Privacy Policy

Information about us and this policy

The British Geological Survey ('we') is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy.

This policy (together with our terms of use and any other documents referred to in them) sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us. Please read the following carefully to understand our views and practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat it. By visiting ('our site') you are accepting and consenting to the practices described in this policy.

For the purpose of the Data Protection Act 1998, the data controller is the Natural Environment Research Council whose office is Natural Environment Research Council, Polaris House, North Star Avenue, Swindon, SN2 1EU.

Information we may collect from you

We may collect and process the following data about you:

Information you give us

You may give us information about you by filling in forms on our site, by completing application forms and conference attendance sheets or by corresponding with us by phone, email or otherwise.

This includes information you may provide when you:

  • register to use our site
  • subscribe to our service(s)
  • participate in discussion boards or other social media functions on our site
  • enter a competition, promotion or survey
  • book an event on our site
  • report a problem with our site

The information you give us may include your:

  • name
  • address
  • email address
  • phone number
  • fax number
  • financial and credit card information
  • scientific, education and professional background information
  • comments, feedback, posts and other content you submit to us

Information we collect about you

With regard to each of your visits to our site we may automatically collect the following information:

  • technical information, including:
    • the Internet protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the Internet
    • your login information
    • browser type and version
    • time zone setting
    • browser plug-in types and versions
    • operating system and platform
    • unique device identifier and other technical identifiers
  • information about your visit, including:
    • the full Uniform Resource Locators (URL) clickstream to, through and from our site (including date and time)
    • products you viewed or searched for
    • page response times, download errors, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse–overs), and methods used to browse away from the page
    • any phone number used to call our customer service number
  • for location-aware services, the physical location of your device

Information we receive from other sources

We may receive information about you if you use any of the other websites we operate or the other services we provide. In this case we will have informed you when we collected that data that it may be shared internally and combined with data collected on this site.

We are also working closely with third parties (including, for example, business partners, subcontractors in technical, payment and delivery services, advertising networks, analytics providers, search information providers, credit reference agencies) and may receive information about you from them.

We may also receive information about you if you provide information through crowd sourcing or a citizen science project from the organiser of the project or any associated third party.


Our website uses cookies to distinguish you from other users of our website. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allows us to improve our site. For detailed information on the cookies we use and the purposes for which we use them see our cookie policy.

Uses made of the information

We use information held about you in the following ways:

Information you give to us

We will use this information:

  • to provide you with advice
  • to respond to your requests, enquires and comments
  • to carry out our obligations arising from any contracts entered into between you and us and to provide you with the information, products and services that you request from us including to process any payment you make to us
  • to notify you about changes to our products and services
  • to ensure that content from our site is presented in the most effective manner for you and for your computer
  • to provide you with support in relation to our products and services
  • to provide you with customised content and personalisation of our services to make it more relevant to your interests and needs
  • to enhance, evaluate and improve our products and services and to develop new products and services
  • to provide you with information about other products and services we offer, or our affiliates and non-affiliated third parties such as societies and sponsors, that are similar to those that you have already purchased or enquired about
  • to provide you, or permit selected third parties to provide you, with information about products or services (including details of any special offers and promotions) we feel may interest you
  • to enhance, evaluate and improve our advertisements and promotion campaigns

If you do not want us to use your data in this way, or to pass your details on to third parties for marketing purposes, please let us know and/or tick any relevant box situated on the form on which we collect your data.

Information we collect about you

We will use this information:

  • to administer our site and for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, statistical and survey purposes
  • to improve our site to ensure that content is presented in the most effective manner for you and for your computer
  • to allow you to participate in interactive features of our service, when you choose to do so
  • as part of our efforts to keep our site safe and secure
  • to measure or understand the effectiveness of advertising we serve to you and others, and to deliver relevant advertising to you
  • to make suggestions and recommendations to you and other users of our site about products or services that may interest you or them
  • to identify and analyse usage trends, including for the purpose of research, audits, reporting, and paying royalties and licence fees to third party organisations

Information we receive from other sources

We may combine this information with information you give to us and information we collect about you. We may use this information and the combined information for the purposes set out above (depending on the types of information we receive).

