Letters

The "Two Sisters" in Burnmouth Harbour.
The "Two Sisters" in Burnmouth Harbour.

Harry’s vision created at Pease Dean

SIR, - Your recent article about Pease Dean whets the appetite for more information.

However, the Scottish Wildlife Trust has been restoring this nature reserve for over 20 years since the late 1980s, under the leadership of the late Harry Edie.

I had the privilege of being part of the SWT team of volunteers between 2000 and 2006, and over the years have seen many changes for the better in that woodland.

Where there are still areas covered with Sitka spruce, there is little birdsong compared to the parts where native trees are prevalent, and vegetation cover under sycamore trees is scant compared to that under oak and ash, where bluebells and wood anemone, etc can flourish.

Pease Dean was a natural woodland with native oak, ash and elm cover. After World War II, the Forestry Commission took it over and clear-felled the forest, replanting it with sycamore, and Sitka spruce – non-native species.

After the Scottish Wildlife Trust took over the property in the late 20th century, an extensive policy of felling non-native trees, and replanting with oak, ash, rowan, etc, was carried out.

This conservation work is continuing, under the leadership of Julian Warman of the SWF, along with a group of local volunteers, who normally work at Pease Dean for one Sunday a month.

The work party is also helped by organisations such as the Lothian Conservation Volunteers once or twice a year. The restoration work also includes bracken control, cutting gorse and footpath maintenance.

It was Harry Edie’s vision to create a series of linked areas friendly to wildlife, and Pease Dean is one of these, as it is bisected by the East Coast rail line, and the railway embankments and cuttings form a habitat friendly to nature.

ERNIE COX,

Northfield, St Abbs.

SIR, - We were incensed by the story on page seven of the Berwickshire News (January 3) concerning Pease Dean Nature Reserve.

The headline announcing “Pease Dean to receive Scottish Wildlife attention” inferred that this was some new concept after years of neglect. Going on to give details of the proposed work it referred to “a massive programme of felling non-native trees, replacing them with native ones, including oak and hazel...”

It has escaped the notice of the reporter and of the Scottish Wildlife Trust chief executive Simon Milne, that this work has been going on for 20 years, organised and managed by Harry Edie, the voluntary convener for the reserve supported by his dedicated team of helpers.

Aided by Julian Warman, an SWT reserve manager and visits from Lothian Conservation Volunteers, this type of work has been going on since 1990 on a regular basis.

Hectares of clear felling of sycamores have been undertaken and thousands of replacement saplings have been planted, many of the oaks having been grown from seed by Harry himself.

Bracken has been cleared to discourage weeds and funding was found, with the help of the Berwickshire members of SWT, to provide the essential plastic guards to prevent deer damage.

Bridges washed away by flash floods have been replaced and paths and steps repaired.

Harry served on both the national and regional councils of the SWT and as well as his practical work on the reserve organised recreational and educational visits, always giving his time and expertise freely.

It is ironic that since Harry Edie died in December 2012 this article could find no space to give recognition to his immense dedication to the Pease Dean project. We hope that this letter rectifies this omission in a small way.

JOHN and ROSE KAY,

Knowe Head, Tweedmouth.

Support for RDA

SIR, - Berwickshire Group RDA would like to thank everyone who bought and sold our Christmas Quiz.

There was a bumper entry this year with many correct answers so a draw had to be made and the luycky wimnners are: 1. Frances Bryce, Duns, 2. Mrs S. Aitchison, Duns, 3. Alison Tams, Coldstream.

The Group would like to thank the many wonderful people and organisations who have helped and supported them in any way and we wish them and our riders, vaulters and volunteers a happy and peaceful 2013.

MARGARET MORGAN,

Group Chairman.

Cubs and Guides grateful

SIR, - Duns Cubs and Guides would like to thank all the people of the town who sent their local Christmas cards with our “delivery service”.

We are very grateful to everyone who supported us, especially in these more economically-challenged times. The Guides worked hard sorting all the cards which the Cubs then delivered.

The monies raised will go towards the annual Census fees which the units have to pay for every member. These support Scouting and Guiding not only at a local level in Berwickshire, but throughout the UK and the world. Our grateful thanks to all.

NEIL REDPATH and EILEEN McLEAN,

Cub and Guide Leaders.

Thanks from the Knoll

SIR, - Through your column I would like to thank all artists who entertained the patients over the festive period and at other periods throughout the year also to all who have so generously donated gifts and money for our Christmas Raffle. It has been very much appreciated.

LINDA BLACKIE,

Activities Co-ordinator,

Knoll Hospital,

Duns.

Good news for Dual the A1 Campaign for 2013

SIR, - The Christmas post brought me an unexpected present, in the form of confirmation of a meeting with the new Secretary of State for Transport in the New Year.

Following the Chancellor’s positive messages in his Autumn Statement about the importance of Dualling the A1 to the Scottish Border, I wrote again to the DfT asking for a meeting to discuss the first tranche of evidence which our campaign team has collated since the summer on economic impacts to local and regional businesses.

I am very pleased that our continued efforts and those of all political parties raising this critical NE issue at Westminster alongside the campaign is making an impact. The reality is that talking about it isn’t enough - businesses from Scotland down to Teesside have to help us build the economic evidence to prove to Whitehall just how vital this investment is for the future of the North East.

We have a few more weeks before this meeting, so I would encourage all your readers who have any business involvement, to take a few minutes to complete our business survey at www.surveymonkey.com/a1businessview. We can build a really strong case if every business in the region shares their views. We must be able to justify the investment commitment to the Treasury.

ANNE-MARIE TREVELYAN,

Campaign Director,

Dual the A1 Campaign.

Coldstream party did the town’s seniors proud

SIR - A very big ‘THANK YOU’to Coldstream Community Council and their helpers for the marvellous town party last week.

The food - supplied by the Newcastle Arms - was lovely and the wine flowed! The entertainment by the Border Folk and Janette Campbell was excellent and I’m sure everyone enjoyed themselves as much as I did.

Well done community council- you did us proud!

HELEN PARK,

11 Market Street, Coldstream.

Boys Brigade fundraiser

SIR, - Thank you to everyone who came along to the 1st Coldstream Boys Brigade Company Coffee Morning on Saturday, January 12, in Coldstream Parish Church Hall. The sum of £560 was raised for Company funds. Special thank you to Wilma and Ann and the families and friends who donated prizes, cakes and their time.

FIONA MANN,

Officer in Charge.