YEP Letters: August 28

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Breeding spoonbills are a joy to see

Lester Young, Purston.

What an eventful summer it has been at Fairburn Ings.

Spoonbills have bred for the first time in Yorkshire for 400 years and bitterns have raised three and four young for the first time since the 1800s. Peregrine falcons have also raised young and the little egret colony has had a good breeding season. On top of this, a cattle egret – a mega rarity with only two previous 
records here in over 60 years – turned up on July 17.

Like the spoonbills, it attracted birders and photographers from across the region. Typically these small, exotic white herons are seen riding on the backs of cattle or stalking insects, worms and frogs.

This success story is a testament to the all the hard work the RSPB and volunteers have put in.

Man’s best friend when it comes to exercise

Mike Lowry, Cookridge.

WE are being advised by the Government to (as if we didn’t know already) take more exercise.

The number of people who seem to most need this advice can be easily identified by their roly poly waistlines and laboured breathing.

To get the best out of the advice is really quite simple: get a dog.

Owners of dogs must get out of the house every day or their pooch will complain.

In a very short while, the extra activity becomes part of the daily routine and is less of a chore, assuming you walk the dog and not someone else.

If owning a dog is not right for you, then borrow a neighbour’s for 10 or 15 minutes each day: their dog will be delighted.

This option costs nothing and may be a welcome help to your neighbour, especially if they have restricted mobility.

A word of caution however, owning a dog is a very serious commitment, so only go for this option if you can

sustain it. However, the rewards will be significant in more ways than one.

Students could reduce A&E waiting times

Hilary Andrews, Leeds.

I WAS delighted to read that the Leeds NHS is teaming with Leeds Beckett University to let the second and third year students of Speech and Language therapy gain experience in dealing with real patients, thereby helping to reduce waiting times for this valuable therapy.

Why can’t we use our medical students in the same way to reduce waiting times in A&E?

When I was a fourth year medical student, we were detailed to clinical sessions where, after the patients had been triaged by the doctor on duty, we saw and treated patients with simple sprains, cuts etc, minor injuries that really do not need to be dealt with by a junior doctor.

This experience proved invaluable after we had qualified and were left to deal with all sorts of injuries and medical conditions. It also reduced the waiting times for the patients. Bring it on.

English littered with errors

Mr MN Wooff, Keighley

IT was announced that this year’s A-level results show that boys had done better than girls for the first time in 17 years.

However, I write to ask if anyone can explain what is happening to our once-excellent English education?

Listen to many members of the population educated since 1980 and the standard of English is littered with errors. Over a period of time, I’ve noticed the same basic mistakes being made by people educated in, not just different schools, but different areas. Some of the many people I have listened to have at least one degree. In common with the schools, the relevant universities are scattered throughout Britain.

Surely, secondary schools and universities have a responsibility to correct any mistakes being made by primary schools?

Similarly, if the source of these basic errors is beyond its boundaries, why isn’t the education system correcting them?

Given the amount of unnecessary stress and chaos it already causes in some schools, this situation also prompts me to ask about the point and value of Ofsted.

So far, despite considering British and foreign television programmes, computer software, and other influences, I’ve been unable to identify the source of some of these errors. Perhaps your readers can help?

The following are just some of many examples: “I have spoke to John.” (I have spoken to John).

“You will be took off the system.” (You will be taken off the system).

“I’ll meet you at the train station.” (I’ll meet you at the railway station).

Correcting such errors is important. Correct use of language influences many facets of life, including social development. The English language is an essential part of who we are, and it is our joint duty to ensure we educate future generations to use it correctly.

Elements of risk

Graham Branston, Rawdon

THE tropical type of weather we are currently experiencing, with warm air, heavy skies, torrential rain with localised thunder and lightning reminds we of an old saying which is still valid ‘Fire, wind and water are our best friends and worst enemies’.

However, they do keep insurance companies busy!

Do something about railways

M E Wright, Harrogate

“Railways are a public service.” How many times have the travelling public said this, in one way or another and how many times has it been dismissed as an irrelevance by Westminster?

Fares, which are already well above those of mainland Europe for greatly inferior services, are set to rise yet again. Northern’s proposed new hit-and-miss schedules leave most stations between Harrogate and Leeds with only a half-hour service. Just before the 2015 election, the carrot of ‘possible electrification’ was dangled before us, offering a 21st century service both to Harrogate and the north western Leeds suburbs. This would also give a long-overdue fillip to the city’s proposed ‘Poundland’ upgrade of the city’s archaic public transport network.

Once again, the question arises; what are the city’s eight MPs and those from the rest of Yorkshire doing about this?

Boycott is an embarrassment

Andrew Callaway, Northowram

GEOFFREY Boycott was a great batsman. He has become extremely wealthy as a pundit and commentator by expressing moronic and frequently offensive views under cover of what he believes to be “plain speaking” or “Yorkshire humour”. In so doing, he has become an embarrassment to Yorkshire people. His racist outburst against those West Indies cricketers who have been knighted is yet another example of his conceit.

He could not complain if Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Vivian Richards and Sir Andy Roberts et al gave him a wide berth in future. And why, exactly, does he feel he deserves a knighthood?

Andrew Mercer, Guiseley.

SO Geoffrey Boycott thinks he deserves a knighthood because he raises money for charity?

Further proof the honours system needs reforming in favour of community heroes rather than the egotistical.

Try picking blackberries

Carol Lee, by email

To all those people struggling to feed their families and concerned about their kids getting enough vitamin C: go blackberrying!

Am I the only forager left? For about 80p plus some cheap icecream topping you can get four servings of delicious blackberry crumble. Bake a batch and freeze them to save on energy. Or just put some blackberries on your cereal – cost nil. Get yourself out there –take the dog – and get some fresh air into the bargain.