Privacy policy

Privacy policy


1.1 River Cottage, including the services we offer through it, (“River Cottage”) is owned by HFW Interactive Ltd (“HFWi”, “we”, “us” or “our” as appropriate).  We make River Cottage available through a variety of channels, including the website at (“River Cottage Site”) and via the River Cottage Every Day application for portable electronic devices (“River Cottage App”).

1.2 For the purpose of the Data Protection Act 1998, the data controller is HFWi.  For more information about HFWi, please click here.

1.3 We are committed to safeguarding the privacy of users of River Cottage. Please read the following Privacy Policy to understand how the information you provide is used and protected. If you have any queries or concerns regarding these practices, please contact us by e-mailing

1.4 Please note that by visiting and using River Cottage you are agreeing to the use of your personal information as described in this Privacy Policy.


2.1 The information we collect on River Cottage and the way we use that information includes the following:

When creating an account and joining the River Cottage community, we collect:
·       Your e-mail address – this is not displayed publicly on River Cottage. 

We use this information to:

- manage and communicate with you about your access to, or use of, River Cottage, as well as to inform you of updates to your account on River Cottage. Examples include notification from us when: you receive a response to your posting or when updates have been made to the content you are following; 

- send you newsletters from time to time containing news about special offers and giveaways on products or surveys or informing you about services that are closely connected to River Cottage unless you indicate that you do not wish to receive these emails at the time you enter your details on the sign up page for the River Cottage Site or App. We also collect your email for this purpose when you sign up to our newsletters at “About Us – Newsletter”. If you wish to stop receiving these newsletters or e-alerts, you can do so at any time, by following the instructions in clause 11 ‘Editing your settings and unsubscribing from River Cottage emails’;

- ask you about your River Cottage successes (e.g. if you have posted a popular recipe, whether you enjoyed any products or courses and events that you have ordered, if you have received helpful responses to queries that you have posted on the site). Any responses to such requests will be purely on a voluntary basis;

- reply to any correspondence sent to us; 

- allow you to participate in discussion forums and post content to River Cottage; and 

- for any other reasonable purposes related to River Cottage or your membership. 

Your username – we ask you to provide a username by which you can be identified publicly. Please note that your username should not feature your last name or contain any other personal information that could be used to identify you (e.g. your address).  

If your username with Facebook (or any other third party authentication provider) contains personal information, we recommend you do not use such third party facilities to link to River Cottage and instead create an account in the standard way.  We reserve the right to reject usernames that are offensive, defamatory or which we otherwise think are unsuitable.

Your general location and postcode -  these will be publicly shown as a pin within the River Cottage map application if you opt-in to showing your location on the map by ticking the relevant box on the sign up page. Look at this page to see what the pins on the map are likely to look like. We use this information to:

- serve you with content that is most relevant to your location;

- help other users discover how many other River Cottage Members are in their area;

- enable River Cottage members to form groups in their local areas and display information about local events; 

- enable River Cottage members to search for members by location and postcode.Please note, you can opt out of your postcode being shown on the map if you choose or you can move the pin to a nearby location with which you feel more comfortable. 

Any personal information you choose to include in the ‘description of yourself’ under your preferences in ‘Community – Update Profile’.  This information might include your photo or any personal information you otherwise voluntarily disclose. We use this information to:

- populate your profile and it is viewable by other users of River Cottage, so please be careful about what you include. Don’t publish your phone number, address or other such information here; and

- facilitate interaction between members.

If you access River Cottage through the River Cottage App, then in addition to the information above, you will be asked whether you would like to permit your location to be recognised via geo-location technology on your iPhone. If you decide to provide this information, we will use it to:

- serve you with content that is most relevant to your location;
- enable River Cottage members to search for members or listings by location;

Authentication providers

If you choose to create a River Cottage account using Facebook Connect (or any other authentication provider), we are furnished with profile and photo data about you through their application programming interface (API). We use this to create your account and allow you to interact with River Cottage. By clicking on the authentication providers’ link, you are consenting to share this information with us.

If you place an order or reserve a table using the River Cottage Site, we collect:

- Your e-mail address – this is not displayed publicly on River Cottage. We use this information to:

- manage and communicate with you about the orders you place or tables you reserve with River Cottage including sending relevant documents and correspondence to your email address.

Your full name, a contact telephone number and, optionally for table reservations, your address – these are not displayed publicly on River Cottage. We use this information to:

- identify and contact you about orders that you place with River Cottage or tables you reserve at a Canteen.

If you place an order using the River Cottage Site, we also collect:

Your billing address – this is not displayed publicly on River Cottage. We use this information to:

- authorise and approve your payments for orders that you place.
Your delivery address – this is not displayed publicly on River Cottage. We use this information to:

- arrange delivery for your ordered products.

If your order is for an event or cookery course, we also collect:

The names and email addresses of the attendees you wish to invite.  We will not use these details for any purpose other than to email the attendees with information relating to the event or cookery course that you have ordered. If you post information during use of River Cottage, we collect:

- Any other personal information you choose to disclose during your use of River Cottage. 

Examples include when you update your profile, make a posting, upload a photo, upload a video, share a link, create an event or a group, send someone a message or otherwise engage in the River Cottage community. This information is viewable by other users. We use this information to:

- enable you to engage more fully with the River Cottage community;

- enable other members to search for you and communicate with you; and

- enable other members to provide you with feedback.

If you order a gift voucher when using the River Cottage Site, we collect:

Your friend’s name and e-mail address. We will not use these details for any purpose other than to e-mail them a gift voucher code.
When you submit a query using our feedback webform, we collect:

Your e-mail address – providing this is entirely optional and you do not need to provide it in order to submit feedback to us using the webform.  Your e-mail address will not be displayed publicly on River Cottage. We use this information to respond to your query.  We will not use your e-mail address to send you marketing communications or pass it on to third parties without your permission when you submit it using our feedback webform.

Your internet browser and its version number. We use this information to provide an up-to-date and compatible service and to assist us diagnose any problems should your query be of a technical nature.


3.1 We may use your personal information to investigate a complaint made by another member, breach of River Cottage’s Terms of Use and Sale and to prevent and detect criminal activity, fraud and misuse of or damage to River Cottage or the service made available through it and to prosecute those responsible. 


4.1 We share your personal information with third parties for the purpose of managing and administering the accounts and services provided to you through the River Cottage Site and App.  We may further share and disclose this information with other services that we provide or third party sites that are affiliated to River Cottage for example Landshare, energyshare and Free Range Review (“Sister Services”) in order to better integrate those services with River Cottage.

4.2 We do not sell or rent your personal information. We may, however, disclose information about you to the following, for the express purposes set out below:

If you create an account with River Cottage:

- to our employees and agents for them to administer any accounts or services provided to you through the site. e.g. the sending of e-alerts on our behalf.

- to our Sister Services and their employees and agents for them to administer the shared login functionality and for them to better integrate their services with River Cottage.

If you place an order:

- to our employees and agents for them to administer and execute orders that you place and to provide support services in connection with River Cottage, for example returns and cancellation services;

- to Royal Mail and Parcelforce, to administer the delivery service for the orders that you place; and

- if you order via the River Cottage Site, to WorldPay so that we can determine whether or not to accept your order. In particular, WorldPay will check the contact and card details you have given against details held by your card issuer to ensure the payment details given are correct. If there is any anomaly with the details that you have provided, then WorldPay may keep a record of the use of that card for the purpose of future security checks. This helps to protect you and us against fraudulent transactions.

If you reserve a table:

- to our employees and agents for them to administer table reservations that you make;

- to the River Cottage Canteens and their employees and agents for them to provide the table reservation service.

