Letters to the editor


Facts about pheasants

On October 1 the pheasant-shooting season opened and once more these delicious, wild birds were in the shops and on restaurant menus.

But few people realise the tremendous effort this takes and the benefits to the environment. An independent survey showed that shooting as a whole puts £2billion into the UK economy and provides the equivalent of 16,000 full-time jobs in conservation.

The pheasant is the principal quarry of game shooters and because of their value the welfare of young pheasants is of paramount importance. Young birds are gradually introduced to the wild in carefully-maintained habitat that provides excellent shelter for all other wildlife. Shooting does not begin until the birds are fully mature and are completely wild.

This is the ultimate free-range food, and when it arrives on your plate it is low in fat, high in nutrients and extremely healthy.

The delicious flavour of pheasant has been widely recognised and popularised by celebrity chefs, and you can now find pheasant in your local butcher or supermarket, as well as on the menu in many restaurants and pubs. It’s easy to cook and there are numerous recipes in cookbooks, along with a good selection online.

Eating pheasant helps both you and the countryside to remain healthy. Woodland thinned for pheasants can contain 10 times the number of individual butterflies than unmanaged areas, while the acres of cover crops provide vital winter feed and shelter for our declining populations of farmland birds.

You can discover the true facts about pheasant shooting in Aim of the Game at http://bit.ly/1V90q6b. For advice on where to buy pheasant and how to cook it, go to www.tasteofgame.org.uk

Debbie Collins

(British Association for

Shooting andConservation)


Exhausted and aggrieved

I am unimpressed at the exhibition of new-found environmental concern by car owners who feel aggrieved that their German cars’ computers have been skilfully programmed to always indicate that emissions standards are being met.

Like most drivers, as long as my vehicle passes the MoT, I don’t care what emerges from the exhaust pipe.

If I gave a fig about the environment, I’d have bought a bicycle.

John Eoin Douglas

Spey Terrace



Narked at ‘numpty’ jibe

When did it become acceptable for an elected representative in the UK parliament to publically refer to 70% of the 90% of the electorate in his constituency who voted last year as “numpties”, and to imply they were being crazed by “a full moon”?

Is this local democracy in the Brave New Scotland?

Those who did not vote for independence in September 2014 are understandably alarmed, angry and destabilised by recent SNP posturing, spin and propaganda that reneges on the “once-in-a-lifetime” promises made by Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon only a year ago, and their U-turn as co-signatories of the Edinburgh Agreement to honour the outcome of the referendum.

Your Tweet (twit!) of the week section (Southern, September 24) plumbs new depths to illustrate the arrogance and low-grade behaviour we have come to expect from the second-rate rabble of SNP MPs and MSPs whose sole obsession is to destroy the UK in order to achieve absolute power in a totalitarian and bankrupt micro-state, while ignoring their responsibility to represent all citizens, not just SNP zealots, and to govern Scotland properly and intelligently.

You lost the referendum decisively – please get over it and move on with your day job.

Michael Wilson



Already committed

It is not surprising that the council has decided to go ahead with bringing the Tapestry to Tweedbank when it is already advertised at the Interchange in Galashiels and at Waverley Station as coming.

How can the council come to an unbiased, fair decision? It looks like they are already committed.

Lintie Gibson


Borders railway

Disabled access on trains

Last week I made a return journey with my carers from Tweedbank to Edinburgh on the new Borders railway. I am visually impaired and in a wheelchair and am unable to transfer to a standard seat. We used Scotrail’s online form for assisted travel and am pleased to say that this worked very well, train staff expected us and a ramp was put in place without any problems. However, there were problems with restricted turning space and narrow doorways, which were negotiated with considerable difficulty and a folded-up wheelchair had to be removed before I could get in to the area designated for disabled passengers. A gentleman with ambulatory problems who was unable to sit in the standard seating occupied this area. However, with his co-operation, and with help from my carers, I was able with some difficulty to get into this space.

The current design of the carriage is not wheelchair friendly. There is only room for one wheelchair, and that assumes the space is not occupied by babies in pushchairs. Many elderly and disabled people would like to use the railway, but may be put off because of the train design; there are no wheelchair accessible toilets, for instance. They will just have to hope there are no delays en route!

I think that it is very unlikely that I will be travelling by Borders rail again, until better-designed carriages arrive with the needs of disabled people taken into consideration.

Isobel McLeish


armed forces

Charitable contributions

In the light of adverse comments in the national press concerning the lack of control over the use of charitable donations subscribed by the public to various armed forces charities, we would like to give firm reassurance to those generous donors in the Borders who support the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families’ Association (SSAFA).

For a start, SSAFA is in the business of supporting individuals, either those who have served in the armed forces of the Crown or members of their immediate close families. Each individual case is closely researched by locally-trained caseworkers and very often, as a result of the charity’s constitutional role, a proportion of the finance required to achieve a satisfactory solution is recovered from another service charity closer to the individual’s record of service.

Donors contributions are vital in supporting this system and particularly allowing SSAFA to move with speed.

SSAFA covers the whole of the Borders, with the first point of contact being the secretary on 01361 883 335, whom you should contact initially if you would like to

speak to either of us.

Sir David Younger

(president, SSAFA, Borders)


Adrian Lucas

(chairman, SSAFA, Borders)



Taking steps to beat cancer

We would like to thank everyone who joined us at the fundraising dance for FACE (Fighting Against Cancer in Edinburgh, Fife and the Borders) on September 26.

The venue was the Philipburn Hotel, Selkirk, and we would like to take this opportunity to also thank Marie, Ian and staff for their hospitality and delicious hot fork buffet. Also, we thank both Brian of Spectrum Disco and George Inglis for their smashing music – the dance floor was never empty.

We will be able to donate to FACE the fantastic amount of £2,919, of which £2,170 was from many kind sponsors for Raymond’s Chest Waxing on the night – a very brave act indeed, but for a worthy cause. Julie and her able assistant, Emma, did well – but looked like they were enjoying it!

Raymond and Elizabeth Beavon

(Friends of FACE)

Packing bags for sport

Kelso High School’s hockey teams would like to thank Sainsbury’s in Kelso, the great store staff and customers who helped us raise £705 with our bag-packing on Sunday.

School sport costs a significant amount – for example, every bus for an away game costs in the region of £300 – and much of the burden falls on parents. So fundraising underpins the opportunities we can give to all children to take part in extra curricular sport. Thank you to all the girls and parents who helped, particularly organiser Susan Chatburn.

The next event will be a bingo night, open to all, in November.

Kelso HS Hockey 
Fundraising Committee

Coffee morning


I would like to warmly thank all who came to support my Macmillan coffee morning and to all who kindly gave donations, also home baking, raffle and tombola prizes resulting in the amazing amount of £ 2,643.00 .

Thanks also to all the helpers who worked tirelessly to make the day such a success, and to Vivienne and Raymond for providing the marquees .

Moira Liddle



Making me 
feel old

If you want confirmation that you are old, just check the Looking Back page (Southern, October 1), and see yourself.

As chairman of the Langlee Community Council, we, as a group, decided to invest in some bulb planting.

Many’s the night after work I went round doors asking residents if they would contribute 5p towards the cost of buying the bulbs.

With the money collected, and some taken from our budget, an approach was made to the coucil to buy several bags of bulbs.

Not only did we get the bulbs, we got practical help to do the planting.

In your picture are, from the left, June Munro, Farquhar Munro (who has sadly s since died) Anne Cairns, Barbara Brown, cannot recall the next lady’s name, and yours truly, at the end.

Christina Wotherspoon

Former chairman of Langlee Community Council