British Cactus & Succulent Society Privacy Policy 2 February 2019

The privacy and security of your personal information is extremely important to us. This privacy policy explains how and why we use your personal data, to make sure you stay informed and can be confident about giving us your information.  This policy has been updated for the new requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force on 25 May 2018 and strengthens the protections over your personal data.

We’ll keep this policy updated on our website to show you all the things we do with your personal data. This policy applies if you’re a supporter of the BCSS (member, donor, or volunteer) or use any of our services, visit our website, email, call or write to us. We’ll never sell your personal data and will only share it with organisations we work with when it’s necessary and the privacy and security of your data is assured. 

Who are ‘we’?

In this policy, whenever you see the words ‘we’, ‘us’, ‘our’, ‘BCSS’ it refers to the British Cactus & Succulent Society, a registered charity number 290786 – a charity registered in England and Wales.

The BCSS is a charitable organisation with the aim to educate the general public about cacti and other succulents, provide services to our members including publications and assist in the conservation of the plants.

We do this by the study, culture and propagation of cacti and other succulent plants and we seek to promote the conservation of these plants. We may gather together and share techniques of cultivation and propagation, we hold meetings, shows, lectures, exhibitions, arrange visits to collections, exchange plants, seeds and study materials and publish journals, books, manuals and other materials. We also raise funds and invite and receive contributions from anyone by way of membership subscriptions, we also publish books, manuals and other materials and we may charge for attendance at events about cacti and other succulent plants and we have sales of plants and associated items. We make grants to individuals or organisations, provide services and sponsor or undertake research to further our charitable objectives.

Our activities benefit anyone with an interest in cacti and other succulent plants.

If you have any questions in relation to this privacy policy or how we use your personal data they should be sent to or by post to Mr E A Harris at 49 Chestnut Glen, Hornchurch, Essex, RM12 4HL.

What personal data do we collect and where do we hold it?

Your personal data (any information which identifies you, or which can be identified as relating to you personally for example, name, address, phone number, email address) will be collected and used by us. We’ll only collect the personal data that we need. 

We collect personal data in connection with specific activities such as membership requests and renewals, placing an order for goods or services and booking places at events. 

You can give us your personal data by filling in forms on our website, by registering to use our website, participating in our forum, subscribing to take part in research on our website or other social media functions on our website, entering a competition, promotion or survey or by corresponding with us (by phone, email or by joining as a member or associate member). 

This personal data that you give us may include details such as name, title, address, date of birth, age, gender, email address, telephone numbers, photographs, opinions, usernames and passwords.

The personal data of anyone who has donated to the BCSS and made a Gift Aid declaration is held for seven years in accordance with HMRC requirements and personal financial details relating to any payments such as by credit card or PayPal, including credit or debit card or direct debit details are retained for the period required by the payment services company. After this time, the donor’s personal data will be removed from the records held within the BCSS.

If you buy membership as a gift or are the parent of one of our junior supporters, including volunteers, your details will be recorded and your association with that relationship will be recorded. 

Your activities and involvement with us will result in personal data being created. This could include details of how you’ve helped us by volunteering or being involved with our meetings, events and activities. If you decide to donate to us then we’ll keep records of when and how much you give to a particular cause, such as the Research and Conservation Fund.  

We’ll only use your personal data on relevant lawful grounds as permitted by GDPR and the Privacy of Electronic Communication Regulation.

Members’ personal data and core membership benefits

We hold the following personal data of our members: name, address, telephone number, date of joining the BCSS, date of birth if provided and any BCSS awards held. We also hold your email address (where you have provided this). Under GDPR, unless you have agreed to receive them, we can only send you communications for a genuine and legitimate reason, that you would reasonably expect based on your membership of the BCSS. We think that you would reasonably expect to receive your core membership benefits. These are set out below and depend on the category of your membership.

Full members include adult, senior and junior members. Junior members are aged 18 or under at the date of joining or renewal and for them, we also hold their date of birth. Full members receive the quarterly CactusWorld journal, monthly email newsletters about the work of the BCSS, for those who have provided email addresses, and information from branch secretaries and zone representatives to tell you about your branch and zone meetings and events. Members may receive emails from BCSS Announce if they are subscribed to that service. Associate members enjoy all the benefits of full membership except that they do not receive CactusWorld, but they do receive inserts that are normally sent with it, including but not limited to the seed list, officials’ list and calendar of events. New members also receive a welcome pack containing everything they need for their membership and a small selection of promotional items. All members are eligible to subscribe to the BCSS yearbook, Bradleya if they so wish.

To update your details, or if you do not wish any or all of your information to be held or used in any of these ways, you can request this at any time by contacting the Membership Secretary, Tony Morris at email, or by post at 6, Castlemaine Drive, Hinckley, Leicester, LE10 1RY. Of course you should bear in mind that removal of your details would mean that you would no longer receive the relevant communications, for instance if you remove your address, you would not receive CactusWorld.

