Forestry Commission logo

Privacy and cookie policy

This page explains how we use any information you give to us through our website, and the ways in which we protect your privacy.

Personal information charter

This charter sets out what our standards are for requesting or storing your personal information.

It also covers what we ask from you to help us keep your information up to date.

When we ask you for personal information, we promise to:

  • make sure you know why we need it
  • only ask for what we need, and not to collect too much or irrelevant information
  • protect it and make sure nobody has access to it who shouldn’t
  • only share it with other organisations when the law allows
  • make sure we don’t keep it longer than necessary
  • note make your personal information available for commercial use without your permission.

In return, we ask you to:

  • give us accurate information
  • tell us as soon as possible if there are any changes, such as a new address

This helps us to keep your information reliable and up to date.

You can get more details on:

  • how to find out what information we hold about you and how to ask us to correct any mistakes
  • agreements we have with other organisations for sharing information
  • circumstances where we can pass on your personal information without telling you, for example, to prevent and detect crime or to produce anonymised statistics
  • our instructions to staff on how to collect, use and delete your personal information
  • how we check the information we hold is accurate and up to date
  • how to make a complaint

Data Protection Officer
Forestry Commission
Silvan House
Edinburgh EH12 7AT
Tel: 0300 067 5000

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data-sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioners Office.

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The Data Protection Act

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, the Forestry Commission has a legal duty to protect any information we collect from you. We have procedures and security features in place that aim to keep your data secure once we receive it. We store your data on our secure servers in the UK.
We won’t share your information with any other organisations for marketing, market research or commercial purposes, and we don’t pass your details to other websites.

Some of our applications are provided by third parties and may have different terms and conditions and privacy/cookie policies:

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Information we collect

We collect certain information or data about you when you use our website. This includes:

  • questions, queries or feedback you leave, including your email address if you send an email to FORESTRY.GOV.UK
  • your IP address, and details of which version of web browser you used
  • information on how you use the site, using cookies and page tagging techniques to help us improve the website
  • details to allow you to access our services and transactions e.g. an email address (you’ll always be told when this information is being collected, and it will only be used for the purpose you provide it for) This helps us to:
  • improve the site by monitoring how you use it
  • respond to any feedback you send us, if you’ve asked us to
  • provide you with information about our services if you want it



When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • enabling a service to recognise your device so you don't have to give the same information several times during one task
  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don't need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there's enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • recognising which people are visiting our web pages through social media sites, to make it possible to use targeted advertising

You can manage these small files yourself and learn more about them through  "Internet browser cookies - what they are and how to manage them"

If you'd like to learn how to remove cookies set on your device, visit 'Our use of cookies'

Picture Library
On this site we use cookies in the Picture Library to store your lightbox for your next visit. We do not collect any information about you using cookies.

Cookie Typical content Duration
MyLightbox   2 months


Tree Alert
Our Tree Alert application uses session cookies. These are stored for the duration of the session, and are used to associate the servers session with the connected user.

Cookie Name: _ga
Duration: 2 years
Purpose: To distinguish users

Cookie Name: _gat
Duration: 10 minutes
Purpose: Used to throttle request rate.

eTimber sales
Cookie name: lastSession
Duration: 15 minutes
Purpose: This is a session id. If the session id is expired, the user needs to login again. 

Google Analytics
Our website also uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”). Google Analytics uses cookies -text files placed on your computer, to help the website analyse how users use the site. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. Google uses this information to evaluate your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet use. Google may transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google's behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google.

By using this website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.

You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser, however please note that if you do this you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website.  We follow the ICO privacy and electronic communication regulations

Google Analytics sets cookies to help us accurately estimate the number of visitors to the website and volumes of usage. This to ensure that the service is available when you want it and fast.

Cookie Typical content Duration
_utma randomly generated number 2 years
_utmb randomly generated number 30 minutes
_utmc randomly generated number session
_utmz randomly generated number + info on how the site was reached (e.g. directly or via a link, organic search or paid search) 6 months

For further details on the cookies set by Google Analytics, please refer to the Google Code website.

