In simple terms a cookie is a small piece of information sent from our website to your computer to help us to identify you quickly. If you prefer not to accept a cookie, you can navigate around our sites like a normal user. Any information gathered by the use of cookies is compiled on an aggregate, anonymous basis.

Cookies are pieces of information that a website transfers to your hard drive to store and sometimes track information about you. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but if you prefer, you should be able to change your browser to prevent that.

You should read the information that came with your browser software to see how you can set up your browser to notify you when you receive a cookie, this should then give you the opportunity to decide whether to accept it. However, you may not be able to take full advantage of a website if you do so. Cookies are specific to the server that created them and cannot be accessed by other servers, which means they cannot be used to track your movements around the web.

Cookies can be used for a variety of purposes, such as providing personalised pages, but at present, we use them only to work out how many people visit our sites.

Cookies set by our website:

We use exp_cookies_allowexp_cookies_accepted or exp_cookies_declined to track and respect your choices. 

We use exp_last_activity so every time the page is reloaded the last activity is set to the current date and time. It is used to determine form or login expiry. This is essential for logged in users to record their data and not lose it as it is being input. The expiry time 12 months.

exp_last_visit Sets the date and time that the you last visited the site. Affects guests and logged in users. The expiry time is 12 months. 

exp_sessionid Set by the site to maintain your secure login session. Used only for logged in members. Expiry time: session.

exp_expiration Determines the length of the session for a logged in user. Expiry time: session.

exp_anon A flag set by the user to determine if you are listed in the online users. This defaults to no. Expiry time: session.

exp_tracker tracks the last 5 pages you viewed and is used primarily for redirection after some actions on the site ie moving back to pages. This affects guests and logged in users. This cookie expires when you leave the site. 

We also use exp_csrf_token. This cookie protects against Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF). A CSRF attack forces a logged-on victim’s browser to send a forged HTTP request, including the victim’s session cookie and any other automatically included authentication information, to a vulnerable web application. It expires from your computer after one hour.

exp_stashid This cookie generates a unique ID that relates to session values that determine the current state of the website and any actions you have performed. Expiry time: session.

Cookies used by our service providers:

We use Google Analytics to analyse the use of our website. Google Analytics gathers information about website use by means of cookies. The information gathered relating to our website is used to create reports about the use of our website. Google's privacy policy is available at: Google Analytics uses the following cookies:

_ga – Used to distinguish users. Expires after 2 years.

_gid – Used to distinguish users. Expires after 24 hours.

_gat_UA-2422865-6 – Used to throttle request rate. Expires after 1 minute.

We use Google Maps to show you our site location on our website. Google Maps can set the following cookies to measure the number and behaviour of Google Maps users: SID, SSID, HSID, NID, PREF. Most expire after 6 months.

Our service providers use cookies and those cookies may be stored on your computer when you visit our website.

Further information about cookies can be found at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s website

You can manage how our site uses cookies here.