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Privacy Policy

This privacy notice refers to

Who we are

Edinburgh Birding and Nature Tours is an ecotourism business run by Matthew James Appleby, providing bespoke tours of the birds and wildlife in the Edinburgh area. Income comes from the guests of private tours.

What information do we gather?

We collect only the data that we need to fulfil orders and to contact guests.

We collect personal information when you make an inquiry or purchase, enter information via PayPal, or make any other form of contact with us. As many of our clients are in Edinburgh for brief periods, we do not maintain a mailing list.

In order to improve our services, we maintain a record of our customers’ transaction history. The significant majority of our transactions conducted through third party payment platforms, such as PayPal, who hold all the relevant information. On occasion, alternative methods are requested, for example, bank transfer; in both this and the case of third party payments, we never store any information that will allow us to place charges on your account without your knowledge or consent.

Edinburgh Birding and Nature Tours does not itself use cookies to receive and store details; any cookies on our website are provided by Wix, whose cookie policy can be read on their website.

We may combine information you provide to us with information available from external sources in order to gain a better understanding of our audiences, visitors and supporters to improve our fundraising and marketing methods. These external sources may include all publically available websites, especially personal writers’ websites and public social media pages.

Tour guests often state their desire to become regular clients of Edinburgh Birding and Nature Tours; since they are often based abroad, however, their visits to Edinburgh can be months or even years apart. As such, the data of all guests is held for 60 months before being deleted. Guests who make inquiries but do not complete a purchase have, similarly, re-established contact many months after their initial email; their data is held on our systems for 36 months before being deleted.

Third party organisations

If you make a donation or purchase through PayPal or any other platform, or engage with Edinburgh Birding and Nature Tours via another website or platform, such as VisitScotland, then your information may be shared with us, as necessary to process the purchase.

When dealing with a third party organisation, as above, you should be sure to check their Privacy Notice to understand fully how they process your data.

Social Media

We use social media to share information and updates about our publications, events and news. We may communicate with you directly by replying to messages and queries on social media platforms.

How we keep your personal information secure

Your personal data will be held and processed on the Edinburgh Birding and Nature Tours system. We maintain a database of contact details, and a record of your interactions with Edinburgh Birding and Nature Tours, such as responses to emails.

Access to customer information is strictly controlled. We use Microsoft, Apple and Meta services as our platforms. Customer information can only be accessed by people who need it to do their job, with a specific and legitimate reason to use it.

We may need to disclose your details if required to the police, regulatory bodies or legal advisors.

We will only ever share your data in other circumstances if we have your explicit and informed consent.


What we use your personal information for

We aim to be transparent when we gather your personal information, and not use your details for anything you wouldn’t reasonably expect. We use all information, for example, names and addresses of customers, exclusively to provide tours themselves, as well as, on occasion, to analyse the provenance of tour guests so as to target future services.

Third Parties

Edinburgh Birding and Nature Tours does not sell personal details to third parties for any purpose. There are occasional instances where your information has legitimate reasons to be shared with a third-party: for example, if a large private group requires the hiring of an outside driver, then the driver may be provided with the address of a client’s hotel.

Our emails are conducted in-house rather than through a third party such as MailChimp.  

Anonymised personal information may be presented in the form of customer statistics with organisations such as VisitScotland, who use this to analyse our work and audiences, as well as to understand the impact of the potential public investment. Edinburgh Birding and Nature Tours does not currently receive any outside funding.

Sensitive information

As with all the personal information we hold, sensitive information is held securely and restricted to those who need to use it. If this information is used for reporting of any kind (for example, diversity reporting), it is entirely anonymised and used for statistical purposes only.

Your Rights

You have the following rights related to your personal data:

• The right to request a copy of personal information held about you
• The right to request that inaccuracies be corrected
• The right to request us to stop processing your personal data
• The right to withdraw consent
• The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office


For questions about our privacy notice or data we hold about you, please email with the subject line ‘Data Protection’.

Updates to this Privacy Notice

Updates to this notice may be made in accordance with UK law. All users will be informed of any changes. This version is current as of January 2024.

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