A cookie is a small file that is downloaded onto your device when you visit a website, which means the website can recognise your device if you return to it.

Cookies are used to:

  • recognise your device, so you don’t have to give the same information several times during the same online task
  • measure how you use the site, so it can be updated and improved based on your needs
  • provide data to help understand how a website and its services are used

Cookies can’t be used to identify you as an individual.

Essential cookies

Essential cookies are needed to ensure our website works properly. We don’t need to ask permission to use these. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site might not work.

Name Purpose Expires
cookieBar CookieBar is a lightweight library for showing a brief message at the top or bottom of the screen. 1 year

Analytics cookies (optional)

Analytics cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so that we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. If you don’t allow these cookies, we won’t know when you have visited our site, and won’t be able to monitor its performance.

Name Purpose Expires
_ga Used to distinguish users on a domain 1 year
_ga_Y0GCR97B3K Used to persist session state 1 year
_gat Used to reduce the number of user requests 10 minutes

Used to distinguish users

24 hours

Google signals

This site uses Google signals. This helps us to better understand how you use our site on different devices and your demographics and interests, if you’re logged into your Google account and have accepted advertising personalisation.

All Google Analytics data is aggregated and anonymised. It is retained within Google Analytics for a maximum of 24 months.

Name Purpose Expires
_ga Used to distinguish users on a domain 1 year
_ga_MZ4662RGVD Used to persist session state 1 year

Functional cookies

These cookies enable the website to provide enhanced functionality and personalisation. They may be set by us or by third-party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you don’t allow these cookies, some or all of these services may not function properly.

Functional cookies used by this site

Name Purpose Expires
_GRECAPTCHA Used to provide spam protection. 6 months

Marketing and third-party cookies

Marketing cookies


Facebook (Meta) Pixel helps us with measuring how effective our Facebook (Meta) adverts are. We’re then able to use this information to improve our marketing. Using Facebook (Meta) Pixel doesn’t allow us to identify you as an individual. You can read more about Facebook (Meta) cookies and managing your advert preferences.

Third-party cookies

We embed media such as YouTube videos on some of our pages. The suppliers of these services may also set cookies on your device when you visit the pages where we have used this type of content. These are known as third-party cookies. We have no control over third-party cookies.

You can read the third-party websites’ cookie policies for more information about the cookies they collect.

Giving permission to collect Analytics cookies

Turn on the Analytics cookies on the cookie banner to give us permission to store those cookies on your device.

You can change your cookie settings in your browser. For instructions, check the support website for your browser.

Further reading

Cookies and similar technologies | Information Commissioner’s Office

Privacy notice

Cookie policy updated on 12 December 2023