What are they?
Cookies are small pieces of information, stored by your web browser on your computer. They enable things such as keeping you logged in as you move around different pages on a website, or carrying address and delivery details from page to page as you make an online purchase.
Why are people concerned about cookies?
The EU was concerned that some people might be misusing them and so created a directive aiming to prevent that.
The UK was one of the first EU member states to implement the directive as law although there remains considerable confusion about what's actually required of website owners.
Cookies aren't bad in and of themselves; they're a tool that has become essential to the way the internet works. They can be used for nefarious purposes by unscrupulous websites but the same is true of many things available on the high street.
We want to play it safe and make sure users of this website are fully informed.
What cookies do we use?
We automatically set the cookies listed below, so if you're using our site you accept that we're doing so. We use two types of cookies:
- Session cookies, These only exist whilst you're on the site. When you close the window and leave the site, your browser will delete them. These are used for things like logging you in to the site.
- Persistent cookies which are stored by your computer for your next visit to the site. These are used to maintain useful information such as what you added to your shopping basket.
This is set by our web server. It allows the site to identify you from one page to another during your visit. Your experience on the site would be pretty poor without it. This cookie disappears when you close your browser. It doesn't contain any personally identifiable information about you, just a random string of letters.
__utma, __utmb, __utmc, __utmz
We use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track how well our website is doing (lots of websites do). These cookies are set by Google Analytics and allow us to view some anonymous information about the number of visits we get, the most popular pages, which pages people land on and so on.
They don't provide us with any personally identifiable information. __utmc is destroyed when you leave the site and close your browser but the others will hang around and may be there next time you visit.
We sometimes use some widgets on our site to display 3rd-party content, e.g., tweets, like buttons, etc. It's possible that these might set cookies too so, to be on the safe side, we're letting you know.
But I don't want to accept any cookies
We hope that you're reassured by this explanation of what cookies we use and why we do so. If you do wish to block cookies from any sites, you can do so by changing your browser settings. Here are links to the appropriate pages to tell you how to do this for the most popular browsers.
More about cookies
A search for "EU cookie directive" will return an enormous number of results. Below are a few sites our website develops tell us they found useful in their research. They don't claim to be experts and are certainly not lawyers but do care about this stuff. After all, we all use the internet