Better behaviour needed around reservoirs

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From: Mrs Ann Taylor, Renton Avenue, Guiseley, Leeds.

On a recent walk with my husband round Fewston and Swinsty reservoirs, we saw people with dogs running loose and also cycle tracks.

I contacted Yorkshire Water who told me these are a big problem, especially dog owners who ignore signs saying dogs must be kept on a leash.

Apart from the very obvious safety aspect, dogs disturb fishermen who pay to fish there.

Consequently, fences have had to be erected, expensive to keep dogs away from the water.

Owners have been prosecuted for allowing their dogs to foul the footpaths and as for the owners who clean up after their dogs, why do so many just leave the heap on the park or decorating nearby bushes?

Why don’t they take the bags home with them? I really would love to know the answer.

Then there are the people who cycle round the water – how dangerous to all is that?

The water authorities have gone to a lot of trouble to create designated cycle trails taking cyclists away from the water. These are clearly marked.

Obviously, I realise not all people have the privilege of being able to walk around these lovely places, the water authorities actually have the right to close these parks. What a terrible shame that would be because so many selfish people spoil it for others.

From: John B Richardson, Pan Cottage, Middleton, York.

Further to Sara Todd’s column (Country Week, February 12), Sarah, have you missed the point and message?

Jimmy Doherty is offering 25 acres to townies so they can take part in an experiment. The result will show that anyone can make a living off the land.

And it will educate consumers – the TV-watching public with their 4x4’s and huge shopping bills at one of the big four supermarkets – about what can be done without waste or polluting the planet even more.

Sarah, are you so afraid of what the winning townies will achieve from their 25 acres? Look outside the box – the winners will work their land and produce, they’ll use energy and grit and determination combined with their initiative, drive, cunning and guile and produce enough for themselves and a surplus to feed the hungry. Welcome people who are prepared to take on the challenge.

From: Eileen Goddard, Gainford Road, Moorends, Doncaster.

Further to previous letters on fox hunting, I am horrified to hear some of the comments made in support.

I am a horse rider and cannot understand what pleasure can be got from chasing a wild animal for miles only for it to be ripped to pieces by a pack of hounds, once it has become exhausted and cornered.

Yes, I do feel for the farmers who suffer losses of animals to the fox, but fox hunting is indiscriminate in its choice of victim to hunt. If a farmer has a fox problem then more humane ways should be employed to eradicate the problem.

As a young rider I did follow a hunt to see what all the fuss was about. While at a distance from the kill I could clearly hear the fox scream in pain as it was engulfed by the pack from all sides.

How can this be called sport?

In today’s modern society, fox hunting is outdated and barbaric. Why should we kill wild animals just for fun? Please, don’t end the ban.