Letters to the editor week 04

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Deer are damaging to Rahoy Hills Wildlife Reserve

Regarding Iain Thornber’s Morvern Lines (The Oban Times, January 3), Rahoy Hills Wildlife Reserve is internationally important for its species-rich grassland and Atlantic woodland. These special habitats provide a home for hundreds of different plants, birds and mammals.

Unfortunately, surveys have demonstrated that grazing and trampling by deer have left these areas in poor condition. To allow them to recover, we are working to reduce the pressure to a level that the landscape can accommodate.

Despite your correspondent’s claims, our management of the reserve is entirely in accordance with the wishes of the late Christopher Cadbury.

Mark Foxwell, Reserves Manager, Scottish Wildlife Trust.

History is repeated itself over controls on fishing

I was fascinated to read the article by Iain Thornber on the calls for better controls on fishing, initiated in 1933 by John Lorne Campbell of Canna under the title of the Sea League (The Oban Times, December 27).

History seems to be repeating itself as a large consortium of groups representing coastal communities from the Clyde up to Wester Ross has recently written to the First Minister requesting her to consider reinstating the ban on trawling within three nautical miles of the coast and to introduce better measures to enforce protection within our recently established Marine Protected Areas.

This is in response to numerous reports of illegal trawling within these areas with little apparent enforcement action. It reflects the concern that many who are lucky enough to live along Scotland’s beautiful and formerly bountiful west coast hold to ensure that it remains there for everyone to enjoy.

Richard Luxmoore,

Senior nature conservation adviser, National Trust for Scotland.

Thanks for generosity from team at New Hope Kitchen

On behalf of all the team here at New Hope Kitchen, we would like to extend our deepest gratitude to everyone who donated to us before Christmas.

We were overwhelmed by people’s kindness once again. From individuals, schools, workplaces, supermarkets, nurseries and many local organisations and businesses, we were blessed with many gifts.

Thanks to everyone’s kindness, we were able to send out 70 Christmas parcels of food and gifts into the community. These really made a huge difference to the families who received them: 83 adults, 24 elderly people and 71 children all had a wonderful Christmas thanks to your generosity.

On Christmas Day, we were able to serve up a five-course delicious Christmas dinner to 35 people, thanks again to everyone’s kindness.

A special thanks for this must go to chef Gary Goldie for cooking it and to all the amazing people who volunteered with us to make Christmas extra special for our guests this year.

We are so fortunate to receive all the support that we do, not just at Christmas but all year round and we are honoured to be in the position to serve this community. Thank you!

Lorraine MacCormick,

Service manager, New Hope Kitchen.

Statistics show a decline in drug deaths in Argyll

Argyll Community Housing Association (ACHA) and Councillor Kieron Green are to be congratulated in their continual battle in trying to stamp out a local drug problem which is killing many every day in Scotland.

The hard work of ACHA and its staff and Councillor Green are certainly pushing against the trend of increase drug use. The most recent figures that I could find 2016-2017 clearly state no statistical increase of drug deaths in Argyll and Bute. In fact, they have dropped.

Angus Files,

The Glebe, Kilmelford.

High time for another independence referemdum

I refer to the supercilious letter in the Lochaber Times dated December 13 from Andrew Green. He refers to the European Union referendum and argues against the official figure of 62 per cent of registered Scottish voters who cast their vote to remain in Europe.

Whether people choose to vote remain, leave or abstain from voting is entirely up to them. That is their democratic right. We live under a majoritarian system.

The writer’s other comments show utter contempt for Scotland’s potential as an independent country.

The Conservatives are tearing themselves apart over Brexit. In 2014, we were told by Unionists of all colours that an independent Scotland would not be allowed into the European Union. They have now reversed that argument.

The one thing that we can be sure of is the reality that if the UK leaves without a deal, other countries will not hold fire on their present agreements to allow the UK to make good on what we lose leaving Europe.

On leaving Europe, no country seeing the disarray in the UK will agree to give the UK advantages of EU membership without obligations. The money men will not suffer half as much as those at the other end of the scale, including the working poor.

Anna Soubry, Conservative MP, attacked ‘ideologically driven’ colleagues with ‘gold-plated pensions and inherited wealth’ for ignoring the ‘reality’ of Brexit. She also confirmed that in private conversations those same Tories accepted that hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost but that it was worth it for Brexit.

Despite this, some people still think that Scotland should continue to be a minor player in the shambles which is Westminster politics. It is high time that the Scottish Government called an independence referendum to enable Scotland to take its place along with all other independent nations in Europe.

Bill Clark, Tomonie.