What is in a cookie?
A cookie is a simple text file stored on your computer, laptop or mobile device by a website’s server. Only that server will be able to read the contents of that cookie. The cookie contains anonymous information such as a unique identifier, the site name and some digits.
Cookies do lots of different things, they often:
- enable a service to recognise your device so you don't have to give the same information several times during one task
- recognise that you may already have given a username and password so you don't need to do it for every web page requested
- measure how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there's enough capacity to ensure they are fast
- provide anonymised data to help website managers understand how people interact with the services
Cookies allow our website to remember things like your preferences. On our website you can set your preferences for font colour, size and style and a cookie will remember those settings when you come back to the site.
Cookies also help us to see how our website is used, which pages are popular and which pages are not.
We use Google Analytics to collect information about how people use the site. Google Analytics stores information about what pages you visit, how long you are on the site, how you got there and what you clicked on.
Cookies set by Google Analytics:
- __utma: this randomly generated number is used to determine unique visitors to our site and expires after 2 years.
- __utmb: this randomly generated number works with __utmc to calculate the average length of time users spend on our site and expires after 30 minutes.
- __utmc: this randomly generated number works with __utmb to calculate when you close your browser and expires when you close your browser window.
- __utmc: this is a randomly generated number and stores information about how the site was reached (e.g. direct, via a link, or from a search) and expires after 6 months.
Cookies set by interactive websites/online forms:
- ASP.NET_SessionId: online forms on our website use ASP.NET Session IDs to remember information that you have submitted from one page of a form to the next and these expire when you close your browser window.
We use SurveyMonkey to collect responses to surveys. If you take part in the survey, SurveyMonkey will save extra cookies to your computer to track your progress through it.
Our cookies do not hold any identifiable information about you. So this information cannot be used to identify who you are. We do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data.
How to delete cookies
You can block some or all cookies, or delete cookies that have already been set but you may lose some functions of the website.
You can opt out of Google Analytics cookies