Cookies used by this site

Web cookies and how they are used

A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers sent to your computer or mobile phone when you visit a website. It means that the website can recognise your computer or phone if you return to the same site.

Cookies are used for different purposes. These include remembering personalised preferences on websites, recording items that you have put into a shopping basket, and counting and analysing the visitors coming to a website.

Cookies and the law

A new law came into effect in the UK on 26 May 2011, giving web users the right to choose what information gets stored on their phone or computer. This includes cookies placed by websites and the likes of Google Analytics. The law will be enforced from 26 May 2012.

The text below is taken from advice provided by the UK government.

In the past many websites placed cookies on visitors' computers without their consent. From 26 May 2012, businesses and organisations running websites in the UK will need a user's consent to store cookies on their computer.

Many websites use cookies. As the rules change, users of websites are likely to start seeing more information about what cookies are used on websites, and what information is being stored. Users will be given more choices about these cookies, including being asked to agree to a cookie being used.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has published more detailed advice on what the law means for you as a consumer.

We use different kinds of cookies on this web site. There are essential cookies, without which the site would not function correctly, functionality cookies, which enhance your experience, analytics cookies which give us information about visitor numbers and pages visited, and third party cookies which are included along with additional functionality, such as embedded YouTube video or links to Facebook and other social media.

Essential Cookies

  1. If you are a registered user of this site and you log in, a secure encrypted cookie is used to store your credentials to keep you logged in between pages.
  2. As part of the login process another cookie is created purely to test whether cookies are enabled on your browser.
  3. A cookie is used to test whether cookies are enabled and, if so, to store your preferences as to whether you accept cookies used on this site.
  4. A cookie is used to create and store status messages such as "You have logged in", or "Thank you for completing the survey...". No personal information which identifies you is stored with this cookie.
  5. If you use the font resizing mechanism on the accessibility page, your preferred size is stored in a cookie.
Cookie name Purpose Expires
__ac Login cookie to keep you logged in. When you close your browser.
areYourCookiesEnabled Login cookie to check whether cookies are enabled in your browser. When you close your browser.
cookiecheck Cookie to check whether cookies may be set in your browser, and to store your preference with regard to cookie storage for this site. 31 December 2020
statusmessages To store relevant site status messages, such as "You have logged in". When you close your browser.
fontsize A cookie which stored your preferred font size if you resize the site fonts via the accessibility page. 1 year

Functionality Cookies

  1. If the site uses surveys, a cookie is used to check whether you have visited the survey page, and whether you have completed the survey. No personal information which identifies you is stored with this cookie.
  2. If the site uses polls, a cookie is used to check whether you have already answered the current poll question. No personal information which identifies you is stored with this cookie.
Cookie name Purpose Expires
name-of-survey This cookies actually has the same name as the survey, with spaces replaced by hyphens. It keeps a record of whether you have completed a particular current survey during this browser session. When you close your browser.
bbpollcookie Keeps a record of the polls you have voted in on this site, to prevent you voting more than once. 19 Feb 2020

First party analytics cookies

This site uses Google Analytics to produce reports on numbers of visitors, pages visited, browsers used etc. No data which could identify you personally is gathered or stored.

Cookie name Purpose Expires
__utma Provides a way of checking for different visitors so the number of different visitors can be counted. 2 years
__utmb This cookie and __utmc are used to keep track of visits so the number of separate visits to the site can be counted. Less than one day.
__utmc See under __utmb. When you close your browser.
__utmz This keeps a record of how you arrived at a page, whether from a search engine, direct link or via an advert. 6 months

Third party cookies outside of our control

We may use external services on this web site to display content from time to time. For example, we may show videos from YouTube, Vimeo or another streaming service. Pages with this embedded content may use cookies from their web sites.

You may see embedded 'share' buttons on our web pages. These enable users to share content with their friends through social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. When you click on one of these buttons, a cookie may be set by the service you have chosen to share content through. We do not control the dissemination of these cookies.

We cannot prevent these sites, or external domains, from collecting information on your usage of this embedded content. If you are not logged in to these external services then they will not know who you are but are likely to gather anonymous usage information e.g. number of views, plays, loads etc.

Some, all, or none of the following sites may set cookies on your browser. Please note that this is a snap shot list and that it may not be complete. It is unlikely, however, that all these sites are in use on this site.


To opt-out of third-parties collecting any data regarding your interaction on our website, please refer to their websites for further information.

How do I manage and delete these cookies?

Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit one of the following sites. It is not technically possible for you to exchange your settings between different browsers and devices so you will need to change these settings on each browser you use.

Please note, our cookies do not collect personal data. If you are concerned about third party cookies (e.g. YouTube, Facebook etc.), check their sites for information, or visit the links above and learn how to switch off third party cookies. Turning off cookies altogether for this site via the button below will prevent access to the site content.