Special Category of Datameans personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation.

When we use the term ‘personal data’ we mean both personal data and special category of data.

What personal data is Plant Health Centre processing?

  • Personal details (such as your name, e-mail address and telephone number) which you provide by submitting an enquiry via the website, when signing up for our newsletter or when you complete any online survey/questionnaire or when you communicate about or register for an event.
  • Dietary Information you give us for events
  • How you use the website and any other information you post, e-mail or otherwise send to us.
  • IP addresses - we may collect information where available about your IP (internet protocol) address, operating system and browser type.  This data provides us with information about users’ browsing actions and patterns.  It is used to inform improvements to the website and for internal system administration.

Where did Plant Health Centre obtain my personal data from?

The personal data) is gathered directly from you when you correspond or communicate with us or use our website. We also gather information such as emails  from our collaborators for the purpose of inviting you to events

Does Plant Health Centre use Cookies?

Yes. Further information on how the Plant Health Centre uses cookies is available in our Cookies Policy.

Where will Plant Health Centre keep my data?

Your personal data will be stored on a secure server at The James Hutton Institute located in the UK.

Why is Plant Health Centre processing my personal data?

The Plant Health Centre is processing your personal data for the following purposes:

  1. Responding to enquiries, signing up for our Newsletter, and processing survey responses. Our lawful basis for this processing is consent. By corresponding with us via an enquiry form or otherwise, you consent to us using the personal data provided to respond to such enquiry. Likewise if you sign up to our newsletter or agree to take part in a survey, you consent to us using your personal data to send you our newsletter or process the survey data.
  1. Marketing activity and informing you about our events.  We only send marketing communications to businesses or organisations. Our lawful basis for this is that it is in our legitimate interest to market our events to encourage people to attend and make the event a success.  Where we are marketing to you because you have signed up to our newsletter, we will rely on your consent.
  1. Organising events – our lawful basis for this is that by registering for an event you consent to us using it for the purposes of organising the event to the extent necessary, including catering for any dietary requirements.  We will seek separate consent for anything not strictly necessary for the organisation of the event e.g. to include your name in conference delegate packs.
  1. To improve our website - In relation to information collected from Cookies, we use this to inform improvements to the website (e.g.  to help us monitor the use of our website and be able to then provide you with a better user experience by remembering how you like things displayed, measuring how you use the website, ensuring the website works properly and improving navigation) and for internal system administration.   Any essential cookies are used on the basis it is in our legitimate interest to use these for the proper functioning of the website.  However, we will seek consent for any non-essential use of cookies.
  1. Running our Integrated Pest Management Plant for Scottish Growers – We collect information as part of a consultation questionnaire that farmers or landowners can take voluntarily. The aggregated data from this plan will be collated and used to demonstrate the implementation of Integrated Pest Management practices in the farming industry as a whole. For this survey we will collect names, email addresses, farm/company names and postal addresses. As this is voluntary, we seek consent to process your personal information in relation to this project.

Will my personal data be shared with any other organisation/third parties and if so, why?

The Plant Health Centre will not share your personal data with any other organisation or third parties out with the collaboration without seeking your prior consent. Exceptions to this would be:

  1. where we are hosting an event with other parties e.g. the Scottish Government in which case we may share your personal data where necessary for the specific purpose;
  2. where we are required to share your personal data in accordance with law or any regulatory requirement to which the Plant Health Centre is subject or where we are undergoing a corporate restructure;
  3. Where we use third party suppliers to provide us with a service and that involves processing personal data on our behalf.  This includes  
  • Survey providers; and
  • Marketing automation platform and email marketing service. 

Will my personal data be shared outside of the UK?

Some of our suppliers noted above may require us to transfer some of your personal data outside of the UK to the US or other countries.  We have put in place additional measures with our suppliers to ensure your personal data is held securely and to a similar standard as it would be in the UK, called the Standard Contractual Clauses.

Is my personal data safe?

The Plant Health Centre works hard to protect your personal data and have adopted appropriate technical and organisational measures to keep it safe from unauthorised disclosure, alteration or destruction.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information 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 the Plant Health Centre via the internet; any transmission is at your own risk.

How can I stop Plant Health Centre using my personal data for marketing purposes if I no longer wish to receive communications from Plant Health Centre?

Please e-mail our Centre Team on

How long will Plant Health Centre retain my personal data?

The Plant Health Centre will keep your personal data for no longer than is necessary for the purpose we obtained it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, regulatory, tax, accounting or reporting requirements.  We may retain your Personal Data for a longer period in the event of a complaint or if we reasonably believe there is a prospect of litigation in respect to our relationship with you. 

Does Plant Health Centre make any automated decisions about me or profile my personal data?


What are my rights in relation to the personal data Plant Health Centre holds about me?

We have summarised your rights below.  More information can be found on the ICO's website. Please contact our Data Protection Officer at to exercise these.

  • You have the right to be informed about the collection and use of your personal data.
  • You have the right to access personal data held by us about you.
  • You have the right to request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you corrected.
  • You have the right to request that we restrict the processing of your personal data.
  • You have the right to object to us processing your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest or where we are using it for marketing purposes.
  • If we are relying on your consent, you can withdraw your consent at any time, at which point we shall stop processing your personal data in that way.  Please note this does not affect the legality of our processing up to the date of your withdrawal of consent.  If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain services to you e.g. have you at events. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.
  • You can seek to restrict our processing of your personal data, ask us to rectify any personal data we hold about you or object to us processing your personal data for the purposes stated above.
  • In certain circumstances you have the right to ask us to provide you with your personal data in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format to allow you (or us on your behalf) to transmit this information to another party. 
  • In certain circumstances you have the right to ask us to erase the personal data we hold about you.  Such circumstances include (a) where we no longer need your personal data for the purposes set out above; (b) if you withdraw your consent to our processing; (c) if you object to our processing based on our legitimate interest and we have no overriding legitimate grounds to continue processing your personal data; (d) if we process the data unlawfully; or (e) where the personal data has to be erased to comply with legal obligation to which we are subject.  We will consider any such request in line with GDPR.  Please note this is not an absolute right and there may be circumstances where we choose not to delete all of the personal data we hold about you. 
  • You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) if you think that we have infringed your rights. You can find more information about reporting a matter on the ICO’s website.

Third Party Links

Plant Health Centre's website may, from time to time, contain links to and from the websites of third parties. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites and any services that may be accessible through them have their own privacy notices and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these notices or for any personal data that may be collected through these websites or services, such as contact and location data. Please check these notices before you submit any personal data to these websites or use these services.

Changes to Privacy Notice

We reserve the right to amend this privacy notice. However, any changes we may make to our privacy notice in the future will be communicated to you in some manner.  This Privacy Notice was last updated in January 2021.


Questions, comments and requests regarding this privacy notice are welcomed and should be addressed to: