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Privacy Policy for Garden Openers & Volunteers


We at Scotland’s Gardens Scheme (SGS) are committed to protecting your privacy. This privacy policy is intended for those who choose to open their garden with and/or volunteer for SGS. Outlined below is information about how we use and protect your personal details. Whenever you provide information to us we are obliged to protect your details in line with laws concerning data protection, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Bill 2017.

The current legislation requires that we inform you of our “legal basis” for processing your personal details. When you choose to open your garden and/or volunteer with us you are making this choice and we establish a form of contract for SGS to provide services and support to you. And it is in our interest to collect information to fulfil this agreement. Therefore, our legal basis for collecting and maintaining information about you includes consent, contract and legitimate interests.

The information that we hold about you will include some personal information, which is detailed below. We hold this information within our password-protected database to which we minimise the number of people who have access. This database is used to create our annual Guidebook and website listings and provides the information required to support your opening and/or volunteering experience with us.

Below you will find more detail explaining our process. If any of this information is unclear or you would like further details, please contact SGS Head Office and we will be happy to help.


If you open your garden for SGS, the information that we collect is only what is needed to promote your opening and to contact you as required. This includes:

  • information about your opening, which may be made public through our Guidebook and website or kept private, depending on how you choose to open with us. This information includes: name(s), address, garden description and features, opening date(s), admission price, nominated charity(s) (if any), photographs and optional extras (phone number, email, website);
  • your contact details (name, phone number and email) which we will not publish or share without first gaining your permission;
  • historical information about your openings, including years open with SGS.

If you volunteer with SGS we request and maintain:

  • name and address, which is normally published in our annual Guidebook (though you can request that we not publish your address);
  • your other contact details (phone number and email), which we will not publish or share without your permission;
  • historical information about your volunteering history with SGS.

Marketing your garden opening with SGS

The standard way to open you garden with SGS is to open to the public. When you choose this, along with the support we offer, we will promote your opening in the following ways:

  • on paper: we list your opening information in our annual Guidebook, District leaflets, District calendars and, if requested, personalised posters;
  • digitally: we list your opening information on our website and promote your opening through our channels, which include: press release(s) to local and regional newspapers, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest), listing on key “What’s on” websites;
  • newspaper and magazine articles: we also will consider your garden when responding to journalist enquiries for feature articles.

We hope you will take advantage of all opportunities to promote your opening and maximise visitors. However, if you prefer not to have your opening promoted by the means above, you can open privately and we will help support your opening with invitations and SGS materials as needed. Please note that we regret that we cannot customise your participation in the promotional channels described above.

When you do decide to open your garden with SGS you will need to agree that we can contact you with information to support your opening by email, telephone or post. This will include internal communications and newsletters and possibly questions to help us to improve our services to you.

Who we will and will not share your information with

There may be times when a journalist or visitor (normally a group of visitors) would like to reach you. We will never share your “unpublished” contact information with anyone without first gaining your permission. We will never use your details for any other purpose without first getting your permission. Nor will we supply your details to any third party.

Cookies when you access our database

Cookies are text files placed on your computer to enhance the functionality of your use of our database. For example, cookies will remember how you last used the database, to help make it ready for your next login. You can learn more about cookies from the internet, including how to set your browser not to accept cookies and how to remove cookies from your browser. However, this will remove some of the usability of our database and some features may not function as a result.


Your details will be held securely on our password-protected database. Our SGS Head Office staff have access to all information on our database. As well, your District Organiser, Treasurer and perhaps another designated Volunteer will be given access to the SGS database for their respective District and will be responsible for keeping the local District information up to date. Everyone who has login access to our database has been trained in how to protect personal information.

How you can correct or delete your information with us

If you open your garden with us you can have access to your details, kept within our secure database, to see that they are always up to date. Just ask the office or your District Organiser to arrange for you to have a login. You can also pass on any updates to your District or SGS Head Office. And if you volunteer for SGS and you do not have SGS database access yourself, please contact your District Organiser or SGS Head Office with any changes. We will, of course, take precautions to be sure that it is you requesting any changes. You can also always decide to no longer open your garden and/or volunteer with us and for your details to be removed from our database, though note that information published in our annual Guidebook will, of course, remain.

How long we will keep your information

If you decide no longer to open your garden with SGS or you wish to retire as a Volunteer, please let your District Organiser or SGS Head Office know. In this instance we will “archive” your records. Although this will not delete your information per se, it will no longer be accessible to others than SGS Head Office staff nor appear on any of our regular reports. You will no longer receive internal newsletters, though you might be sent a final annual Guidebook and/or recognition for your service with SGS. Your information held in our Guidebooks will be maintained as part of our archives.


The SGS Board of Trustees and staff are responsible for the charity’s data protection policies. Please contact us if you are unhappy with the way we handle your personal information. If you are unable to resolve this with us, you can make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (

Changes to our privacy policy

We keep our privacy policy under regular review and will place any updated policy within our database and provide a link in the footer of our internal newsletters.