Letters: We can’t afford to ignore importance of peat bogs

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I read with great concern the article in the Evening News entitled “Warning of threat to wildlife as Lothian’s peat bogs dry up” (News, January 4).

I was under the impression Edinburgh had recognised the importance of its peat bogs and was already protecting them.

I see the article mentions the Red Moss of Balerno, which has been designated as a nature reserve by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. The unique plants, insects and creatures that are found there are truly amazing and a very important part of Scotland’s heritage.

I had assumed that since Edinburgh was on top of the situation that the rest of Scotland was too. Clearly not. It is vital that we identify every patch of bog land before it dries up and ensure they are kept safe for future generations. The worrying thing is the monetary value of the land. The article said that most of the degrading bogs were in that state due to human development.

Some things are more important than making a quick buck. Let’s ensure the unique wildlife that exists in these places is preserved and valued as one of Scotland’s treasures.

G Fraser, Stockbridge, Edinburgh

What about our right to govern?

It has been intriguing to note the Prime Minister has rebuffed Argentina over the Falkland Islands and rightly claimed that the future of the Falkland Islands is up to its inhabitants – not Argentina.

Last year we were being told by the UK Government that the Scottish Parliament would not be able to hold a referendum on Scottish independence and that the necessary powers would have to be transferred to it by Westminster, only on certain terms.

However, when it comes to the Falkland Islands, a Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “They (the Falkland Islanders) remain free to choose their own futures, both politically and economically, and have a right to self-determination as enshrined in the UN Charter. This is a fundamental human right for all peoples.”

If it is a “fundamental human right for all peoples”, the UK Government seems not to believe that this applies to Scotland, which was beholden on the necessary powers being handed to it by Westminster and which presumably it could have refused to do.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Bah, Humbug to Princes Street fair

Merry Christmas – what Merry Christmas?

Our once-lovely Princes Street was as dull as ditch water. That fairground monstrosity opposite Marks & Spencer just added to it. But what was really missing and sad, where were the enchanting lit trees which lined our beloved street every year?

No doubt it was due to lack of funds, subsidising the ongoing nightmare of the trams fiasco, which I now refer to as a tram-astrophy.

I will probably fall off my perch before normal services are ever resumed.

Those wretched councillors responsible have a lot to answer for, I hope they have a “not merry Christmas”.

Sylvia M De Luca, Baberton Park, Juniper Green, Edinburgh