Best numbers since 2005

A dreich dusk at Hule Moss on Greenlaw Moor was brightened as a splendid show of pinkfoot geese came in to roost.

With a final tally of 9,600 it was the biggest number since 2005.

The group would fly out at dawn over Rumbletonrig, heading for feeding grounds at Smailholm and Bemorsyde Moss.

James Lough
Norris Close, Duns


Game shoots create jobs

The letter denigrating game shooting (Not a pheasant thing to do, Page 24, October 10) is a circular issued by a tiny, hardcore animal rights group based down south. Berwickshire News readers may not be aware that the group in question is not a registered charity. Its claims should be taken with a bucket of salt.

Game shooting creates jobs, helps to fund the management of important wildlife habitat and produces nutritious, free-range meat. No amount of emotive propaganda can detract from these facts. The economic and conservation contributions of shooting to the countryside are recognised by all of the main political parties and a broad range of conservation and wildlife bodies.

Alasdair Mitchell
Regional Director (Northern)The British Association for Shooting and Conservation

Shooting not 
a ‘blight’

In response to last week’s letter about pheasant shooting I would like to say that in 55 years participation of this sport I fail to recognise some of the scenarios he mentions.

An interesting part of the letter states that guns spend £1,000 per day to shoot pheasants on Berwickshire and Border Estates. He does not say if this is the total paid for a day’s sport, or the cost per head, note the normal number of guns on a driven shoot would be 8. Regardless of what it represents, this money is destined to enter the local economy in one way or another.

Game farms, feed manufacturers, gun shops ,hotels, pubs providing lunches, the gamekeeper, local garage ... right down to the humble beater without whom there would be no shoot all derive a winter bonus from pheasant shooting. It is money which will go around one way or other into the local economy. Now I would not dream of claiming that pheasant shooting is a major contributor to the local economy, but it is a significant one, especially when the tourists have gone from October to January.

He also claims that shooters, “blight the landscape” with lead shot. Shooting has been going on for at least 200 years on Berwickshire Estates. Take a look around any of them and you will find a more varied and extensive list of fauna and flora than on any other land use situation.

Certainly not blighted by decades of pheasant shooting.

Alan Spence



‘Yes’ campaign stays positive

In spite of his congratulations, I fear your correspondent Mr J.Lough has misinterpreted my letter (Letters, October 10).

I did not impugn David Cameron PM with Nazi sympathies, but I do claim that Conservative policies are being driven by extreme right-wing organisations such as UKIP, the BNP and the Traditional Britain Group, which do have ugly fascist leanings.

Policies such as the Bedroom Tax and Welfare Caps do not spring from hearts which care about the desperate plight of people living in poverty. I am also curious as to why he defines the writing of letters in support of Scottish independence as “panic”. He may not have noticed but letters from YES supporters, such as my “friend” Mr Alex Orr, usually give positive reasons for voting YES.

Surely ‘panic’ is the wild and hysterical premonitions of doom for an independent Scotland claimed by the No campaign – project fear – all of which have been exposed as inaccurate scare mongering.

The purpose of the YES For Independence patriots is to show how Scotland will be a better and fairer place for all its citizens to live in.

Therefore, I invite Mr Lough and anyone else to explain how Scotland will be better after a No vote.

Richard Walthew



Darts event raised £268

We would like to thank Irene Aitchison of The Tavern, Eyemouth and all who participated in what now appears to be an annual darts pairs tournament in aid of multiple sclerosis. This event took place on October 13 and was a jolly, hectic afternoon culminating in a win for Gordon Peters and Sam Cadman, with runners-up Michael Fry and Jason Redden. £268 was raised from the raffle.

Dorothy Campbell

Berwick & Eastern Borders Branch MS Society