We’re an executive agency of the Scottish Government. As a regulator, funder and policy advisor, we work to achieve the sustainable management and expansion of forests and woodlands to deliver more for Scotland.

In order to do this, we gather and process data, including personal information, to carry out our legal and statutory obligations. We do this in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 and UK GDPR requirements.

What is personal data?

Personal data is described by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as “information that relates to an identified or identifiable individual”. It can also include special categories of personal data such as information about a person’s health, ethnicity or sexual orientation or criminal conviction and offences data.

The personal information we collect and use

When conducting an unauthorised felling investigation, we'll gather the following personal information about the person reporting the alleged case and any witnesses:

  • Full name
  • Home address
  • Contact details
  • Involvement in the case

Lawful basis for processing

The lawful basis we rely on to process personal data for the above purposes is article 6 (1) of the UK GDPR:

  • (c) Legal obligation. The processing of this data is necessary for us to take enforcement action or to successfully prosecute the offence of unauthorised felling under Section 23 of the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018
  • (e) Perform a public task. Scottish Forestry is the Scottish Government agency appointed under Section (74) of the Foresty and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018, to deliver the requirements of the Act, laid on Scottish Ministers, with regard to the offence of unauthorised felling.

Why do we need this personal information?

The personal information gathered is essential in ascertaining whether or not an offence has been committed and if so when, why, where and by whom. Under the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) 2018 Act, and on behalf of Scottish Ministers, we can take a variety of enforcement actions. The information gathered is used to ensure the enforcement action taken is appropriate, reasonable and directed towards the appropriate person(s). 

Should a case be passed to the Procurator Fiscal to consider for prosecution and for the Procurator Fiscal to take the case to court, it's essential that there is clear corroborated evidence to demonstrate that an offence was committed and that the person(s) accused committed the offence they're being accused of. This will involve processing the personal information gathered throughout the investigation.

How do we get your personal information?

If you're reporting a case to us

We'll get this personal information from the unauthorised felling report form - part 1. This form is used by members of the public reporting the case to us or it may be filled out on their behalf by our officers. It may also be used by our officer if they discover the case. The form will contain personal information about:

  • the person reporting the case
  • the person(s) alleged to have committed the offence
  • the person(s) involved in the felling
  • operation witnesses

If you're a witness

As part of their investigation, our officers will record the personal details of:

  • the person who witnessed the incident
  • the person(s) alleged to have committed the offence
  • the person(s) involved in any of the felling and site clearance operations other witnesses.
  • You may wish to provide our officers with a written statement relating to the evidence. This should include your personal information and be signed by you.

    Who we share your personal information with

    We may share your personal information, such as details of the case and contact information with other public authorities such as:

  • Police Scotland
  • Rural Payments and Services Division (RPID)
  • local planning authorities
  • the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
  • the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
  • Historic Environment Scotland (HES)
  • NatureScot
  • If we share the data we have gathered it's to prevent a further offence from being committed or to ensure the appropriate authority is made aware that an alleged offence has been committed that's likely to be relevant to them.

    How we store your personal information

    Hard copies of personal information are stored in locked filing cabinets with restricted access. 

    Personal information stored electronically will be stored on secure networks accessible only through the use of an encrypted laptop or desktop.

    For information sharing, your personal information will be officially marked and shared using a secure transfer system.

    How long we keep your personal information

    Your personal information will be kept for a minimum period for 5 years from when the case is closed, in line with current business rules on unauthorised felling documents. 

    Your rights

    Your rights in relation to your personal information:

    • You’ve a right to request access to, and copies of, the personal information that we hold about you by making a 'subject access request'
    • If you believe that any of the personal information that we hold about you is inaccurate or incomplete, you’ve a right to request that we correct or complete your personal information
    • You’ve a right to object to and/or request that we restrict the processing of your personal information for specific purposes
    • Where you’ve given consent to the processing of your personal information, you’ve the right to withdraw that consent

    Any requests received by us will be considered under applicable data protection legislation.

    You can email the Data Protection Officer to exercise any your rights.

    Your right to complain

    We're committed to protecting your personal information and privacy. If you have queries or concerns, please contact us.

    If you remain dissatisfied, you've a right to raise a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office.

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    Changes to this privacy notice

    We keep this privacy notice under regular review to make sure it's up to date and accurate. 

    This privacy notice was last updated on 28 October 2021.

    View privacy policies and notices for specific areas of work