Disclosure of your information

We may share your personal information with any member of our group, which means our subsidiaries, our ultimate holding company and its subsidiaries, as defined in section 1159 of the UK Companies Act 2006.

We may share your personal information with the Natural Environment Research Council, our representing legal body, in order to comply with our legal obligations.

We may share your information with selected third parties including:

  • representatives and entities for which we are acting as agent, licensee or publisher, such as other public bodies, societies and sponsors
  • our business partners, affiliates, suppliers and sub–contractors for the performance of any contract we enter into with them or you
  • our payment and credit card processors so that we can process your payment
  • our customer support providers to provide you with customer support
  • our information technology service providers (including email service providers) that provide us with the information technology services we require
  • our marketing providers so that they can prepare and send out our marketing information and publications
  • analytics and search engine providers that assist us in the improvement and optimisation of our site
  • credit reference agencies for the purpose of assessing your credit score where this is a condition of us entering into a contract with you

We may disclose your personal information to third parties:

  • if we sell or buy any business or assets, in which case we may disclose your personal data to the prospective seller or buyer of such business or assets
  • if we or substantially all of our assets are acquired by a third party, in which case personal data held by it about its customers will be one of the transferred assets
  • If we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligationli

In order to:

  • enforce or apply our terms of us and other agreements
  • protect the rights, property, or safety of us, our employees, our customers, or others. (This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations for the purposes of fraud protection and credit risk reduction.)
  • detect, investigate and help prevent security threats, fraud or other malicious activityli

Where we store your personal data

The data that we collect from you may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area ('EEA'). It may also be processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for us or for one of our suppliers. Such staff maybe engaged in, among other things, the fulfilment of your order, the processing of your payment details and the provision of support services. By submitting your personal data, you agree to this transfer, storing or processing. We will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this privacy policy.

Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password that enables you to access certain parts of our site, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential. We ask you not to share a password with anyone.

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 data transmitted to our site: any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.

Your rights

You have the right to ask us not to process your personal data for marketing purposes. We will usually inform you (before collecting your data) if we intend to use your data for such purposes or if we intend to disclose your information to any third party for such purposes. You can exercise your right to prevent such processing by checking certain boxes on the forms we use to collect your data. You can also exercise the right at any time by contacting us at or British Geological Survey, Environmental Science Centre, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG.

You can also manage your communications preferences when you register with us by contacting us at or British Geological Survey, Environmental Science Centre, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG.

We reserve the right to notify you of changes or updates to our services whenever necessary.

If your data is incorrect or inaccurate you can at any time ask us to amend the data by contacting us at or British Geological Survey, Environmental Science Centre, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG.

You may ask us to delete your personal information or deactivate your account. In such circumstances we will delete your personal information or deactivate your account to the extent possible. However, please be aware that we may be required to retain certain information for legitimate business purposes or to comply with our legal obligations. Where we do have to retain your personal information, we will notify you.

Access to information

The Data Protection Act gives you the right to access information held about you. Your right of access can be exercised in accordance with the Act. Any access request may be subject to a fee of £10 to meet our costs in providing you with details of the information we hold about you.

The Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations

The Natural Environment Research Council and its component institutions are regarded as public authorities for the purposes of meeting the Freedom of Information Act 2000 ('FOI') and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 ('EIR').

We, as part of the Natural Environment Research Council, are committed to meeting our obligations under the FOI and the EIR, both of which came into operation in January 2005.

Under the FOI we will disclose, on request, information we hold about us and our operation, although there are a number of exemptions under which disclosure may be denied, and this includes the release of personal information/data.

Any environmental information that we hold is exempt from disclosure under the FOI, and, instead, is dealt with under the EIR. Under the EIR we will disclose, on request, environmental information we hold, but there are a number of exemptions under which disclosure may be denied and this again includes personal information/data.

Changes to our privacy policy

Any changes we may make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page and, where appropriate, notified to you by email. Please check back frequently to see any updates or changes to our privacy policy.


Questions, comments and requests regarding this privacy policy are welcomed and should be addressed to or British Geological Survey, Environmental Science Centre, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG.