What is a cookie?
A cookie is a simple text file that is stored on your computer or mobile device by a website’s server and only that server will be able to retrieve or read the contents of that cookie. Each cookie is unique to your web browser. It will contain some anonymous information such as a unique identifier and the site name and some digits and numbers.
There are two main types of cookies:
1. Session cookies which are temporary and remain in the cookie file of your computer until you close your browser (at which point they are deleted)
2. Persistent or stored cookies which remain in the cookie file of your computer for a defined period of time.
Cookies are also generally divided into essential and non-essential. Essential being those needed to progress through site functionality and non-essential for those identifiers used for analytics, cookies from advertisers or third parties, including affiliates and those that identify a user when they returns to the website.
Why are cookies used?
This site uses different types of cookies including essential and non-essential. Some cookies are placed by third party services that appear on our pages.
- Make our website work as you'd expect - Essential
- Enable us to recognise your device so you don’t have to give the same information several times during one task. - Non-essential
- Improve the speed/security of the site - Non-essential
- Allow you to share pages with social networks like Facebook - Non-essential
- Deliver content to the website such as video and social media - Essential
- Help us to understand how people are using our website so that we can improve it for you. - Non-essential
- Measure how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s enough capacity to ensure they work correctly and respond quickly. - Non-essential
The law says we must:
- Tell you that the cookies are there
- Explain what the cookies are doing and why
- Get your permission to store a cookie on your device. (Although we can store cookies on your device if they are strictly necessary for the operation of this site.)
More details about cookies on this site
We use various session (or temporary) cookies, which allow you to move through the pages of our site quickly and easily. These cookies are stored in the temporary memory of your browser but are not usually retained once you have closed your browser. This session data is under the essential use category.
Additional third party cookies
We use Google Analytics to measure how many people are using our service, the pages you visit and links you click on, so we can make it easier to use and assess the content that is needed.
These cookies collect information in an anonymous form. Analysing the anonymised data helps us understand how people interact with our services so we can make them better.
There are three possible cookies set by Google Analytics, one used to distinguish users, one is used to distinguish users and one is used to throttle requests (control requests to stop a flooding of information).
For more information about Google Analytics visit https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/6004245
You can change Google Analytics tracking across all websites by visiting https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout
To support our services, we sometimes embed videos and content from websites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Pages with this type of embedded content may present cookies from such websites. Similarly, when you use one of the share buttons on this website, a cookie may be set by the service you have chosen to share content through.
You can find out more about the cookies and privacy policies of these organisations here:
We include links to Twitter. You will find a link to their cookie policies here: https://help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies/twitter-cookies
We include links to Facebook. You will find a link to their cookie policies here: https://www.facebook.com/policies/cookies/
Your right to turn of cookies
Some people find the idea of a website storing information on their computer or mobile device a bit intrusive, particularly when this information is stored and used by a third party without them knowing. Although this is generally quite harmless you may not, for example, want to see advertising that has been targeted to your interests.
You can block cookies by activating the setting on your browser that allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. Below are links to the 'Help' pages of major browsers which explain how you can do this. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or parts of our site or any other websites that you visit.
Internet Explorer | Firefox | Chrome | Safari OS X | Opera | Safari iOS | Windows Mobile
Links to other sites