When we provide services, we want to make them easy to use, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • recognising that you may already have given an email address/website when you leave a blog comment, meaning you don’t need to re-type that information for every comment you leave
  • measuring how many people are using our website via Google Analytics, so the website can be made easier to use, and more suited to your needs

If desired, you can manage these small files yourself. 


Our use of cookies

The following list outlines exactly what cookies this website uses, and what they are used for:

Google Analytics:

Google Analytics sets cookies to help us accurately estimate the number of visitors to the website and what content is most popular. This helps to ensure that our website is responding to your needs in the best way possible.  Google Analytics sets the following cookies:

__utma (Expiry: 2 years)

__utmb (Expiry: 30 minutes)

__utmc (Expiry: At end of session)

__utmz (Expiry: 6 months)



We use ShareThis to allow users to share blog posts using Social Media.  ShareThis sets the following 3rd party cookies:

UID (Expiry: A little under 2 years)

UIDR (Expiry: A little under 2 years)

__stid (Expiry: 1 year)

__uset (Expiry: 4 hours)

__unam (Expiry: 9 months)

ServiceHistory (Expiry: At end of session)

recents (Expiry: At end of session)


Google Services (Google My Business, YouTube, etc)

We use various Google services to allow users to view and share content more effectively.  Google may set the following 3rd party cookies to store user preferences and information:

PREF (Expiry: 2 years)

GAPS (Expiry: 6 months)

NID (Expiry: 6 months)



If you receive the HTML-formatted version of our email newsletter, your opening of the newsletter email is notified to us and saved. Your clicks on links in the newsletter are also saved. These and the open statistics are used in aggregate form to give us an indication of the popularity of the content and to help us make decisions about future content and formatting.