Choco chip cookie CC BY 2.5

No sweet chewy biscuits, chocolate chips or secret storage jars, just plain speaking information, advice and transparency.

What is a Cookie Policy

It is our declaration to users about what cookies are active on this website, what user data they track, for what purpose, and where this data is sent. It has details on how you may opt out of the cookies or change their settings.

Where does this Policy Apply

This Cookie Policy applies when browsing on our website at
You can learn more about who we are, how to contact us and how we process personal data in our Privacy Policy.

Why is this not part of your Privacy Policy page?

Sometimes you will find a cookie policy part of the privacy policy of a website. For complete transparency, access and readability we have separated them. We’ve done this so that:

1.  You can easily see any changes or revisions we have made to the Cookies Policy.
2.  You are able to clearly view the type of cookies currently in use. It’s difficult for any internet user to actually see cookies in operation on any website and our detailed report below updated automatically each month does this.
3.  You can see the cookies we use that are set by third parties eg: YouTube and other social media providers.
4.   We can comply with EU regulation and other laws.

This Cookie policy deals specifically with the use of cookies on our website, whereas our privacy policy is a general document regarding all of the data processes on this website, including contact forms, mailing lists, newsletters and membership.

Our cookie policy informs you what cookies and trackers we use, what data we collect, for what purposes, for how long they are active and with whom we share this data. This policy also informs you how to revoke consent or opt out of having personal data collected, processed and/or shared.

What are the relevant UK Cookie Laws?

1.  E-Privacy Directive 2009/136/EC (“Cookie Law”) from 26 May 2011
2.  The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from 25 May 2018
3.  E-Privacy Regulation (EPR) due soon

What is a Cookie?

A Computer cookie is a packet of data (small text file) that a computer receives and stores from a website. They are also known as HTTP cookie, web cookie, Internet cookie or browser cookie. Your computer usually stores the cookie in a file inside your web browser (eg: Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera etc). The storage file is surprisingly often called “Cookies.” You can read the Cookie file using any Notepad-type program on your device. Generally you will find an ID tag, time and date, expiry and website name.

The law states that we can store cookies on your device if they are strictly necessary for the operation of this website. For all other types of cookies we need your permission. We obtain this from the consent message bar that appears when you first encounter our website.

What does a cookie do?

A cookie is not a program or application and it does not scan your device for information. They do not actually “do” anything. Cookies basically consist of stored data. Any personal information they contain is as a result of your input on a websites form. They have been designed and are used as a method for websites to remember information and preferences  (eg: items added by the user in their online shopping cart) or to record the user’s past activities such as pages visited, data entered into form fields like names, addresses and passwords.

Without a shopping cart cookie, for instance, your basket would reset to empty, every time you clicked away to a new link. Cookies can also help by keeping a record of your website visit or record your login information. This can be useful to users for password storage or for websites to improve their functionality.

So usually cookies are used to identify a user and create a customised, frictionless and more enjoyable experience whilst they are browsing the website.

Different types of cookies keep track of different activities. For example Tracking cookies can be used to create long-term records of multiple visits to the same site. See also “What type of Cookies do we use” below

Why do some people think cookies are bad?

It probably depends on how you feel about businesses and government collecting and storing information about you. Cookies themselves do not normally gather secret or exceptional information or data that is not publicly available. However, data collected can include your general location, advertisements you’ve clicked on, preferred language, browser type, what you are interested in, where you have been and purchases made. Any personal information you submit yourself, for example completing online forms, is encrypted and unreadable except, to the server that created the cookie initially.

Security protocols and policy ensure websites can access only the cookies they have placed themselves. However third-party cookies can be placed by a site other than the one you’re visiting. These are mostly used by marketing and advertising firms to track browsing activities across multiple sites and serve tailored adverts that you may be interested in.

All these pieces of cookie information are tied together and can create a picture about your browsing habits. Combine this with information collected by other data aggregators (Google, Social Media, Corporations etc) and a detailed profile of your online presence can be constructed.

What type of cookies do we use?

