Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Readers’ Letters: Eurovision, Energy Voice and Turriff Show

P&J Live mock-up. Photo by Niall Hastie Photography
P&J Live mock-up. Photo by Niall Hastie Photography

Sir, – I felt on reading your editorial and Lottie Hood’s quotes regarding the P&J Arena in Aberdeen hosting Eurovison, I should air a major consideration.

One factor missing in both was any reference to finance. I hope Aberdeen councillors appreciate that the event doesn’t break even – there is a cost!

Rotterdam’s costs recently totalled 19 million euros net (they boasted about being 3m euros under budget). This was after a sell-out for two semi-finals and a final.

The attendance figure over the week was 30,000.

Aberdeen is well suited to satisfy the criteria for holding the event, except for another question regarding air travel considerations.

The general bidding consideration is for three halls totalling a capacity of 15,000 with the main hall venue being at least 10,000.

There should be a press centre for 1,500 journalists and media. Hotels for 2,000 delegates, journalists and spectators are also needed.

One other consideration is that the venue should be “in easy reach of an international airport”.

There are likely to be 40 countries taking part, and Aberdeen has few international links, except for holiday flights. Both Edinburgh and Glasgow airports are more than 150 miles away.

I was a member of the Scottish Sports Council during 1981-1995 (four terms of four years) and was active when Edinburgh hosted the Commonwealth Games. At an advanced stage a large cost over-run was identified compared to that known to Edinburgh Council. The originally estimated figure was far from accurate.

We all know of the supposed white knight, Robert Maxwell, who promised millions to save the Games, but produced less than six figures at the end of the day.

I appeal to Aberdeen City Council to make cost estimates available to the general public before the August deadline for submission is made.

Mike Barron. Gordon Avenue, Inverurie.

Mismanagement of woodland deer

Sir, – In reply to the article about drones being used in deer cull trials by Forest Land Scotland, (Press and Journal, July 27). What next? Heat-seeking bullets!

At a woodland deer seminar at Tulliallan in 2001, the deer industry was told by the Forestry Commission that by 2003/4, deer numbers would be at a manageable level in forestry and that contract stalkers would be phased out.

One hundred contract stalkers are now employed on the National Forest Estate and deer damage now runs at 18%. Deer are culled 24/7 regardless of season, while the female season has been extended by 13 weeks.

Subsequently, the 1959 Scotland Deer Act, introduced to address welfare issues caused by organised gangs of poachers at night and, also to give deer protection when in the poorest condition, has been continually amended because of the frailties and mismanagement of Forest Land Scotland.

With future deer management in mind, 50,000 acres of open hill ground was designed for the establishment and management of a new forestry scheme at Eskdalemuir by the late Ronnie Rose MBE and his team of wildlife managers.

Through forest design, observation and selective culling, they culled over a thousand roe deer annually and kept deer damage at 3% for 25 years. This was achieved without culling an animal out of season.

When you compare what Ronnie and his team achieved at Eskdalemuir, that tells me something is seriously wrong with the management of woodland deer within the National Forest Estate. The excuse that there’s more than a million deer in Scotland, won’t wash.

Peter Fraser, Catanellan, Crathie.

No qualms over gene-edited foods

Sir, – Unlike G Davidson (Letters, August 2) and, apparently, the Scottish Government, I have no fears that gene-edited potatoes with elevated levels of vitamin C could evolve into an “uncontrollable monster”.

Neither do I have any concerns that potatoes genetically manipulated to become blight-resistant are going to behave like Japanese knotweed or grey squirrels.

Although if such potatoes were introduced, I would recommend the holders of shares in firms making fungicide sprayers sell them.

Selective breeding, described so well in Darwin’s Origin of Species and which has been used for centuries to generate potato varieties, is genetic manipulation; the only difference is that in genetic manipulation we know precisely what genetic changes have been produced, and can model their environmental risks far more accurately.

Whether I am silly or not is for others to judge. But I have expertise in this area.

As a governor of the Rowett Research Institute in 1998 I was involved in the enormous row and media storm that year about whether potatoes genetically spiked with a snowdrop protein that killed insects damaged the immune system of rats.

I gave evidence to the House of Commons Agriculture Committee and said that I was more worried about antibiotic resistance than GM foods.

I have not changed my mind.

Hugh Pennington, Carlton Place, Aberdeen.

Secrets of Culloden still buried in soil

Sir, – Craig Buchan’s article on Culloden battlefield, which contained quotes from Kevin Munro of Historic Environment Scotland, made interesting reading, (P&J, July), for whereas some elements of the battlefield have been uncovered it appears much of the site still remains a mystery.

Indeed, some say the actual location of the battle seems to be in doubt.

I recall reading recently that the burial place of the English dead has never been found, and one wonders too about the resting place of the Jacobite dead.

