Sir, – As a fairly active senior citizen I am perplexed, annoyed and disappointed at the blanket decision of the Scottish Government to ban exercise classes under Tier 3.
Until Covid-19 came along my wife and I enjoyed ballroom dancing, exercise classes and golf on a regular basis.
In March this came to a halt, then golf was understood to be a good outdoor sport that could be played safely.
Then a month ago we were allowed to go back to group exercise classes at Dundee University ISE and were very impressed at the level of biosecurity that was applied.
Where there used to be 40 participants in a large studio there were only 12 allowed, all in 2.5 metre squares and using their own equipment.
I was amazed at the ingenuity of the instructors giving us a full body workout without any equipment being supplied, and they also had up to 30 people online who didn’t feel confident enough to venture out.
Not at any time did the participants feel uncomfortable and there were sanitisers available everywhere.
Then Dundee was placed in Tier 3 and everything came to a halt and, although classes are available online, it is not the same as having a face-to-face with a professional instructor.
These classes are a lifeline for seniors and also for the staff and are crucial for the mental wellbeing of both groups.
The work involved in making the place safe is laudable and expensive and to have these efforts taken away by the Scottish Government and their advisors without an understanding of how the group activities have been altered to make everyone safe is a gross injustice to the professionalism of the staff at gymnasia across the country.
I would suggest a personal visit from the first minister would possibly help them realise what a valuable asset is being wasted.
Burnside of Duntrune,
Credible production plan is required
Sir, – Jim Crumley (It was a close vote in Colorado – but the grey wolf is finally coming back home, Courier, November 10) asserts that “few landowners and farmers think in the long term. Fewer still are willing to acknowledge that nature may know more than they do about land management.”
Nature might well know more than farmers and landowners about land management. However, to argue nature must take its course, without any human intervention, is irresponsible when there are 67 million people in the UK to feed, clothe, heat and otherwise provide for.
What is the grand plan for providing for them if we hand over land management to nature alone? And who will carry the can when it all goes horribly wrong?
The nature of modern farming and land management are the result of society’s expectations as a whole, and can only be changed sustainably by lowering the human population or becoming less consumer-orientated in our outlook.
Realistically, these things can only happen gradually, and methods of land management can only change gradually.
Currently we produce 64% of our own food needs in the UK and we cannot meet our current timber needs.
Producing even less and importing even more would have a negative environmental impact overall, and is unsustainable in the long term.
Conservation and sustainability is recognised as important by the vast majority of farmers and landowners.
But, in the absence of any credible alternative plan, must take place in tandem with more productive land use when there are so many people to provide for.
Thomas Steuart Fothringham.
Murthly and Strathbraan Estates,
Too many rules and regulations
Sir, – There is much confusion in the daily coronavirus instructions and requirements.
The longer the first minister speaks the more confused I become. I am not safe to speak at social distance from my neighbour in my house, however, I can arrange to meet him at a local hotel.
I could list more examples but no doubt you understand.
A A Bullions.