Cookie Policy

This policy is the first stage towards achieving cookie compliance for our visitors. The following information is provided so that you are fully aware of the cookies we have in use, enabling you to make an informed choice about your continued acceptance of them. We will monitor regularly to ensure we meet the EU guidelines relating to online privacy and cookies.


Cookies are small files sent back and forth with web pages used to identify that you have previously visited a site, or to store small pieces of information locally with you.

Cookies on our site – set by our third party partners or us – can be in the form of session or persistent cookies, or may be used by different technologies, such as JavaScript or Flash. If you would like to opt out of the cookies set by our site, this can be accomplished on a cookie-by-cookie basis subject to browser settings. These cookies may be used to collect analytics of non-personal visitor activity and to help manage your user experience. You may limit site operation or functions if you limit the cookies.

What is the purpose of cookies?

Cookies make the interaction between users and web sites faster and easier. Without cookies, it would be very difficult for a web site to allow a visitor to fill up a shopping cart or to remember the user’s preferences or registration details for a future visit.

Web sites use cookies mainly because they save time and make the browsing experience more efficient and enjoyable. Web sites often use cookies for the purposes of collecting demographic information about their users.

Cookies enable web sites to monitor their users’ web surfing habits and profile them for marketing purposes (for example, to find out which products or services they are interested in and send them targeted advertisements).

Are cookies dangerous?

No. Cookies are small pieces of text. They are not computer programs, and they can’t be executed as code. Also, they cannot be used to disseminate viruses, and modern versions of both Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape browsers allow users to set their own limitations to the number of cookies saved on their hard drives.

Can cookies threaten users’ privacy?

Cookies are stored on the computer’s hard drive. They cannot access the hard drive – so a cookie can’t read other information saved on the hard drive, or get a user’s e-mail address etc. They only contain and transfer to the server as much information as the users themselves have disclosed to a certain web site.

A server cannot set a cookie for a domain that it is not a member of. In spite of this, users quite often find in their computer files cookies from web sites that they have never visited. These cookies are usually set by companies that sell internet advertising on behalf of other web sites. Therefore it may be possible that users’ information is passed to third party web sites without the users’ knowledge or consent, such as information on surfing habits. This is the most common reason for people rejecting or fearing cookies.

More information on data protection notices

A data protection notice is legally required on UK web sites that collect personal data, unless the purpose of the collection is obvious. It should be displayed or made readily available before the data is entered – even if the data is nothing more than a visitor’s e-mail address. The data protection notice should make visitors aware of the following:

  • the identity of the person or organisation responsible for operating the web site (data controller) and of anyone else who collects personal data through the site;
  • the purposes for which they intend to process the personal data;
  • any other information needed to ensure fairness to individuals, taking into account the specific circumstances of the processing. This will include informing individuals of any disclosure of information about them to third parties, including disclosure to companies within the same group.

Some form of notice must be incorporated as a compulsory part of the user’s browsing experience if he or she is about to enter personal data. However, we recommend that you also have a link from every page to a privacy policy, because it’s something that your visitors will expect. The privacy policy and data protection notice can be the same wording; but usually you will want a different approach for each: a short, punchy data protection notice – to minimise the disruption of a user’s experience – and a longer privacy policy, to provide maximum reassurance where the user can find it easily. Also, remember that there may be more than one data controller involved in the collection of personal data on a web site, particularly where banner advertising is placed by a third party, or where a third party provides a secure payment mechanism. In such cases all data controllers should be identified.