Sir, – Conservationists and nurseries have been quick to claim that the spores of chalara fraxinea, which is the fungus causing Ash Dieback, could have blown over from mainland Europe but are very quiet about their role in importing and planting diseased trees from the same source.
They have known for around six years that Ash Dieback was widespread in Europe but are now blaming government for not introducing a ban earlier in the hope they will be compensated or get grants for replanting from the hard-pressed public purse.
Considering the vague map references to where the diseased plantings took place and what organisations owned the woodlands, I decided to make a Freedom of Information request to the Forestry Commission to reveal this information in detail.
They replied saying, they were not prepared to release it at this time and that, whilst it might be of interest to the public, it was not in the public interest to divulge locations and owner organisations as it could deter other owners from reporting the disease. The Forestry Commission obviously has a poor opinion of the integrity of those who plant trees.
So, there we have it. Up to 80 million ash trees are at risk from disease but the Forestry Commission is quite prepared to protect its tree-planting buddies from criticism, in what must be one of the most scandalous environmental introductions from abroad by those who have been advocating the destruction of “alien” populations of both flora and fauna for years.
Yet it’s not in the public interest to reveal who they are? The 'con' in 'conservation' is truly exposed.
Burden will fall on Scotland’s taxpayers
Sir, – John Crichton (Letters, December 28) is to be commended for trying to take a balanced view of energy generation.
The problem with windfarms is that they are not being carefully sited as he suggests they should be, but are being placed in areas of great landscape value, often against the wishes of local authorities, who find that a planning refusal will be blindly overturned by the Scottish Government, who don’t seem to care about ruining the landscape.
Also, if Scottish Government targets for numbers of windmills are met and Scotland achieves independence, the subsidies for these windfarms, largely paid by Westminster, will cease, leaving the Scottish taxpayer with the huge financial burden of rewarding landowners and foreign turbine manufacturers for their windmills, which – as is now generally accepted – don’t actually work all that well.
15 Gamekeepers Road,
No excuse for behaviour
Sir, – I feel I must address the letter by George Aimer (December 28). He may not be aware that ice hockey fans could not invade the playing surface due to a high barrier.
Also, if, as does happen occasionally, players fight then those players are sent off and can be banned for several games which, of course, affects the team as they then may not be available for some important games.
As for Mr McHugh’s actions, well, he has been prosecuted for football-related offences before and was warned that a ban was possible if found guilty of it again. His excuse that he had drunk too much alcohol really holds no water and he and others cost Dundee United a lot of money as the club was fined by UEFA.
A M Donaldson.
28 Mull Terrace,
Basic water management
Sir, – James Angus (December 29) is absolutely correct in his assessment of the significant contribution to increased flooding resulting from lack of maintenance of ditches, streams and rivers.
When was the last time anyone saw a river bed being dredged to maintain the river’s capacity?
These basic water management activities are ever more important as councils are now permitting more and more house building on flood plains in order to benefit from increased council tax revenue – these flood plains are another key component of flood mitigation.
It would appear that those with the statutory responsibility for such maintenance are all too ready to jump on the “climate change” bandwagon to provide them with a convenient excuse for their dereliction and neglect.
Tony spot on
Sir, – I am sure I am not the only reader who read Tony Troon’s recent article (Old traditional ceremonies could raise health and safety issues, December 27), with a good deal of mirth.
He was, I’m sure, having a dig at the stupidity of some of the health and safety rules we seem to see and hear about these days.
Those flaming torches have been going for hundreds of years – long before health and safety folk started poking their noses into everything.
9 Maclean Place,