Bring back grouse shooting, but remember other wildlife

From: Gordon Hatton, Long Street, Topcliffe, Thirsk. I WAS interested to read the arguments for and against the re-introduction of grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor (Yorkshire Post, April 15).

Having read the article, I find myself slightly in favour of grouse shooting as the points made by Phil Pugh seem rather more convincing than those made by Louise Robertson.

As far as I can see, the issue of cruelty is a non-starter. The red grouse on the moors live in a natural environment, then for a short period in the late summer and autumn run the risk of being killed by gunshot, before possibly ending up on the menu at a smart hotel in Harrogate. How much better this is than the life and death of the average chicken or turkey which one might purchase at the local supermarket.

The red grouse is a bird unique to the British Isles and without managed grouse moors, it would most certainly be on the endangered list.

Access to Ilkley Moor should be little affected. Actual shooting over grouse moors occurs on very few days per season and not at weekends or on public holidays.

The damage to the environment issue is largely a red herring. Grouse moors are a managed landscape just as much as sheep pasture or arable land, but the purple moors of upland Yorkshireare very much part of the county's heritage and it would be sad to see an area like Ilkley Moor revert to rank sedges, moor grasses and bracken.

Yes, why not bring back grouse shooting to Ilkley Moor, but not at the expense of other wildlife, please.

From: Adrian Thornton-Berry, Moorland Association representative for Yorkshire.

I CONGRATULATE the paper on seeking both sides of the argument of the re-introduction of red grouse shooting on Ilkley Moor. One point that went unanswered, however, was the accusation by the League Against Cruel Sports that grouse moor managers, through "techniques such as burning and gripping... can release carbon into the atmosphere". Firstly, no one is gripping moors in this day and age.

Moorland Association members have been carefully blocking up thousands of kilometres of drainage "grips" for over 15 years, reversing

the Government's policy of drying out the moors in the hope of increasing the productivity of upland areas in the 1950s.

Secondly, well managed moorland for grouse shooting has been proven to actually lock up carbon rather than releasing it according to the Carbon Accounting for Land Managers' (CALM) tool.

The re-introduction of grouse moor management at Ilkley will safeguard iconic and globally important heather moorland and enhance populations of birds which are struggling to breed elsewhere in Britain, all at no cost to the taxpayer. Win-win for everyone.

Brown's priorities are all wrong

From: Tim Brett, Kings Way, Welton, Lincs.

LIKE countless others, my wife and I have to manage on our state pensions and at times find it hard to cope.

We have just had an increase of 150 a year on our community tax to pay for the county police authority who are broke and, of course, we never see a policeman or PCSO in our village.

Gordon Brown and his Government have let the people of this country down in a massive way, people like us who have always worked and paid our way.

I am also a veteran who served this country. Therefore, it was with a sense of disbelief that we heard that Mr Brown is giving the African nations 100m to buy mosquito nets when his own people are being denied treatment on the NHS or are suffering due to the postcode lottery as regards some treatments.

It seems outrageous that the MoD are paying an Iraqi teenager 2m after he was accidentally shot by a British soldier and who was treated in this country and now lives here, when a British soldier is paid a maximum of 280,000 in compensation for injuries which in some cases are horrific. Get your priorities right, Mr Brown et al – charity begins at home.

The icons we don't need

From: William Dixon Smith, Welland Rise, Acomb, York.

IRENA Bauman (Yorkshire Post, April 14) is quite right in observing that iconic

buildings are not vital to the success of a city.

Unfortunately, they appear to be vital nourishment for the egotism and ambitions of our unelected council executives.

Those "great ugly blocks" condemned so roundly by Maxwell Hutchinson were put up by architects at the behest

of councils.

There was no demand from residents for such horrors. Residents merely paid for them, in more senses than one.

Here in York, where 40 years ago we were promised buildings appropriate to the city's ancient low profile townscape, we now find our cherished antiquities dwarfed by dull and clumsy cloudscrapers. If Professor Jeremy Till believes that concrete office blocks remain only as the lamented scars of the 1960s, he has not visited York in the past few months. York Council is planning to award itself "iconic" prestige accommodation which would be totally out of character with its ancient surroundings: not merely a scar, but a disfigurement.

