Sir, – It is claimed that 83% of Scots favour the reintroduction of beavers to Scotland’s rural areas (“Scots back return of beavers in government consultation”, Courier, October 18).
On reading further it becomes apparent that the figure is based on a sample of 500 people.
This could hardly be classed as representative and there is no way of knowing who was asked to participate.
I strongly suspect that most Scots would be ambivalent at best to the reintroduction of these animals.
On the back of this tiny survey the Scottish Government is determined to plough on with giving these destructive rodents protected status.
This seems to be motivated by a desire to satisfy the Jim Crumleys and Chris Packhams of this world, who have sold our gullible politicians the idea of biodiversity.
The reality is that land owners and managers are now facing ever increasing bills in an attempt to keep the growing menace under control, all so that a handful of people can occasionally stand by the side of a beaver’s dam in the hope of seeing its head as it swims about.
It would be better if the people advocating the reintroduction of these animals, and our politicians, took off their rose-tinted spectacles and acknowledged this experiment is doing far greater damage than can be justified by the sought after increase in biodiversity.
The Scotland they once inhabited no longer exists.
It is not yet too late to grasp the nettle.
44 Viewforth Place,
Propaganda beggars belief
Sir, – Once again we have to endure the wealthy wind industry’s trade association, Scottish Renewables, roll out one of their astonishing propaganda press releases trying to convince the policy makers that rural Scots support more onshore wind development.
This is an industry that has seen its subsidy cash cow being led off to the abattoir to be put out of its misery and is desperately trying to resuscitate it with help from the Scottish Government, WWF and the Green Party.
No word of concern from any of them for the poor consumer who would have to stump up the cash for more subsidies on top of the outrageous hundreds of millions of pounds paid in constraints to turn the over deployed wind fleet off.
A tiny sample of people were polled (0.1% of rural Scots) with no way of us knowing if those asked their opinion live near or are threatened with a wind development.
To spin this poll as “evidence” that people living in the country want more industrialisation and an environment further devastated by massive turbines, pylons, access tracks and substations is the stuff of fairy tales.
If those who are excitedly trumpeting this poll all across the media truly believe the results then they should lobby the Scottish Government hard to give communities the wind veto like our counterparts in England enjoy.
That would put an end to all these tedious polls and front pages we have had to endure for the last decade because if they are correct then no community would be voting against a wealthy multinational spearing giant industrial hardware into the environment where they live.
Or would they?
Very few will be taken in by poll
Sir, – Any organisation like Scottish Renewable can commission a poll or a survey that will produce the results they want (hence the headlines suggesting that more than two thirds of rural Scots back wind farms).
Only the most avid and misguided of wind farm enthusiasts will actually believe it.
Coaltown of Callange,
Promises are hard to believe
Sir, – ScottishPower has announced that it is aiming to be the first of the “big six” energy companies to go 100% green.
ScottishPower ran full-page adverts in the press announcing this and includes the words “and, over time, driving down bills” – so when exactly will energy bills be reduced?
Will it be next week, next month, next year, a decade on – or perhaps it will even take several decades?
Perhaps people should go online and register a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority who would then be duty bound to investigate ScottishPower’s extremely vague promise.
138 Springfield Road.
Confidence has to be retained
Sir, – The article “Buccleuch’s handling of tenant case criticised” (Courier, October 18) did not reflect that this issue has already been the subject of a report by the Scottish Land Commission’s Tenant Farming Commissioner (TFC), published in July.
Buccleuch itself instigated investigation by referring the matter to the TFC.
He found Buccleuch acted within the law in all cases and, in the particular case of farm mentioned, had offered the tenants more than we were required to by law.
While the TFC did find that we had not necessarily followed more recently published landlord-tenant guidelines, this related to the dissolution of Limited Partnership agreements and was not applicable in the case of Cleuchfoot Farm.
Angus McCall, from the Scottish Tenant Farmers’ Association, commented that landowners should wait until a tenancy comes to an end then plant trees.
This is exactly what Buccleuch did.
The tenants at Cleuchfoot rented the farm on a five-year long lease, known as a Short Limited Duration Tenancy and that came to an end in February.
An agreement, which we believe to be fair and reasonable, was made that would enable the tenants to remain on the farm for a further 21 months until November 2019.
The article creates a worrying narrative for the tenant farming sector.
Much progress has been made in improving relationships and guidance for the industry from the TFC is to be applauded.
However, the fundamentals of any lease or agreement is that it is for a fixed period of time and knowing that the asset – whether a farm, house or any building – will be returned on a set date gives landlords the confidence to let.
If this confidence is lost then it will be to the detriment of the sector.
Chief Executive, Buccleuch,
Henderson Place Lane,
Looking for a silver lining
Sir, – As an atheist, I was gratified to learn that the number of churchgoers has declined to the extent that the Church of Scotland intends to declare 20 Shetland kirks surplus to requirements.
Nevertheless, as one passionately opposed to the menace of alcohol, I wonder if the continued weekly dispense of palpable nonsense might not be preferable to these buildings falling into the hands of Wetherspoons or other evil purveyors of the demon drug.
John Eoin Douglas.
7 Spey Terrace,
Prayer may be worthwhile
Sir, – It was interesting that, during Human Universe on BBC4 (October 18) Prof Brian Cox onset his programme in India with Hinduism (the world’s most ancient religion) for his introduction.
Although thought provoking and, as expected, orientated towards purely scientific explanations I, for one, leave Prof Cox’s presentation chamber from the very same doorway through which I entered.
Of course gods came after mankind – “but why did mankind create gods…to answer questions to which there is no answer?”.
This is the point at which Prof Cox would lead us to scientific contrivance: he mentions Deity as something archaic and unscientific.
However, the concept of Deity (or whatever language word is used) remains beyond all human understanding and is, possibly, worthy of prayer.
6 Swallow Apts,
Solving the border issue
Sir, – Leave the Irish Border as it is, just do intelligence-led spot checks to keep all parties happy with traffic flow.