This site uses different types of cookies. Some cookies are placed by third party services that appear on our pages. For example to allow us to play YouTube videos. You can at any time change or withdraw your consent from the Cookie Declaration on our website. When you first visit our website and before the website places cookies on your device you are presented with a message bar requesting your cookie consent. The cookies that are currently in use on this website can be found detailed in the report at the foot of this page.

Examples of cookies we use

– if you leave a comment on our site you may opt in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.

– should you visit our login page, we will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.

– after you login, say as a member or forum contributor or for any other reason, we will set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.

– If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.

– pages on this website may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the same way as if the visitor has visited the other website. These websites usually collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

– we use  google analytic software which uses http cookies to remember what a user has done on  pages before and previous interactions with our website

General Website Cookie Types

 Here is a list and description of the Cookies we and other websites can utilise. Cookies can fall into any one or a number of the different headings below at the same time.

Session cookies
–  Temporary cookies.
–  Store data from your current session and are deleted when your browser is closed.
–  Mostly used to track shopping cart purchases or to store interim security information say when when using a bank website.
–  Session cookies are the least likely to raise privacy concerns, and many of them fall into that “strictly necessary” category.

Persistent cookies
–  Permanent or stored cookies.
–  Placed on your device’s permanent storage area (hard drive) and not deleted when your browser is closed.
–  They are normally used to recognise users returning to a website and track browser behaviour, viewing patterns and clicks  on a website and provide data for the websites analytics programs.
–  Store data up to an indefinite time period.
–  Used to create tailored experience for user or analyse visitor behaviour.
–  Widely used for advertising purposes and where a 3rd party cookie is involved can result in User data being shared with other websites.

Browser independent cookies
–  Flash, Silverlight, zombie or super cookies, 
–  Act like permanent cookies, but are not stored by an internet browser and remain and can be re-created after normal cookies have been deleted.
–  Stored in their own program files. A Google search will provide methods of locating and permanently deleting them.
–  For website owners using these programs they provide a back-up to traditional cookie data. If a user deletes their cookie files, the website can still recognise them
We do NOT intentionally use browser independent cookies like these on our website.

First-party cookies
–  Cookies placed on your device directly by the website you are visiting.

Third-party cookies
–  Cookies placed on your device, not by the website you are visiting, but by a third party (advertiser or analytic system).

Strictly necessary cookies
– These are essential for you to browse the website and use its features and functionality. Shopping cart cookies are an example of strictly necessary cookies. These cookies will generally be first-party session cookies.

Preferences cookies / Functionality cookies
–  Allow a website to remember choices you have made in the past, like language preferences, what your user name and password are for automatic login and other choices.

Statistics cookies / Performance cookies / Analytic cookies
–  Collect information about how you use a website. The cookie stores data about pages visited, links clicked. They are used to improve website functions. Third-party analytic services use these types of cookies.

Marketing cookies / Targeting cookies
–  These cookies track your online activity. They help advertisers deliver relevant product and servicing advertising. These cookies can share that information with other organizations or advertisers. These are persistent cookies and are almost always of third-party origin.

Unclassified cookies
–  Are those that we are in the process of classifying, together with the providers of individual cookies.

Concerned about Online Privacy?

How to control or delete Cookies

Follow instructions on these websites about deleting, enabling and controlling cookies on your device:

You can also find information in the help menu of the internet browser you are using now.

Consent and our currently used Cookies

We use “Cookiebot” to monitor your Cookie consent, to scan our web pages for the cookies in use and for keeping us current with data protection legislation and compliance. The text and options below are automatically generated and include: 

1.  The Consent pop-up that you agreed to when first visiting our website.
2.  Your Consent ID. This is a Unique number and a record of the last date, time and type of consent you gave this website.
3.  The option to change your consent. Note if you withdraw your consent some elements of this website will not function correctly.
4.  A list of the different types of Cookies in operation that Cookiebot found on its last scan. Note our Cookie declaration gets generated monthly and there may be a minor difference in the cookies declared below and those actually being used at this moment in time. This is because we may have amended our website and/or changed our cookie usage during the interim period.

Generated Text Follows

(Updated monthly analysis by CookieBot)