What’s a cookie?
Cookies are small text files that webservers give to browsers to store on users’ machines. They are necessary as they enable the website to recognise requests as coming from the same browser, and they can be essential for the operation of a web software application. However, they can also be used to track user behaviour. This is generally done in an anonymous manner, however if a user provides personal information, perhaps by way of a form for example, then this information could also be stored.
To disable Flash Cookies (Local Shared Objects) – used by websites built with Adobe Flash, see
List of the main cookies used on this website.
This is a list of the main cookies set by this website, and what each is used for.
First Party Cookies (cookies set directly by us):
Expires 100 days
Cookie Purpose: To indicate to our site that you have clicked on the ‘OK, I agree’ to set cookies button, so that we don’t show the banner again.
Third Party Cookies:
Our website aims to give you a dynamic and interactive experience, with rich content capabilities. To achieve this we partly utilise cutting-edge third party web software, which may or may not use their own cookies to enable functionality. We may also embed content from third party sources, including but not limited to video, survey software, ability to add comments to our News page, social networking tools, search tools, interactive map displays etc. Any cookies generated by these sites, now or in the future, do not fall under our control, but we can assure you that we are very careful to only select and test reputable applications/content sources.
These are some of the main Third Party tools used by our site, which may or may not utilise cookies:
Drupal – This software is the main provider of some of the dynamic elements of our site – www.drupal.org.
YouTube – Some of our video content is linked from YouTube – www.youtube.com.
Google – These cookies are used by Google to provide different Google services for the user and to collect anonymous data about the user – www.google.com.
Twitter – These cookies are created by Twitter to let the site know if the user is logged in to Twitter. These cookies are present if there is a Twitter’s “Tweet widget” or a “Profile widget” present on the page – www.twitter.com.
This list is not exhaustive, and may change from time to time.
We do not carry advertising on our site.
Session cookie – This cookie is essential for site functionality. It does not store any personal information. A session cookie only lasts for the duration that the user uses the website. A web browser normally deletes session cookies when it leaves that site.
Persistent cookie – This type of cookie allows for a more dynamic web experience, perhaps by way of remembering user preferences such as text size, user-selected colours and layout etc, or to save the user filling in a form with the same information over and over again, or having to log back in to a site every time it is visited. It is set to remain on a user’s computer for a specified amount of time, and is then deleted.
Cookies are generally anonymous, identifying only a particular browser. A cookie can also be used to hold personal information, which may be used to track a browser between websites, but it is worth remembering that a user would have to provide this information in the first place, by way of filling in a form with personal information for example. A user’s browser settings give full control over whether or not they choose to accept cookies, block them, accept or block them for specific sites, or ask the user what to do each time a cookie is presented. Cookies can similarly be deleted at any time.
For more information on cookies, their use and blocking them you may want to visit www.aboutcookies.org.