Letters to the editor, May 20 2022

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Thank you for kindness

I would like to thank my amazing family for their support before and during my illness. I couldn’t do it without them; they have been absolutely amazing.

I would also like to thank all staff at the hospitals where I have received treatment, including Campbeltown Health Centre, Lorn and Islands Hospital in Oban, and the New Victoria Hospital, the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and The Beatson in Glasgow for their fantastic care and attention during my stays with them.

Thanks to Dr Neil McGlinchey, in particular, for his great attention during his phone calls.

To all friends and the community for kind thoughts, gifts and flowers – thank you.

Finally, a very big thank you to former Courier reporter Ruth McClean for her lovely surprise visit with the children.

I have been absolutely overwhelmed by all the kindness.

Cathie Duncan, Campbeltown.

Space is limited

Discover Space will welcome the general public to Machrihanish Spaceport for the first time on June 25.

Now, before you get too excited, I should add, their web announcement states: ‘Space is limited.’

How is that for contradiction?

Health and safety and event insurance issues are obviously major concerns with so much rocket fuel on site, so a limit has been set on the number of attendees.

However, I would argue for an inner circle for VIPs and other ticket-holders, with outer circles for the general public, no tickets required.

All of the factories in East Kilbride and Cumbernauld combined could probably be accommodated within our vast former RAF and US Navy airbase, with quite a few hectares left over for cattle and sheep.

So terra firma space most definitely is not limited at Machrihanish and I look forward to a good day out on June 25.

Duncan Iain MacDougall, Tarbert.

Granting Hedgehog wishes

This year, we at the British Hedgehog Preservation Society are marking 40 years of safeguarding Britain’s hedgehogs. To help us celebrate, we are asking people to make some hedgehoggy birthday wishes come true.

Small changes we make in our gardens a green spaces can result in a richer, wider habitat for hedgehogs. Even if you don’t have your own garden, you can contact local councils, golf courses, schools, etc to ask them to manage their land sympathetically with wildlife in mind.

Making sure there is access in and out is so important. A 13cm square gap at the bottom of walls or fences is all that’s required to allow them to travel through.

If you would like to offer supplementary food, meaty cat or dog food or cat biscuits are suitable. But offering natural food for them by creating a log pile or compost heap will provide them with a bug buffet on tap.

Now the garden is more welcoming, we need to think about safety. Never light bonfire piles without carefully checking them, or dig forks into compost heaps, and keep drains covered.

Ponds are great for wildlife but make sure there’s easy access out; hedgehogs are good at swimming but can drown in steep slippery sided ponds without an escape route.

None of this requires much effort – in fact, some of it will be less work for you – but could make all the difference to a struggling population of hedgehogs!

Fay Vass, chief executive, British Hedgehog Preservation Society.