Would it not be a great relief to our citizenry, and a blessing to all mankind, if planners were to stop having visions, and instead simply opened their eyes?

Let them feel the pain

From: G Senior, Spa Well Lane, West Cowick, Goole.

PARENTS should be punished alongside their misbehaving children says Caroline Spelman, (Yorkshire Post, April 11).

Yes, and with them should be all the politicians who implemented the words into the law "cannot be named for legal reasons". The law that gives youngsters a leg up on to the ladder of lifelong crime, the law that exonerates parents from their responsibilities. As children, our parents drummed into us: "if you do anything wrong, we will be blamed for not bringing you up properly." Parents' answer to today's intolerable behaviour: "Oh that's how they are."

The time has come for the offender to feel the pain of the victim. If they are old enough to dish pain out, they are old enough to find out what it feels like. It is bad enough having irresponsible parents, but it has now become intolerable being continually saddled with ever-increasing irresponsible governments.We must stand behind the loyal Gurkhas

From: Marilyn S Shaw, Low Road, Thornhill, Dewsbury.

HOW very typical of this Government to penalise the honest, loyal and hardworking Gurkhas who have historically defended this country and its values and yet give succour to hardened criminal terrorists.

They allow us to be bullied with European human rights legislation, following to the letter its rules (perhaps the only country in the EU to do so) and never using common sense and compassion where it is really needed.

There should be a campaign to stand behind the Gurkhas for their right to stay.

We are in desperate need of good examples of honest, loyal citizenship. I willingly add my name to such a campaign.

Our cities have lost their way over modern transport

From: Keith Terry, Lidgett Place, Leeds.

FURTHER to your letter from John Gillegan (Yorkshire Post, April 14), he noted the vast improvements in Lille, but is he aware that Lille is hardly the best example of modern practice, good though it may be?

Germany is full of efficient tramways in almost every

city; in France, where Lille kept its trams, several other cities have recently re-introduced them to cope with traffic problems and provide the quality of transport demanded by their citizens.

Leeds has for long been the largest city in the whole world to have no better public transport than diesel buses. That's something to

be ashamed of. We have suffered here from the accounting mentality of Alistair Darling MP, one who apparently cannot see the social benefits that modern transport brings. Of course, new tram systems cost a lot of money, but travellers should visit Montpellier, now one of the most prosperous expanding cities in France, to see how an old industrial area has been rebuilt for modern domestic living and incorporates high speed trams as a matter of necessity.

A new tramway dramatically enhances the value of surrounding properties. Mr Darling, please note.

The present bus guideways in Leeds and Bradford are an expensive gimmick which, if necessary, should simply be cheaper bus lanes. Plans for "guided trolley buses" in Bradford make me laugh (or cry).

Litter louts at the wheel

From: Paul Emsley, Hellifield, North Yorkshire.

THE identification of litter being thrown from a moving vehicle as a criminal act is a laudable one, but one assumes that the prosecution of participating miscreants will be as difficult as the prosecution of drivers using mobile phones in the same environment.

Realistically, both events should be categorised as dangerous driving.

The allocation of a 60 fine and three or six penalty points will be no deterrent and the provision of prosecution evidence will be just as difficult, given the need for corroboration and visual evidence.

Within the so-called better educated population that we now have in the United Kingdom, one would hope that just the publicity of the consequences of such events in moving vehicles would be sufficient in deterring drivers from these actions. Sadly, this is currently not the case.

British reality

From Terry Duncan, Greame Road, Bridlington

GORDON Brown wakes up every morning, according to him, determined that the UK economy is his priority.

Does he really wake up or is he in a dream?

I believe it is the latter, because our Prime Minister cannot face the reality that the poor are getting poorer, the pensioners more deprived with every stealth tax he imposes and family life is being destroyed because of an uncaring Government.

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