Members’ personal data is recorded in a membership database which is held by certain Officials of the BCSS, including the Membership Secretary, Treasurer, Technical Editor and, in the case of the Marketing Officer, an extract containing members’ names, email addresses and branch only. Each of these officers uses the data only in connection with their duties as an Officer of the Society. For example, the Membership Secretary manages members’ membership status and their details on the database, the Treasurer uses the data to track membership subscriptions and renewals and the Marketing Officer uses the email addresses to send out email Newsletters. For national or local BCSS email Newsletters or similar group emails, we use MailChimp, who are a specialist email communications company based in the USA and your name and email address are therefore transferred to MailChimp’s computers in the USA for this purpose. You can read MailChimp’s Privacy Policy, effective 23 July 2018, at which explains how they protect your personal data. You can unsubscribe from any BCSS MailChimp distribution list at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link at the foot of the MailChimp email you have received. The Treasurer also uses members’ personal data to claim Gift Aid from HMRC where the member has made a Gift Aid declaration, but this is not recorded in the membership database. Other Officials and Trustees of the BCSS may also use information held in the membership database on application to the Membership Secretary, where they need to do so as a direct result of their duties. We may also use members’ data to verify you when you contact our officials or register on our website to access member services.

Members’ data is held for at least two years after the last year for which they paid their subscription, because we know that sometimes people overlook the renewal notice and are late with their renewal payment. Also, the personal data of members who have given Gift Aid declarations is held for seven years in accordance with HMRC requirements and personal financial details relating to any payments such as by credit card or PayPal, including credit or debit card or direct debit details, are retained for the period required by the payment services company. After this time, the personal data of members who have not renewed within two years, or who have asked for their data to be deleted, will be removed from the membership database and from any other records held within the BCSS.

When you become a member of the BCSS, you normally choose or are allocated to a branch to belong to and your personal details from the membership database are provided annually to your branch’s Secretary and to the Zone Representative for the zone to which your branch belongs. This is so that your branch and/or zone can tell you about and organise branch and zone meetings and events, such as shows, lectures and cactus and succulent marts. Branch Secretaries and Zone Representatives retain your personal data until such time as your data is removed from the membership database, either because you have asked for it to be removed or because you have not renewed your subscription within two years after the last year for which you paid a subscription.

Members who carry out roles within the Society provide their specific consent for their details to be held and used by the BCSS in order that they may fulfill the duties of their role, including entering their details on the Officials List and on the BCSS website where applicable. These roles include Branch Secretaries, Zone Representatives, BCSS Officials and Ancillary Officials, Judges and Speakers.

Children’s personal data - Junior membership

Junior membership is available to anyone under the age of 18. Under 13s can have their membership bought for them as a gift by an adult, while those aged between 13 and 18 can buy membership online, by phone or by writing to the Membership Secretary. On attaining the age of 18, the member’s date of birth is removed from the membership database.

Volunteers and visitors

We are most grateful to those people who, although not members of the BCSS, nevertheless give their time and effort to help us, such as providing help with catering for meetings and events, preparing halls for shows and other events and clearing up afterwards.

We may need to use your personal data to manage your volunteering, which could include contacting you about events we are running, both locally and nationally, about expenses you have incurred and are claiming, and to recognise your contribution.

We welcome visitors to our events and if you are a visitor, we may ask for your personal data so that we can send you further information about the BCSS and future events in which you may be interested.

Events management 

We process members’ data in order to fulfil orders for publications and events such as Conventions, Shows, Cactus and Succulent Marts and other events. Your data will be used to communicate with you throughout the process, including to confirm we’ve received your order and payment, to confirm dispatch where applicable, to clarify where we might need more detail to fulfil an order or booking, or to resolve issues that might arise with your order or booking.  


We carry out research with our members and supporters to get feedback on your experience of and interest in growing and studying cacti and other succulent plants. We use this feedback to improve the activities and information we provide and to ensure we know what is relevant and interesting to you.  

We may use third party specialist companies to help us to do our research effectively and may also use electronic survey providers to collect members’ views. This may include the use of SurveyMonkey, who are a specialist electronic survey company based in the USA and your personal data, which may include your name and email address, may therefore be transferred to SurveyMonkey’s computers in the USA for this purpose. Where third party suppliers are used we take various steps, which may include making reasonable enquiries of management and/or reviewing their published Privacy Policy, to ensure that they are aware of and have taken steps to comply with the GDPR.

If you choose to take part in research, we’ll tell you when you start what data we will collect, why and how we’ll use it. All the research we conduct is optional and you can choose not to take part.

Sensitive personal data

In general we do not hold sensitive personal data, but if you book to attend one of our events, we may ask you about your food preferences, dietary requirements and any relevant medical conditions, where this is necessary to ensure your safety and wellbeing. Such data is destroyed immediately after the event has taken place or as soon as any issues arising have been resolved, if later.

Giving you control over your data

We want you to remain in control of your personal data. If, at any time, you want to update or amend your personal data please contact us in one of the following ways: 

Email: with your full name, full address and supporter/member number

By post at: BCSS Secretary, Mr E A Harris at 49 Chestnut Glen, Hornchurch, Essex, RM12 4HL.

For members, please contact the Membership Secretary, Tony Morris, by email at by post at 6, Castlemaine Drive, Hinckley, Leicester, LE10 1RY.