If you post content:

- as a member you are publicly identified to other users of River Cottage by your username. We therefore recommend that you do not use your real name as your username or provide any other personally identifiable information on the publicly viewable site, like your name or contact details;

- we may display some information that is publicly available on River Cottage on third party services and platforms that are closely connected to the River Cottage project and other third party sites such as Facebook and Twitter that wish to embed River Cottage activity.  So, by way of example, user generated content such as forum thread titles, latest questions and answers and listings would be displayed on such third party sites with a link back to River Cottage. To the extent that usernames or personal information is included in that user generated content on River Cottage, it may be displayed on such third party sites. So for example if a listing included a username or a member’s photo, that information may also be displayed on the third party website. Just to be clear, this information will be embedded on any such third party website as a link;

- we may display some information that is publicly available on River Cottage in the regular newsletters that are emailed to all registered users on the River Cottage mailing list.

Transfer of business:

- if there is a change (or prospective change) in the ownership of HFWi or any of its assets, we may have to disclose personal information to the new (or prospective) owner. If we do so, we will require them to keep it confidential and use it in accordance with the terms of our Privacy Policy.

Legal requests:

- Apart from the use and sharing of your personal information in the limited circumstances already described, the only ways we may share your information are if  we need to disclose personal information to protect our and our licensors’ rights and property or to comply with any applicable law or valid legal process.


5.1 We use different payment processers depending on whether you are purchasing goods and services from the River Cottage Site or App.  We use WorldPay Limited, which is part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group to process your payment for purchases from the Site.  If you pay for goods or services using the River Cottage App, we use PayPal or Apple’s iTunes to process your payment.  PayPal is a method of online payment which allows users to pay by linking a credit/debit card to their PayPal account or by loading their account with funds directly from a bank account.  PayPal also provide us with your primary registered postal address details which we use to deliver any order you place via the River Cottage App.

5.2 WorldPay, PayPal and Apple operate secure servers to process your payment details. They encrypt your credit or debit card information and authorise payment directly. This means that your credit card or debit card details are never revealed to us.  The PayPal service requires verification by way of a username and password.  These details are also never revealed to us.  Please read the privacy policy relevant to your country at for WorldPay, for PayPal and for Apple’s iTunes to see what security measures each organisation has in place and how they treat your information.


6.1 You should avoid sharing any personal information including contact information with any other River Cottage Members.  If you intend to share any such information, please exercise the same level of caution as you would dealing with a stranger.  Never give any personal information to anyone until you are confident that it is safe to do so.  You should in any event only reveal such personal information via secure communications that cannot be viewed by other people.  You must treat any personal information that you receive from other River Cottage Members as private, confidential and use it only for the purposes for which the Member provides it to you unless that Member indicates to you otherwise.


7.1We may share non-personal aggregated statistics data about visitors to River Cottage and traffic patterns with third parties. Just to be clear, this information does not identify users in any personal capacity; it just gives generalised information about the users of River Cottage.


Cookies and log files

8.1 While on River Cottage, certain information is automatically logged about how you are using River Cottage. This information may include the URL of the website which linked you to this Site, your IP address and the pages you visit while on River Cottage. The IP address indicates the location of your computer on the internet.  We keep a record of each user’s activity by reference to the IP address of the internet connection(s) they use to access River Cottage.  These logs enable us to prevent users who breach the rules of the River Cottage community set out in our Terms and Conditions of Use and Sale by refusing communications from their IP addresses to the website.  If you are concerned that we have blocked an IP address that you use to access River Cottage in error, please email us at

8.2 Like many websites we may use a feature called a cookie. A cookie is a small data file that is sent to your browser from a web server and stored on your computer’s hard drive. It allows us to recognise you as a user when you return to River Cottage using the same device and web browser. We use the cookies (including some provided to us through Google Analytics and Clicky) and other automatically tracked information to: 

- store login details. For example, to authenticate you as a user when you log in

- personalise your experience on River Cottage

- remember the contents of your Shopping Basketenable you to move more easily around River Cottage

- track visitors to River Cottage to analyse performance and usage of River Cottage, in order to develop River Cottage in accordance with visitors’ requirements;

8.3 You can delete cookies from your hard drive at any time. You can set your internet browser so that it will not allow cookies to be stored on your device. This may reduce functionality of River Cottage and may mean that certain features or content will not be available to you. Further information on how to prevent cookies from being stored on your device can be found on under the 'manage cookies' section. Alternatively go to the help menu within your internet browser.


