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Letters, December 16: Threat to birds; high street shopping rules and glue-eating snails

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: December 16, 2013

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Should we allow this killing to continue?

Now that the threat of PIBs killing wild birds has been removed perhaps we should turn our attention to another cause killing off our wild birds, killing many more thousands than PIBs-raptors.

The RSPB's own Farmland Bird Index and the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO} Bird Index, published last month, both show the sharp decline. It always seems to be the farmers fault. Predators, ie raptors, hardly ever get blamed, but it is fact that peregrine falcons need at least one dove-sized bird per day to survive. Recently 300 known peregrine nests have been reported and many, many more not reported.

The survey does not include immature peregrines that do not mate until the second or third season after hatching. This means there are possible two or three times as many perergrines as accepted by the RSPB – over 500,000 birds consumed per year.

Moving on to sparrowhawks, whose numbers are estimated to be around 10,000 pairs and need two skylark-sized birds per day to survive. This adds to a horrendous number of smaller birds consumed per day. The peregrines and sparrowhawks are protected above all other species and are top of the food chain, therefore out of any legal control and over populated.

Should we allow this to continue, or should we do something about it to protect our small birds.

RG Wilton

By email

High street should do more for shoppers

My wife purchased clothing items from two shops in Weston-super-Mare and had to return them because they were not suitable.

One shop returned her money immediately, whereas the other refused a refund and only offered a credit note or voucher. Both items were in the same condition as when they left the shops but the reactions were so different. My wife also purchases items from the TV shopping channels where you can also return them for refunds.

Shopping on the internet is taking so much business away from the high street you would have thought that retailers would bend over backwards to keep business.

The moral of this story is simple – always make sure when you buy something, especially clothes, that you can if necessary claim a refund if the product is not completely satisfactory. After all you may not want to want to enter that store again so vouchers are not the answer.

Geoff Malham

Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset

I wish NFU has this amount of clout

It seems your letter writer Mr Forsyth has got himself into a right rage with the NFU. If the organisation had a fraction of the political clout he's claiming, I would be a very happy farmer. Forty pence per litre for my milk instead of 33p would be a good start.

Pressure group yes, political influence I don't think so, that's long gone.

There's not one UK parliamentary seat that needs the support of the farmer vote in an election. The fact is the big four supermarkets hold more sway with governments than farmers could possibly hope for. In real terms, compared to three or four decades ago, food is cheap and that's how governments like it. So Mr Forsyth if you're looking for some powerful vested group to have ago at, try looking further up the food chain.

Nigel Cole

Kingston Seymour, Somerset

Officials should pay for waste of money

The Government has written off £40 million on software and computing costs. Do they have "diplomatic immunity" as they should not be allowed to get away with all their disgraceful and shocking spending "sprees"? Individuals in government departments who are responsible for all this horrendous waste of tax payers money, should be made accountable and pay back the money themselves, perhaps then they would put more thought into the projects concerned before wasting millions of pounds,

I agree with Gerald Gannaway's letter (December 2). I am sure these all- party committeesare there to appease us, but we can see through them as they are all talk and no action.

Helen Capel

Winscombe, North Somerset

I found glue-loving snails in post boxes

Seeing Flora Thompson's letter regards a snail eating a tax disc reminded me of my time 25 years ago as a postman. On several occasions when emptying post-boxes, I would find letters which had been posted and their stamps had been half chewed off by snails. As was mentioned in the letter that snails must like glue.

Mick Holmes

Lydney, Gloucestershire

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