What are cookies?
Cookies are small files that get put on your computer by websites as you surf them. These cookies can store lots of information which can have privacy implications. We like to think all the cookies used on this site are fairly innocuous but thatâ€™s for you to judge. We also make use of temporary â€œSession Cookiesâ€ to determine if you have logged into the password protected areas of our website. These only exist while your web browser is open and are wiped as soon as you close the window.
Anonymous Tracking Software
We use Google Analytics (just like virtually everybody else) a service provided by Google. They gather anonymous data on how people are using this site and then provide us with visitor statistics, details of page views etc. You can think of it as being a bit like CCTV but one that automatically blurs your face so we can see what people have done, but not who. If you are anti-Google you can opt-out of being tracked by Google Analytics at http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout (weâ€™d prefer you didnâ€™t though as this data is seriously helpful to us in improving our website).
Third-Party Website Widgets
We also embed some page elements from trusted third parties so that we can provide you with features like Interactive Maps, Like Buttons and Videos. Collectively they make our website more interesting to you as a site visitor however most of these come with their own cookies. They are:
Google (Maps + Plus)
Since we do not control these cookies we cannot guarantee what they do but we are confident that they value your privacy just as much as we do. In many cases the cookies are used to generate identical information to Google Analytics (see above) and indeed use Google Analytics, so opting-out of Google Analytics will also opt you out of these cookies too.
How do I opt out?
You can control how Facebook tracks your behaviour online here – https://www.facebook.com/settings/?tab=privacyÂ§ion=applications&field=instant_personalization
You can control how Twitter handles your personal information here – https://twitter.com/privacy
You can opt out of ShareThis tracking here – http://www.sharethis.com/privacy
While we would love to offer a cookie-free version of our site we simply do not have the resources to provide and maintain one. Unfortunately if you are really anti-cookie then there is no option except to not use our site. You can remove any cookies we have already put on your machine within your browser settings â€“ pressing Ctrl+Shift+Delete may work in many cases. We will be sorry to see you go!