Cookie Control Page
You will have arrived at this page either as you enter the site, or if you clicked on a link referring to information about Cookies. To resume your use of the website click on the appropriate link on the left of the picture. Allowing us to put cookies on your browser helps us to ensure that our website works on your equipment, and indicates to us which pages are most popular, and which fall out of favour as time passes. By removing old and little used pages our server will work faster so your experience is better.
In May 2012 the EU Cookies Directive came into force in the UK. This is a somewhat complex piece of legislation as Statcounter explains in a document which you can see
For the most up to date official information on Cookies you can look at the Information Commissioner's website. Apart from the legal stuff, the Commissoner provides links to advice on controlling Cookies on the following Browsers, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera.
We use two monitoring packages that may leave cookies on your web browser. They are Statcounter and iPerceptions (4Q). Statcounter automatically reports technical information about the use of the website, and iPerceptions(4Q) asks some visitors to the website for their opinion about its layout and usefulness. A combination of these two types of information is useful to us when we try to improve the website. The information we recieve is in anonamized form, and while machines are identified, the permanence of the identities given is hard to assess - many machines would show diferent information each time they accessed the website - and as discussed below - geographic information is vary vague. Machine identity simply helps to group information about that machines success at using the website. Statcounter data is automatically over-written approximately every month. We only keep statistical summaries for longer periods.
The Statcounter package leaves a cookie on your Browser. This Cookie is a simple text file containing a number, which is used to show whether you are a first time or returning visitor to this website. It cannot be used to identify you or your address, or to gather any personal information about you. It is used simply to help Statcounter to compile information such as which pages of our website first time users go to, and whether repeat visitors go to the same or other pages. This helps us to improve the website, and hopefully make it more useful to you. For a full description see www.statcounter.com.
Alternatively you can specifically stop receiving cookies from Statcounter byclicking on this link and following the instructions. NOTE that you may have to repeat this every 5 years, or if you change your computer.
Opting not to accept Cookies will not affect your visit to our website, which will remain fully functional. However it means that we will have less information on which to base improvements to the website.
Popular pages - Obviously I hope all pages are popular, but this helps focus attention on pages that are working well, need attention, or are surplus
Keyword analyses - tells us what people were searching for when they looked at our website. That may help us present information in a more helpful manner
Search Engine - Different search engines have different rules for website design (Google, for example, constantly changes the rules) so knowing which search engines are used to find us helps us to keep up to date with the rules that are relevant to our customers
Downloads - Reminds us to check that the Documents in the download folder are up to date, and to replace old or unused ones
Visitor paths - Gives an indication of how easy (or not) people find our site to navigate. It also tells us whether they found us via a search engine, another website, or already knew the website address, and if they used a link on our website to find someone elses website.
Visit length - This can be misleading, as it does not say whether you spent all day looking at one page, or whether you opened it and went out for the day. However pages that are only looked at for a very short time before people move away, may not be exciting, or useful enough to hold attention, and may need rewriting
Country/State/City - Country, is the most useful section here, as it might give an indication that I need to translate a page into a different language, or try to find relevant delivery information to that country. Sometimes state and city are interesting, but are often misleading, as sometimes the information refers to the last internet server before the users computer, and that could be many miles away in any direction. (Someone from Hereford, for example, might appear to be in Wales, while someone from Builth Wells might appear to be from England.) If they were using a tablet, or smart phone, of course, city information is meaningless. Needless to say I could only make a very crude guess as to where anyone was viewing the website from if they rang me up and told me what they were doing! But it is a useful bit of fun for advertising purposes if, for example, I wanted some justification for a claim that the website had been viewed from every city in the UK/Europe/The World!
Browsers - This is very useful information, as diferent browsers (eg Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Chrome etc) react diferently to the code which is used to build a website. The World Wide Web Commission (W3c) provides some indication of the hurdles we have to jump through, in this table. Generally I try to avoid using code that only works in one or two browsers, or just the latest versions. BUt sometimes you may notice that the website might work better in your new tablet than it does in your "reserve" PC, if you havent updated the operating system and browser. If this affects you, it might be an interesting exercise to rewrite a page or two to suit the old machine.Let me know.
System statsThis is a really useful statistic which tells me what screen resolution everyone is using, what operating system, and whether you have java script enabled. People who look at this website use screen resolutions from 320px-601px to 1920 - 2560px with 41% of you using 1280 - 1400px, which is one of the main reasons that this version of the website is fully(I hope) scaleable. There has also been a rapid migration from WindowsXP to Windows 10, and while that seems not to have caused problems - it might have done. I have had to join the crowd and get a Windows 10 PC to check.
Cookies we use are small files containing a unique number that are stored on your browser, so that monitoring software knows whether you are a new or returning user
No. They contain no active script, cannot damage your computer or identify you.
to get essential technical information to ensure that you can see the website properly, and that the content is relevant