From: Amanda Anderson, Director, Moorland Association.
FEW would argue with Natalie Bennett’s commitment to improve the environment. However, in her article (“Why fracking is Yorkshire’s number one environmental challenge”, The Yorkshire Post, January 5), she seems unaware of what is actually happening on Yorkshire’s uplands which she claims need to be managed differently with driven grouse shooting banned.
She makes no mention that grouse moors managed by hard-working gamekeepers and owners are extremely important in terms of carbon capture and there is a vast amount of work going on through various partnerships to restore upland peat and improve the quality of water supply.
Moorland management also includes controlling destructive wildfires. We would also question what would replace the land use of grouse moor management that is the lynchpin of a £1m-a-week, largely private, investment across one million acres of uplands, much of which is designated and protected in some form, and how that change would be more beneficial to the environment.
There is, of course, no place for raptor persecution but it should also be remembered that grouse moors also actively help the conservation of some of Britain’s most endangered bird species such as golden plover, lapwing and curlew.
Ms Bennett is also mistaken in her suggestion that grouse moors are “factory farming” where, in fact, our produce is wild seasonal grouse of exceptional provenance that is harvested sustainably for the table. Rather than being “denuded environments”, grouse moors make a very positive contribution.
Hull in full is waste of cash
From: Coun Pete Allen, Pickering ward, Hull City Council.
ARTHUR Quarmby (The Yorkshire Post, January 5) ask why Hull City Council didn’t take the opportunity to re-enforce the title of Kingston upon Hull during the recent City of Culture Year.
Mr Quarmby may have been better off praising the council for not wasting money by trying to introduce the title for the third time in a relatively short period.
I say for the third time, because in the mid-1960s it was tried for the first time that I can remember, and after spending many thousands of pounds, it was finally recognised it just would not take off.
In the mid-to-late 1980s, it was tried again and, once again, after many thousands of pounds were wasted reprinting council-headed paper and repainting all council vehicles and building signs, it did not take off.
Eventually it had to be accepted that those who wanted this change were few and far between.
One mistake can be accepted, and two mistakes can be tolerated, but making the same mistake three times would be idiotic and very expensive.
Fortunately, better sense now prevails and the calls from a very small minority are now ignored.
Questions for Branson
From: Lucy Vulliamy, Brigham, Driffield.
SIR Richard Branson has some gall to be complaining (The Yorkshire Post, January 6) that Virgin has lost money on his East Coast railway franchise.
The line was functioning extremely well under public ownership until the Government, in its obsession that private=good and public=bad, chose to give the franchise to Branson. If it is losing money, he might ask the state management team for advice on how, under public ownership, it did so well.
Furthermore, Richard Branson is a ‘philanthropist’ who does not pay his full taxes in this country, and who appears to be willing to ride roughshod over the health of the finances of the country of his birth without moral conscience.
A mockery of justice system
From: Bob Watson, Baildon.
SERIAL sex attacker and rapist John Warboys was jailed indefinitely in 2009, with a minimum term of eight years.
He has now been released by the Parole Board who, disgracefully, did not firstly advise all the victims about his imminent release (The Yorkshire Post, January 6).
While I suspect that very many people will be shaking their heads at this early release, it surely highlights once again the inadequacies of our current justice system.
That prisoners serve a mere half of their sentences at the very most makes a mockery of any supposed deterrent.
Reminders of the lost arch
From: Roger Backhouse, Upper Poppleton, York.
SORRY to disappoint Michael Robinson (The Yorkshire Post, January 5), but the lions at the foot of Nelson’s Column are cast bronze, not carved stone.
However, Saltaire’s stone lions are impressive and worth seeing.
For a real piece of Yorkshire in London, the much-missed Euston Arch was built of York stone from a quarry near Leeds. It was sadly demolished in the 1960s when Euston Station was rebuilt by British Rail.
However, many of the stones were then used to reinforce the banks of the River Lea near Bromley by Bow. Some think it would be possible to recover them and have new stones cut to recreate the arch, which was one of the glories of the railway age.
From: Jarvis Browning, Main Street, Fadmoor, York.
IF the NHS kept the cottage hospitals open for convalescent patients after they’ve had an operation, this would free up more urgent need for beds and give social services more time to find the right aftercare.