Letters to the editor – August 20, 2021

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Grow and show at Whitehouse


Saturday August 21 will see the popular Whitehouse Grow and Show open again.

Bring along your best flowers, fruit, vegetables and flower arrangements.

But also bring your problem plants and see what help and advice can be gleaned from our experts.

Though this is a non-competitive show, there will be an opportunity for visitors to vote on the entries in four different show classes: flowers, fruit, vegetables and a children’s award.

Donations for the plant sales table will be greatly appreciated and gardener’s question time will also be back with a new panel of experts.

We’re planning more outdoor food, craft activities and music to make the day interesting and sociable.

More information is available at the www.whitehousevillagehall.org website.

Hope to see you there!

Suse Coon, Whitehouse

See notice on page 11 for more details

Dangers of ragwort


I have been getting many messages about the amount of ragwort growing in the area, especially on roadside verges.

Our hard-working and at times hard pressed farmers and crofters are particularly worried about its recent spread in many areas of the Kintyre and the islands.

Ragwort is a toxic plant and has gained significant media coverage in the past about its hazardous capabilities to livestock.

Ragwort poses a risk to animal health, with potentially fatal consequences if it is ingested by horses or livestock, either in its green or dried state.

All sensible measures must be taken to ensure that ragwort does not spread, particularly to grazing areas or land which is used to produce conserved forage.

The National Farmers Union has also been highlighting the problems with ragwort on a national level.

Food security is an essential part of our economy and reducing the presence of harmful plants is a key part of that.

I have been in touch with the Argyll and Bute Council roads department and will continue to press for more action on dealing with ragwort.

Councillor Alastair Redman, Kintyre and the Islands ward 


Common ragwort. no_a34CommonRagwort01

Common ragwort – poisonous to livestock
Positive approach to housing


Short-term lets, second homes etc are a healthy part of any economy. I have no experience of either. However good positive control would keep a healthy, successful balance.

Slackness in approaching the problem can lead to many problems in the future, some serious.

An examination of the problems created in Wales in the 1960s and ’70s would prove interesting.

The influence of the Midlands on property sales in Wales caused many problems. It gave rise to many acts of violence by a small group of Welsh activists.

This included using explosives to damage the water pipeline and pump stations into Birmingham.

I have experience of that having walked the pipeline many a night looking for explosives.

I am not suggesting anything like that could happen in Scotland in this day and age but nobody should be sitting on their hands when looking at the problem now.

Those who have the skill and expertise in these matters should be putting them to vigorous use now.

Tom Cullen, Ardfern

Talking about pet grief


I’d like to highlight Cats Protection’s grief support service for cat owners as National Grief Awareness Day approaches on August 30.

Now in its fifth year, Paws to Listen is there for anyone facing the heartbreak of losing their cat, struggling with issues like euthanasia, or whose cat has gone missing.

It is a free and confidential service, connecting callers with a volunteer listener over the telephone or via email.

Pet loss is not always fully recognised in society as a significant loss, causing many to be reluctant to talk about their grief. Additionally, Covid restrictions in the past year or so have often meant that people could not be with their pets at the point of euthanasia, which has compounded people’s grief.

At our charity we feel it is important to normalise pet grief and let people know that they’re not alone and it’s ok to talk about it.

This year our Paws to Listen service is being supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to them for their continued support, which is also helping us to take care of cats at our centres and speak up for cats through our campaigning work.

The Paws to Listen phone line is open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays, and can be reached on 0800 024 94 94.

Alternatively, people can get in touch online at www.cats.org.uk/grief via an online form.

Catherine Joyce, Paws to Listen team leader, Cats Protection