9.1The River Cottage Site and App contain links (sometimes posted by us, and sometimes by users) to third party websites that are not subject to this Privacy Policy. Read the Terms and Conditions of Use and Sale for further information on these links. We strongly recommend that you read the privacy policy of any such websites that you visit.


10.1 The River Cottage Site and App contain links (sometimes posted by us, and sometimes by users) to third party websites that are not subject to this Privacy Policy. Read the Terms and Conditions of Use and Sale for further information on these links. We strongly recommend that you read the privacy policy of any such websites that you visit

10.2 As required by the UK Data Protection laws, we follow strict security procedures in the storage and disclosure of information which you have given to us, to prevent unauthorised access. In particular, we use the Message-Digest algorithm 5 (MD5) to encrypt your password.  We also use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to encrypt all our check-out pages.  SSL and MD5 encrypt the information you provide as it travels through the Internet. Encryption creates billions of code combinations to protect each transaction made on the website, so your password or information cannot be viewed by anyone else using the internet. Despite using this technology, we cannot guarantee the security of the information that you disclose to us. You accept the inherent risks of providing information and dealing on-line and will not hold us responsible for any breach of security unless this is due to our negligence or wilful default.

10.3 If you have any concerns about security, please email us at


11.1 You can edit your settings displayed on the ‘Update my page’ screen on the River Cottage Site or click the unsubscribe link included in an email to:•stop receiving e-alerts or newsletters from us.

11.2 You can also edit your settings on the ‘Update my page’ screen on the River Cottage Site to:•prevent your postcode from being used to identify your location on the River Cottage map;•select the frequency with which you receive e-alerts from us.


12.1You can access and edit information provided in your profile, recipes and blogs only via the River Cottage Site. You cannot edit comments made to the forum, your questions or answers or comments made to other users.  You cannot access, edit, delete or update any information using the River Cottage App.

Your right to see your personal information

12.2 Under the Data Protection Act you have the right to see the personal information that we hold about you, whether collected through your use of River Cottage or through any communications that you have had with us. You will need to provide us with a written request and pay a small fee.  If you have any queries about your right or wish to make such a request please contact us by e-mail at or by post addressed to the Data Protection Officer, 44 – 46 Old Steine, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1NH.

12.3 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 choosing certain options on the forms we use to collect your data. You can also exercise the right at any time by contacting us at the address provided in clause 12.2.


13.1 Your personal information may be transferred to, stored at, or processed at a destination outside the EEA.  It may be processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for us or for one of our suppliers. Such staff may be engaged in, among other things, the fulfilment of your order, the processing of your payment details and the provision of support services. 

13.2 By submitting your personal data to this site, 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.


14.1 We may make any change to this Privacy Policy at any time by sending you an e-mail with the modified terms or by posting a copy of them on the River Cottage Site and/or App.  Any changes will take effect seven (7) days after the date of our e-mail or the date on which we post the modified terms on River Cottage, whichever is the earlier.  Your continued use of River Cottage after that period means that you agree to be bound by the modified terms.


15.1 River Cottage is owned by HFW Interactive Limited, a company incorporated in England and Wales, whose registered office address is:

44 – 46 Old Steine, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1NH
HFWi’s registered company number is 04736945 and VAT registration number is 831580438.

If you have any queries about this Privacy Policy, please contact us at You can find a detailed list of contact telephone numbers and e-mail addresses for our departments on the Contact Us page on the River Cottage Site.

Last updated 20th December 2010

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