Readers' letters - July 14

Loss of trees destroys habitat for UK wildlife

Friday, 20th July 2018, 2:33 pm
Updated Friday, 20th July 2018, 3:37 pm
Trees are vital for wildlife, says a correspondent. See letter

I have a small, rather untidy back garden which I can view from the kitchen window.There are three shady mature trees to the east inside a low drystone wall and three mature fruit trees, plus a snowberry bush inside the northern boundary fence. I enjoy seeing the many birds that come into the shadow of the trees and also hide behind the cover of the leaves when the sun is shining.My garden is a safe place for local birds and hedgehogs to feed as I don’t use slug pellets or insecticides, and the birds do a useful job of keeping garden pests within limits. While there are still some fledgling birds, I continue to provide a few bird feeders containing seeds, nuts and fatballs, as well as several dishes of water. These are for hedgehogs, birds and insects in shady places, some at ground level.Today I watched a pair of goldfinches eating seeds and drinking in the shade and wondered yet again about the wild creatures in areas which have been deprived of many mature trees. This affects not only birds but also bats, insects and other invertebrates seeking protection from the sun’s rays.You don’t get much shade under a sapling, after all.Jennifer EdwardsAddress supplied

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PM is past sell-by dateThe Government is in disarray. The Chequers meeting of the Cabinet did not go well, as a result the Conservative party is now beginning to fracture. Two cabinet ministers have resigned and two more Conservative MPs, both party vice-chairmen, stepped down from their positions. The Prime Minister Theresa May is stubbornly holding on to her premiership, even though senior Tory party colleagues are openly in revolt.Perhaps she doesn’t accept that one should leave before they are pushed. A similar situation occurred under Mrs Thatcher when her party officials brought to her attention that she had lost support of the majority of Conservative MPs. Within days she stepped down.Discussing the situation, I am aware of a growing impatience with this poorly performing, tired administration with a Prime Minister who could be described as ‘past her sell-by date’. Mrs May called the last general election unnecessarily. She foolishly believed the press who flatteringly assured her she could increase her parliamentary majority. The reverse happened. That indicated she lacks a basic ‘gut reaction’ of a changing situation. She will be doing the country a favour when she finally accepts it’s time for her to leave 10 Downing Street. The country has suffered many cuts which this government, under her leadership, pushed through Parliament. We have the lowest number of police officers for 30 years. As Home Secretary she did real harm to the service and this bad management was extended to other services whilst she has been Prime Minister. Many have known this to be the case for some time. Now with her slow inefficient handling of the Brexit problems, her senior colleagues are finally revealing their concern of her management of the nation.The referendum on our membership of the European Union was held before a full awareness of the situation was understood. False promises by senior Tory politicians were appalling. I believe we need a referendum once the result of negotiations are known and understood.Jack Croysdill Labour Party Lawless drivers bad for NHS

Thanks to our NHS, if you’re born in the UK, your chances of survival are greater than if you’re born in the Third World, where 3,000 children a day die from malaria. Thankfully, NHS staff generally treat everyone like human beings.Sadly this isn’t the case on our roads. When it was recently reported that a cyclist had been critically injured, with a driver being arrested on suspicion of driving whilst under the influence of drink/drugs, it attracted some disturbing online comments. One read: “They (cyclists) are subhuman”.To save our NHS, Theresa May plans to increase taxes. Shouldn’t the people who live unhealthy/unlawful lifestyles make the biggest contribution? With rising sea levels, and a ‘sinking’ NHS, why do we tolerate lawless drivers? How can children grow up healthy in a ‘rat race’ fuelled by drugs, speed, and hatred?Allan RamsayAddress supplied