YEP Letters: March 18

Check out today's YEP letters

Friday, 18th March 2016, 6:00 am

Hedgehogs need our help

Annette Pyrah, The Wildlife Orphanage, Barlby

Warmer weather has finally arrived and with it the emergence of one of our favourite little mammals, the hedgehog.

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Already there have been sightings in many Yorkshire gardens as our spikey friends wake from hibernation. Sadly, hedgehogs are in rapid decline and desperately need our help if they are to avoid extinction. A shallow bowl of water, kitten biscuits and meaty cat food will be greatly appreciated by the hungry hogs. Milk should never be given to hedgehogs as it contains lactose and causes all kinds of problems. Despite their spikey appearance, hedgehogs are quite fragile little creatures and go downhill rapidly when ill.

If a hedgehog is seen out in daytime, looking rather wobbly or laid on the lawn as if sunbathing, only immediate action will save it. Using gloves, pick the hedgehog up and place it in a cardboard box with a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel. A poorly hedgehog needs to be kept warm. Next ring your local vets who usually have names of hedgehog carers, likewise the Hedgehog Preservation Society. The sooner the hedgehog is receiving care the better his chances will be. For more help and advice on hedgehogs or indeed any British wildlife, please look on our website or ring 0771 1883072.

Airport is not up to 21st century standards

D S Boyes, Leeds 13

ANY expansion of Leeds and Bradford Airport into a truly international one with destinations to rival Manchester, and not least of all rapidly expanding the Doncaster South Yorkshire one at the former RAF Finningley site would be welcome, as would the extra jobs from associated terminal, hotel and catering facilities etc.

But is there enough space available to extend the runway capacity needed, or can any realistic improvement in access be made, which is what has held it back for so long.

Any kind of relief road would be forever hampered by the problems of the A65, which are clearly insurmountable. If only they had built the Aire Valley Trunk Road in the 1950s or 60s, life would be so much easier for both local residents and air passengers alike.

Surely, some kind of a rail link is the only way forward. Although either improved access by road or rail from the Bradford side is fraught with problems due to the topography of the Aire Valley.

Whatever, something needs to be done soon, as Leeds and Bradford Airport in its existing state is not up to 21st Century standards needed.

Going off voting Labour

A Shipman, Leeds 13

Having been a Labour voter for many years, I am now rapidly going off the idea.

At least with the Conservatives we are being given a say on our future with the European Union, an Ed Miliband-led government would never have allowed this referendum.

Now, with Labour and the two-faced SNP you can shop til you drop on Sundays in Paisley, but not in Pudsey, which raises the question as to why the SNP were ever allowed to vote on extending Sunday opening hours in England and Wales.

As long as shop workers are not pressurised to work on the Sabbath there should be no problem as regards extended opening.

All in it together?

David Speight, Tingley

I am disappointed that our MP Andrea Jenkyns supports the £30 a week cuts to the sick and disabled.

She also supports the new Trident system and sending our armed forces overseas to fight wars which have nothing to do with the security of our country.

I fully support getting those off benefits who are making false claims, I feel they are no better than this draconian government. They also add to the misery of the genuine sick and disabled as many see the genuine also as scroungers when they are not.

As a veteran soldier I support our armed forces. MPs should have to visit the hospitals where our boys are recovering from terrible injuries. It is very sad to say some will never make a full recovery and will join the sick and disabled and have less money to live on due to the cuts which Andrea supports.

Due to cuts our armed forces are at even greater risk whilst on combat duties, the British Army is down by at least 5,000 soldiers.

Our police are down 19,000 all which puts this country at even greater risk from terrorist attacks.

The government has stated they will not put more cuts to our police - at last have they noticed they have cut far to deep? We now need real investment in the police and never mind a new Trident system that does nothing. We already have one in place.

Trident - does the system we have not work, is it not good enough to kill millions with one missile, how many does she want to be killed at the press of a button?

And whilst making all these cuts to the sick and disabled they give themselves a 10 per cent pay rise, MPs’ salaries will rise from £67,060 to £74,000, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has announced. MPs will also receive a pension bonus of £50,000. All MPs will now be paid an annual salary of £74,000, backdated to May 8 2015.

And I thought we were all in it together.

What would Catherine do?

Judith McAra nee Ingham, Adel

I have a new heroine. A new benchmark to help navigate what life throws at us.

DS Cawood (played brilliantly by Sarah Lancashire) of Happy Valley, the BBC drama whose second series ended this week.

Catherine is flawed and human yet stamped throughwith goodness and humanity, despite the terrible events she has to battle personally and professionally.

Every week her gently delivered deeds of simple basic kindness have brought a lump to my throat.

It is said Sally Wainwright writes female characters brilliantly, every word and gesture a distillation of the million and one thoughts we navigate every day.

Happy Valley centres around my home town of Sowerby Bridge. The people are complex, naive, interesting and ordinary. The actors have got their portrayals so accurate.

It’s the sort of place where the police came to the door of our farm one year as we were sitting down to Christmas dinner to check my father’s application to renew his shotgun licence.

It was ‘a bit quiet down the station’ that particular day, apparently. We didn’t invite the officer in to share our festive meal, this wasn’t the movies. Incidentally, my father was registered as partially blind but that didn’t seem to affect the renewal of the gun licence. If you are brought up in Happy Valley, you feel sorry for the rest of the world who seem to live lives much less colourful and exciting.

The writer Sally Wainwright and I went to the same school, Sowerby Bridge Grammar. I don’t remember her. You don’t remember those in the years below at school. I wonder if she remembers me and my drippy friends?

The word around Sowerby and Hebden Bridge was that the TV production team were scouting for a derelict farm to blow up for the finale. So I expected a more explosive ending.

However, I was happy with the slow and gradual close up to Catherine’s worried face, acknowledging what she had survived but also anticipating the next inevitable event to turn her life upside down, particularly as Ryan grows up and his dad (great portrayal of a psychopath by James Norton) thinks up further evil schemes to hurt our Catherine.

So until the next series, I want to tap into the wisdom of our heroine: a harassed, scared but not defeated, sleep deprived and under valued police officer with a massive dose of humanity.

I wouldn’t want to be Catherine Cawood but I do want to give her a hug and make her some nourishing food.

Self deprecating humour?

Roger Bates, Leeds 17

READING the first part of Harry Goodall’s wartime experiences as a POW (The Yorkshire Evening Post, 5 March 2016), his time in the Royal Army Service Corps brings to mind a question arising from an episode of Porridge in which Fletcher tells of his own service in the RASC. Godber then asks what the initials stand for.

Now, as a student of military history, I’d be interested to know if Fletcher’s answer (“Run Away Someone’s Coming”) was simply a scriptwriter’s invention, or a genuine example of self-deprecating British army humour.

My late uncle Albert, by the way, served in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, and he claimed RAOC stood for “Rob All Our Comrades.”