Google Maps

Cookie Typical content Duration
PREF   2 years
NID   6 months
SNID   6 months


Third party cookies - Facebook

Cookie Typical content Duration
datr   2 years
lsd   session
reg_fb_gate   session
reg_fb_ref   session
act   session
csm   session
lu   2 years
sub   session
locale   1 week
p   session
c_user   session
s   session
xs   session
presence   session

Third party cookies - Twitter

Cookie Typical content Duration
guest_id   2 years
k   1 week
_twitter_sess   session

Third party cookies - Flickr

Cookie Typical content Duration
B   2 years
Bx   1 week

How to control and delete cookies
We will not use cookies to collect personnally identifiable information about you.

However, if you wish to restrict or block the cookies which are set by our website, or indeed any other website, you can do this through your browser settings. The 'Help' section within your browser should tell you how.

Alternatively you may wish to visit which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of browsers. You will also find details on how to delete cookies from your machine as well as more general information about cookies.

Please be aware that restricting cookies may impact on the functionality of our website.

If you wish to view your cookie code, just click on a cookie to open it. You'll see a short string of text and numbers. These numbers are your identification card, which can only be seen by the server that gave you the cookie. To do this on the browser of your mobile phone you may need to refer to your handset manual.

To opt-out of third parties collecting any data regarding your interaction on our website, please refer to their website for further information.

Log Files

Log files allow us to record visitors' use of the site which we use to make changes to the layout of the site and to the information in it, based on the way that visitors move around it. Log files do not contain any personal information about you or information about which other sites you have visited.

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Other information we collect

We collect different kinds of information from visitors to our website:

  • feedback
  • calls to our helpdesk
  • requests for information
  • consultation responses
  • registration details for some areas of the site

You can send us your feedback directly using the contact details on our website. We do not pass on any of your personal information outside our organisation when dealing with your enquiry. We will not use any information you supply for any other purpose without first seeking your permission.

Where your details are held in our tracking system these are archived after we have dealt with your enquiry and deleted after 12 months.

Calls to our helpdesk

The information you supply to us in telephone contacts may be logged within a database to help us respond to, and track, your request. We do not pass on any of your personal information outside our organisation when dealing with your enquiry, unless you have given us permission to do so. We will not use any information you supply for any other purpose without your permission.

Our system archives your messages after it has been dealt with, and deletes them after 12 months.

Requests for Information

We need to record your personal contact details to be able to respond to, and track the progress of, your request.  We do not pass on any of your personal information outside our organisation when dealing with your enquiry, unless you have given us permission to do so. We will not use any information you supply for any other purpose without your permission.

If you register an interest in receiving regular updates from the site your details will be kept indefinitely. You have the option to check the details supplied by you, to update these details, or to remove your name from any mailing lists by contacting us.

Consultation Responses

We regularly use our website to encourage input into the many consultation exercises that we carry out. On some occasions we will invite responses directly through the site. Where this happens we need to record your personal contact details to be able to validate responses and, where appropriate to respond to your input. We do not pass on any of your personal information outside our organisation unless you have given us permission to do so. We will not use any information you supply for any other purpose without your permission.

We will normally archive computer-held responses after six months and delete them after 12 months.

Registration Details

Although most of our site does not require you to register there are a few areas which do. The details you supply will only be used for these purposes unless you give us permission for other uses (for example to be included in mailing lists).

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Disclosing your information

We may need to pass on your personal information if we have a legal obligation to do so, or if we have to enforce or apply our website policies and other agreements.

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Links to other sites

When using this site you may access an online service or transaction that is delivered by another government department or agency, or by a commercial supplier. Each of these services will have its own privacy policy and terms and conditions or end user licences that apply only to that service. Users of any service should make sure they have read the relevant terms and conditions before completing that transaction.

We do not pass on any personal information you have given us to any other site.

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Access to your information and contacting us

You can change your registration information by contacting us. If you wish to see our records of any correspondence you have sent to us, or if you have a query or complaint about this privacy policy or about the site, you can contact us:


Communications Branch
Forestry Commission
231 Corstorphine Road
EH12 7AT
United Kingdom

If this privacy policy changes in any way, we will update this page. Regularly reviewing this page ensures you are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it and under what circumstances, if any, we will share it with other parties.

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Last updated: 3rd August 2016