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Cookie Policy

Find out what cookies are and how they are used on the Historic Environment Scotland Website.

Like many websites, the Historic Environment Scotland website and its subdomains use small files called cookies to help provide the best possible online experience for you. 

This page will tell you what cookies are and what they do, how we use them and how you can control your cookie preferences.

1. Who are we?

The Historic Environment Scotland website and its subdomains are managed by Historic Environment Scotland, the lead public body established to investigate, care for and promote Scotland’s historic environment. We’re a non-departmental public body (NDPB) with charitable status. 

Find out more about how we handle personal data in our Privacy Notice.

2. What are cookies? 

Cookies are little strings of computer code that websites place on your computer. 

Some cookies are deleted after the browser is closed (session cookies). Others delete after a certain period of time has passed or the cookie cache has been manually cleared from your browser (persistent cookies). Depending on the persistent cookie, they may last from one day to two years. We use both session and persistent cookies. 

Cookies that are set by us on the Historic Environment Scotland website are first party cookies. They help the website to function and provide us with anonymised data about how our website is being used.

Third party cookies are set on our website by one of our partners and service providers for advertising purposes and online security. These cookies help us to learn more about you so we know you are a trusted visitor of the website and not a bot and so we can personalise our marketing offer to you.

Essential cookies

These cookies are used to load parts of the website you otherwise couldn’t, load content quickly, make sure your visit to the website is secure and remember things like your cookie preferences. These cookies are automatically selected in the cookie preferences.

The only essential cookie provided by a third party service on the Historic Environment Scotland website is ARRAffinity from Azure. This cookie is set by websites run on the Windows Azure cloud platform. It’s makes sure your page requests are sent to the same server while you browse. For more detail, read their Privacy Notice.

On the Historic Environment Scotland blog, we also use cookies from Disqus to give you a secure login when you comment on a blog post.

Performance cookies

We use performance cookies to help us better our website and your experience. They:

  • tell us if you’ve been on our website before 
  • help us understand if there are problems on the website or if you can’t find what you’re looking for 
  • track your behaviour so we can find out what content you’re most interested in

Any performance cookies we use collect anonymised data to protect your identity. We don’t collect any data on age, gender, sex, political or religious beliefs, nationality or postcodes through cookies. 

The performance cookies on the Historic Environment Scotland website are set by us. Google Analytics is an example of a first party cookie which we use for performance. Other organisations can’t access your data or view cookies used by our website, and we do not sell your data to any third parties.

On the Historic Environment Scotland blog, we also use JSESSIONID from New Relic to track performance, such as page loading times. No personally identifiable information is collected in this process.

Marketing cookies

We use advertising cookies from third parties to understand your interests and show relevant adverts based on your browsing habits. If you click on a specific advertisement, these cookies track your interaction and may show you similar offers.

If you accept marketing cookies, we may advertise to you with an aim of generating income for the ongoing management and protection of Scotland’s heritage. Many of our visitors fund us by visiting historic places we care for, or by becoming Historic Scotland Members. To encourage more visitors and new members, we are reliant on marketing.

There are times when we want to reach visitors who use social media to promote relevant offers, events, and promotions. We use third party cookies to help with this.

For example, we might place a tiny image called a pixel on our web pages that allows Facebook to place a cookie on your web browser. If you use Facebook and have accepted Marketing Cookies on our website, Facebook will recognise you as an Historic Environment Scotland website visitor and show you marketing messages on our behalf. If you receive marketing from us on social media platforms you are able to withdraw your consent by adjusting your privacy settings on the social media platform itself. 

We may also use online remarketing through cookies. This system allows us or our advertising partners to show you adverts based on your browsing patterns and interactions with the Historic Environment Scotland website and subdomains. This means that when you are on another website, you may be shown products or offers related to your browsing history on the Historic Environment Scotland website.


The marketing and remarketing cookie services we use are managed by third parties. The privacy policies for the third party cookie providers we work with on the Historic Environment Scotland website are:

  • Google Adwords allows conversion tracking, optimisation and remarketing.
  • Google DoubleClick allows conversion tracking and optimisation.
  • Facebook pixel allows conservation tracking, optimisation and remarketing. 
  • Media iQ pixel allows the display of adverts which are relevant to you and your interests.
  • Embedded Youtube videos set cookies which track views of Youtube videos and your behaviour interacting with them, recognise you as a Google user if you are signed into an account, and records your IP address.

3. Manage your cookie settings?

On the Historic Environment Scotland website, we only use performance and marketing cookies after you have given your consent. If you don’t give your permission, we will only use basic, essential cookies.

You can also control your cookies in your web browser settings. Find out more about cookies, including how to manage and delete them, please use the following links: 

To quickly manage third party cookies generated by advertisers, visit Your Online Choices.

We aren’t responsible for the information or the setting of cookies on these external websites.