Has deep-probing ground radar ever been used to positively show that human remains lie beneath the supposed burial mounds?

It’s perhaps surprising how few objects relative to the battle appear to have been recovered from the site. All in all it would seem there’s a deal more to be discovered about Culloden.

Keith Fernie, Drakies Avenue, Inverness.

Gulls are blight in Highland capital

Sir, – I’ve been reading about the problems with gulls in Elgin and Aberdeen, but we also have real problems in Inverness.

We stay in a development overlooking the council’s Diriebught yard.

We are a 10-minute walk from the town centre but, with all the gulls, it feels like being at the seaside. The noise and the mess is 24/7. It looks as if they are getting fed at the council yard.

Not helping of course is the moss-covered roofs and weed-choked roof gutters.

The gulls sit on our roofs, watching for their next meal. It’s obvious that they are getting fed by somebody, or they wouldn’t congregate in such large numbers.

Duncan Cameron, Maryfield Gardens, Inverness.

Pouring cold water on so-called facts

Sir, – Jeff Rogers’ “cold hard facts” are, more likely, speculations. His older ones depend on fragments from ancient history before peoples’ literacy developed.

Likewise, his impressions of a worsening present day frequency and severity of wildfires or floods are based on his personal reactions rather than on careful, meticulous, statistically examined observations.

Such scientific-based analyses, though painstaking, are needed for confident, realistic statements on weather events to be made.

Mr Rogers’ points are suited more to “down the pub” informal chatting.

We must remember the intergovernmental panel on climate change’s decision that they had “little confidence” in the beliefs that present day weather events could be distinguished from those of established historical records. Such events have naturally always varied in frequency and severity from year to year.

Forest fires today are very often based on arson and/or unsafe forest clearing practices than on spontaneous reactions to hot weather.

It’s not that Mr Rogers’ impressions are wrong.

However, he certainly is wrong in describing those of us who are sceptical of man-made climate changes as “climate deniers”.

Charles Wardrop, Viewlands Road West, Perth.

Utopian dream is alive and well

Sir, – I saw with interest your article on the so-called climate camp in Aberdeen (P&J, July 30).

The main picture showed a van with a large poster stuck on it.

The words “Smash Capitalism – Create Utopia” says it all!

Mike Salter, Glassel, Banchory.

Energy Voice keeps us well informed

Sir, – Aberdeen was recently assailed by another collection of workshy layabouts and their chums in the Green parties, creating more traffic chaos with their recent demonstration at the harbour.

It would have been a nice gesture if the P&J gave each one of these people a copy of its Energy Voice supplement, and let them see how really hard the energy sector is working and contributing to a transitional clean environment.

It’s time the Greens and their companions realised that hydrocarbons will still be harvested into the end of this century, or if not further because they have so many derivatives from medicine to engineering and beyond as a necessity.

Energy Voice should be regarded as The Bible for our industry in the north-east and commendations to all concerned for keeping us up to date.

Alexander Sutherland, Hilton Drive, Aberdeen.

Truss was right to call out Sturgeon

Sir, – At long last we have a politician in Liz Truss stating what many of us have thought for a long time that “Nicola Sturgeon is an attention seeker who is best ignored”.

We all know that the first minister enjoys the limelight and uses her constant requests for independence referendums as a smokescreen to hide behind the SNP’s lamentable record in government.

It was all so predictable the reactions of the SNP and their Green friends stating that Truss’s remark was disrespectful to Sturgeon, but perhaps they need reminded that respect works both ways.

Did they think it was respectful for the first minister to call the current prime minister a charlatan not fit for office?

Especially given the prime minister is the most senior politician in the UK and so outranks the first minister.

Mhairi E Rennie, Finlayson Street, Fraserburgh.

Poetic response to famous farm show

Well that’s anither Turra show by wi, an record attendance nae doot,

Full o teuchters fae a oor i country, an a wee royal visit to boot.

Turra show this year was the first ane, for at least a good year or twa,

But noo all the tents are being teen doon, an the tractors are a gan awa.

Abody seemed t enjoy it

there wisna a cloud in the sky,

the stuff ye could look at was plenty, as well as the stuff you could buy.

The tractors were big, bright n bonny, an prizes were all lost or won,

The beasts, of course there were mony, an burgers were sold by the ton.

The fairground was busy wi their rides an candyfloss,

The arcades were stappit foo o folk wi their pockets all running a loss.

But noo its ower for anither year and Turras seems quiet n still,

But next year will be here fore ye ken it, an the show will be back, yes it will.

It’s ewiys sad fan a Turra show ends ei all its bustle n din, coz ye ken fan Turra show’s ower,

The dark nights will start drawing in.

Martin Cameron, Highfield Walk, Turriff.