We’re all at sea over conservation network

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LAST week, the Government revealed that it was struggling over its commitment to create a network of Marine Protected Areas in UK waters by the end of 2012.

Following a long and expensive process to identify a network of sites for marine wildlife, it is believed that, of the 127 proposed Marine Conservation Zones, only around a quarter of these may be designated initially and even these won’t be consulted on until the end of next year.

Even before the announcement of this worrying news, we were disappointed by the lack of proposed MCZs that would protect seabirds and other mobile marine life such as dolphins and basking sharks.

The only site in the Irish Sea which could benefit seabirds comprises the waters around St Bees Head, Cumbria, which would help protect the only breeding colony of black guillemots in England. Now we are worried that this site is also in jeopardy.

As an island nation, our seabirds are part of our heritage but we can’t take them for granted.

Kittiwakes have suffered serious declines in recent decades and unless we protect the areas of sea where they feed they may not be around for future generations to enjoy.

I would like to thank all of the readers who have already stepped up for seabirds by signing our marine pledge.

But if we are going to make the Government take its commitment seriously, we need more people to sign up.

Please visit www.rspb.org.uk/marinepetition.

Clare Reed, RSPB Marine Conservation Officer, North West England

Losing the will to inherit from mum

I AM writing this letter to warn people who are involved in second or maybe even third marriages to be very careful when making out their wills.

My mother married for the second time approximately 32 years ago and she and her husband lived happily together.

In this time, they made joint wills, called mirror wills, which basically meant they left everything to each other and, when the last survivor died, the balance – more than £100,000 – would go to myself and my three brothers. All this was fine until mum passed away and three months later this lovely man toddles off to his solicitor and leaves the whole lot to charity.

So my mother and father’s house and life savings have all gone.

We tried to challenge the will but couldn’t prove he had mental problems.

The moral of this story is make sure you leave your children your money when you pass away and get your property put in trust.

Remember your partner might not have the same love for your children as you do.

Samm Whiston, via email

Time to curb this boardroom greed

I SEE that members of the High Pay Commission, appointed to investigate the mind-boggling levels of bonus payments that are still rife in British boardrooms, is calling for Government intervention over what they describe as the biggest disparity between bosses and workers’ pay since the Victorian age.

I’d be prepared to bet that the Victorians, for all that they encouraged entrepreneurial flair, drew the line at rewarding failure.

Bonus payments at executive level are fine when firms are flourishing, but it is an obscenity that they continue to be paid to directors who have overseen huge losses and redundancies.

The Coalition is hell-bent on reducing the pensions of public sector workers, but their cause is undermined by this constant turning of a blind eye to the immorality of undeserved bonuses running into millions of pounds.

The Government must step in.

Name and address supplied