Cookies - What and Why?

What's on this page?

Recently there has been a lot of discussion in the media about privacy and the use of cookies on websites. With this in mind we feel it is important to explain what cookies are, and how we use cookies on our website.

What are cookies?

Cookies are small pieces of information that a website stores on your computer either in the memory of your computer or other devices such as mobile phones, tablet devices (these cookies are commonly known as session cookies) or are placed on the hard drive of your device (commonly known as persistent cookies).

Cookies can be created when you visit a website or other service that uses cookies. Most of the time these cookies contain harmless non-identifiable (anonymous) information that help the website provide a better user experience to you; or to assist in improving the website by tracking your interactions.

For more information about cookies, and how to delete and disable cookies please visit www.aboutcookies.org, or refer to the section below about turning cookies off.

Why we use cookies

There are many reasons for a website to use cookies. Anything from allowing you to login to a secure area of a website, to remembering your name or favourite colour for next time you visit the site.

Our website uses cookies to distinguish you from other users of our website in order to provide increased functionality and service. This not only helps us to provide you with a better experience, but also to help us improve our website and services.

Unless you have adjusted your web browser settings (if and where possible) to refuse cookies, our system will issue cookies as soon as you visit our website or related online services. However in doing so, you may find that certain functionality or services may be impaired or unavailable to you.

The cookies we use only contain anonymous information to improve the services we offer, and do not contain personal information.

It is also important to point out that not all cookies used by this website are created by us. These cookies (referred to as third party cookies) are covered below.

What cookies do we use?

The cookies we use are generally only to provide functionality or analytical services.

Analytical cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website, discover how visitors move around our website, and to track the content that visitors view and are interested in. This helps us to tailor the content we provide and make sure we offer more of what our visitors want, and less of what they don't want. Without this information we would have to rely on you, the visitor, contacting us and letting us know if you don't like something, or if you want to see more of a particular type of content. Analytics does this automatically, all without personally identifying who you are.

What analytical cookies do we use?

Google Analytics Our website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics tool provided by Google, to collect information about how visitors use our site. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from and the pages they visited.
Cookie name What it does
_utma This cookie helps us determine the number of unique visitors to our website.
_utmz This cookie helps us determine the referral method for people visiting our website. This helps us to analyse the traffic arriving at our     website and to determine which are the most popular routes (e.g. direct, search engine search, email link).
_utmb We use this Google Analytics cookie to help us to record the length of individual sessions from our users on our website. Each time you move to a new page within our website within 30 minutes of arriving the cookie updates so that we know that you are still actively using our website within a single session.
_utmc Similar to _utmb, we use this Google Analytics cookie to help us record the length of individual sessions on our website.

 

AddThis AddThis is an online service to track which social networking options you use. This information is only used to identify which are the most popular document networking tools, and how many people may like our content.
Cookie name What it does
Uid/uvc Features for sharing via social media (Facebook, Twitter etc). AddThis track visitors who use any of their features.

 

Functional Cookies

These cookies relate to the functionality of our website and allow us to improve the services we offer. Examples of these include:

What functional cookies do we use?

Cookie name What it does
.ASPNET Lets us know that you have logged in to a secure area of our website, and safely identify who you are
.ASPXANONYMOUS Lets us identify you as an anonymous user so that when you login, any actions you have performed (e.g. adding items to a shopping cart) are carried over once you have logged in
ASP.NET_SessionId Lets us know when you are actively using our website, and enables us to temporarily store information so that it can be accessed by other pages of our website if necessary
shopperID Identifies you as a shopper, so that you can come back to your shopping cart at a later time
_guid Makes sure that if you fill a form in and send it to us, that you don't have to fill the information in again if there are any errors or if any information has been missed out

Embedded content

From time to time we may embed photos or video content from websites such as Flickr or YouTube. As a result, when you visit a page containing these items you may be presented with cookies from these websites.

We do not control these cookies and you should check the relevant third party's website for more information on their cookies usage or privacy policies.

Sharing tools

On a lot of our pages you will see sharing buttons which enable you to easily share content with your friends through the most common social networks. When you click on any of these links, a cookie may be set by the social network you have chosen to use. As with embedded content, we do not control these cookies, so always check with your chosen social network for more information.

I want to know more...

You can find out more about cookies, including how to disable/enable them at the following website: www.aboutcookies.org

You can also choose to block most cookies by configuring the settings in your web browser. However, if you use your browser to block all cookies (including the essential ones our website requires) you may not be able to access all parts of our website, or you may find that particular functionality is reduced or missing. Unless you have adjusted your browser settings to block cookies, our website will issue cookies as soon as you visit it.

If you are trying to delete or disable cookies on your mobile phones, tablets, or any other internet-enabled devices, please refer to the manual that was provided with it, or to the device manufacturer's website.

Contacting us

If you have any questions about your privacy, or the information we may hold, please refer to our privacy policy for more information. If you have any other related questions, queries or complaints, please contact us.

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