Privacy and cookies

Privacy Notice

View our Privacy Notice.

Our use of cookies

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites you visit. They are widely used to collect information about how you browse a website.  An explanation of the cookies we use on this website and why we use them is below.

Find out more about how to manage cookies.

Measuring website usage (Google Analytics)

We use Google Analytics software to collect information about how you use this website. We do this to help make sure the website is meeting the needs of its users and to help us make improvements.

Google Analytics stores information about:

  • the pages you visit on the site
  • how long you spend on each page
  • how you got to the site
  • what you click on while you’re visiting the site

We don’t collect or store your personal information (for example your name or address) so this information can’t be used to identify who you are.

Google Analytics sets the following cookies:

Universal Analytics

Name Purpose Expires
_ga This helps us count how many people visit GOV.UK by tracking if you’ve visited before 2 years
_gid This helps us count how many people visit GOV.UK by tracking if you’ve visited before 24 hours
_gat Used to manage the rate at which page view requests are made 10 minutes

Google Analytics

Name Purpose Expires
_utma Like _ga, this lets us know if you’ve visited before, so we can count how many of our visitors are new to GOV.UK or to a certain page 2 years
_utmb This works with _utmc to calculate the average length of time you spend on GOV.UK 30 minutes
_utmc This works with _utmb to calculate when you close your browser When you close your browser
_utmz This tells us how you reached GOV.UK (for example from another website or a search engine) 6 months

You can opt out of Google Analytics cookies across all the websites you visit.

Our introductory message

You may see a pop-up welcome message when you first visit this site. We’ll store a cookie so that your computer knows you’ve seen it and knows not to show it again.

Name Purpose Expires
cookie_notice_accepted Saves a message to let us know that you’ve seen our cookie message 1 month


We use a service called Cloudflare to provide protection against Distributed Denial of Service attacks.

Name Purpose Expires
_ cfduid Used to identify and block malicious visitors to Cloudflare protected sites 1 year