Reader’s letters - Monday December 08, 2014

Walkers and cyclists do less damage to the countryside than pheasant shooters, says one correspondent
Walkers and cyclists do less damage to the countryside than pheasant shooters, says one correspondent
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Walkers are true custodians

Those who kill for sport often defend their actions by saying they are true country folk, guardians even, of a landscape that townies don’t understand.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I walk regularly up the Grizedale valley and over the fell known as Nicky Nook. It’s an area well-loved by walkers, cyclists and even users of the tramper, which allows disabled people to enjoy the beauty too.

The pheasant shooters drive down the valley in a convoy of 4x4s, and park halfway down where they’ve made themselves a nice little car park on what used to be grass.

It’s now a quagmire which covers the track and the vehicles are sometimes left completely blocking what remains of the track.

It’s a mud bath for a blood bath.

The shooters then walk a few yards and shoot birds out of the sky before driving away in their convoy again.

Why can’t they walk down the valley?

I dared to ask this and was told they have people and dogs to transport.

How can they call themselves country folk if they don’t know that people and dogs (most of them) can walk, that it’s actually one of the big pleasures of the countryside for both, and that leaving their townie tanks behind would spare the destruction of beautiful places?

The people who walk in this area, as a rule, appreciate its loveliness, and do their best to leave no trace of their presence and in that regard they are the true custodians of the countryside.

Name and address supplied

Six-point plan on fracking

T Froud,of Lytham, highlights the fears about fracking (LEP letters December 4) but the Campaign to Protect Rural England has developed a six-point plan to make it safer and more acceptable to those who are not implacably opposed – usually because they fear the US experience.

We commend the following proposals to government and anyone who wants to see it done properly and safely.

n The recommendations of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering (the Mair Report) should be codified to form the basis of effective statutory regulation.

n A new, unified, well-funded and expert regulatory authority (comparable to the Civil Aviation Authority) should be created to replace the current diversity of regulatory bodies which lack the support of a reliable and comprehensive knowledge base.

n Parliament should legislate to create a shale gas equivalent to the Coal Mining (Subsidence) Act 1957 which gave rights to surface owners. This would complement current proposals which would remove rights of surface owners relating to trespass. Such new rights should mainly relate to safety, pollution and contamination rather than the negligible risk of subsidence.

n Government should organise and fund an independent public information campaign to better inform the public about the risks and benefits of shale gas and fracking.

They have a right to know!

n Sites used for fracking should not be considered brownfield sites when abandoned.

n Government should commit to exploiting shale gas only as a transition fuel pending reduced energy consumption and the development of sustainable energy sources which emit little or no carbon.

This policy is essential if the UK is to meet its legal and international obligations to limit global warming to 2c above the pre-industrial level.

These proposals are now with the government agencies involved, the trade association UKOOG and Cuadrilla.

Andrew Harris

Chairman, CPRE Lancashire

Fly tipping will be increased

If our county council impose charging council tax payers for their DIY waste (LEP, November 28), I foresee an increase in fly tipping.

This will have a cost implication to the local authorities who have responsibility to remove fly tipped material from adopted public highways.

Also it is mooted that charge by weight be considered.

How will DIY waste taken to local domestic recycling centres be measured for cost – using a weighbridge or giant scales?

If the DIY waste is left with the general waste collections on the street, will the refuse wagon have scales attached and will this waste be collected on a separate occasion?

Paul Helmn, address supplied

Well cared for on Ward Four

As we are now current patients on Ward Four, Royal Preston Hospital, we feel we must respond to the article in The Lancashire Evening Post (LEP, November 24).

We four feel well cared for, well fed and are comfortable in clean beds and surroundings.

Medications are provided promptly and in a professional manner.

All nursing staff and ancillaries really endeavour to keep a light cheerful atmosphere, in which patients can recover enough to go home or onto further care.

The Four Musketeers (Sarah Price, Doreen Chase, Kathleen Boardman, Pat Boyce)

Ward Four, Royal Preston Hospital

Ugly scenes on Black Friday

What ugly scenes as crazed shoppers shoved and lashed out at anyone to get their mitts on the latest must-have gadget in the pre-Christmas sales.

We’ve already embraced Halloween, Thanksgiving Day is fast creeping into our cultural conscience, but do we really have to follow America’s newest festive tradition, Black Friday?

Surely this is a time for goodwill, not for behaving like a pack of savages as we scramble to buy children things they really don’t need? I’m so surprised that no one has played the “race” card and branded Black Friday as racist? If it was a shopping bonanza for men only – (can you imagine the outcry that would cause?) would it be called Man Friday?

Darryl Ashton, Blackpool