Reader’s letters - Tuesday February 10, 2015

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Concern at nature survey

I refer to the proposed paintball and activity project at Fowlers Hill Wood, Cabus (LEP February 5). On first impression, the scheme is a laudable idea; a project for ex-servicemen, by ex-servicemen hoping to involve the local community and the young in outdoor activities within a woodland environment.

So far, so good. However, it appears the aforementioned local community have seen through the inevitable hype from the projecters who have somewhat rashly declared that “there was no sign of wildlife [in the wood] whatsoever”.

A bold statement, and completely erroneous, especially as the survey was carried out in November.

Furthermore, to state the centre “will have no impact on anything”, only reinforces the view that the people behind the idea have failed to do their homework – entirely.

I am reminded of an incident I beheld several years ago close to where I live. Whilst out walking my dogs one day in February, I witnessed an official type walking the fields nearby, armed with a clipboard and Wellingtons. Taking on board the plethora of newt traps that had also sprung up, I reasoned a wildlife survey was in progress.

“Seen much?” I hailed him. He shook his head resignedly. “It’s February,” I commented. “You’ll not see that much. If it hasn’t migrated, it’s hibernating.” He made a careful note on his report and we parted company, me fearing the worst.

I followed up this encounter with a look over the planning document at the county offices.

Sure enough, under the heading Environmental Impact was what could best be described as a ‘fudge’ – no wildlife of any import.

Nothing in the many newt traps, no species of any sort to raise a concern over.

Of course not, I thought, it was done in February. Yet two months on the casual observer would note deer, hare, raptors, skylarks and summer migrants aplenty.

The 16 hectares involved in the “survey” now lie under Bowland View, the carbuncle that is the Spar Distribution Centre on Bluebell Way.

What can we learn from this? Primarily, surveys can be made to say what is needed to be said, including “there was no sign of wildlife whatsoever” et cetera. Crucially though, once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. For pity’s sake, don’t let that happen to Fowlers Hill Wood.

If Our Local Heroes Foundation is sincere in its intentions, wouldn’t it make more sense to utilise a vacant or disused warehouse or industrial unit? All the proposed activities could be facilitated, in an all-weather environment, and in such a locale the centre will truly have no impact on anything.

Martin Sutcliffe. Grimsargh

Mucky bus was driver nuisance

The X2 bus service from Preston to Liverpool via Southport on Wednesday, January 21 departed Preston Bus Station at 3.35pm and arrived 4.42pm. This bus had dirty windows caked with mud. As a result passengers could not see outside.

Throughout the journey, the passengers had to check with the driver where exactly the vehicle had reached.

As the afternoon was murky with low levels of light outside and a mizzle was falling, obscuring even further the view from the bus, the passengers were inconvenienced.

By the time the vehicle reached Woodvale, most of the passengers had enquired from the driver where the bus had reached. Why was this vehicle in service?

Before this bus departed from Preston, it ought to have been inspected by the duty inspector who should have withdrawn it from service and, even if another vehicle was not available, it should have been sent to a depot to be cleaned.

Name and address supplied.

Holocaust Day speech correct

Having read Councillor John Brown’s response to your publication of my Holocaust Memorial Day speech (letters February 5), I would like to respond with a point of clarification. Whilst only an excerpt of my speech was published, it was correctly published in the LEP and I did not deviate from the transcript on the day (LEP January 29).

Amy Troner, via e-mail

Invite TV show to landmark

I have contacted the programme makers of Stargazing Live this morning. They were asking for suggestions as to where they might broadcast on March 20 to coincide with the eclipse due that morning.

The Jeremiah Horrocks observatory on Moor Park opened its doors in 1927 to also coincide with the total eclipse that year. It attracted 30,000 local people to view the spectacle. I have also contacted UCLan to see if they would be willing to open the observatory to host the event. Cloud cover allowing, I think this would be an enjoyable and notable event for Preston in general.

Simon Holmes, via e-mail

Changes could make blackspot

The recent traffic changes on Penwortham Hill and at the junction with Penwortham Way have created a dangerous junction for drivers. There was evidence of a collision on Friday afternoon, with a car stranded by the roadside with the nearside front smashed and the hazard warning lights flashing. More collisions will sadly follow unless urgent action is taken.

The traffic signs on Penwortham Hill to direct Preston-bound drivers into the offside lane are being ignored because they are confusing and force drivers to cross traffic from the Leyland direction. The signs have also created an eyesore near the war memorial and must have cost £1,000s to install.

A search on the website www.crashmap.co.uk shows there have been no recorded injury accidents at the junction of these two roads in the five years up to the end of 2013 (latest data), so why has this money been spent (wasted?) by LCC to make the situation more dangerous?

John Carruthers, UKIP candidate, Howick and Priory Ward