Stornoway Gazette Letters 12.12.13

This stunning image of Luskintyre beach was taken by Margaret Ferguson
This stunning image of Luskintyre beach was taken by Margaret Ferguson

No interest

In the matter of the Stornoway High poll lately conducted by Lewis Presbytery, I find it odd that when 121 members of the congregation declined to participate in the poll it has nevertheless been assumed that these 121 individuals wish to remain and be ministered to by the Church of Scotland.

It’s more likely that the individuals concerned had neither the interest nor the courtesy to return their ballot papers, which makes this 121 number of no consequence whatsoever.

What is of consequence are the 236 folk at Stornoway High who very properly voted to leave the Kirk over its ordination policy on homosexual ministers, and whereas when next they meet Lewis Presbytery are apparently to consider where to go from here, I think the 236 would be well-advised to vote now with their feet.

Keith Fernie

8 Drakies Avenue,

Inverness IV2-3RW

Greylag geese

Recently we have been hearing a huge clamour from the ever increasing flocks of Greylag Geese.

Rushing outside, it became clear the mayhem had spread miles along the coast,with several packs rising in abject panic.

Not a one-off since this recurred over several days, the cause of the pandemonium was a juvenile white tailed Sea Eagle.

Having witnessed golden eagles overflying geese without reaction for many years, it would seem logical to suggest that the Sea Eagles are predating on the Greylags.

Whilst l am aware they do take smaller geese on the lower isles, these are a sight heftier a challenge, and l have yet to witness an actual kill.

Is it possible that they have been taking young goslings and juveniles to date,hence the reaction?

Will it transpire that as they acquire a taste, will harsher winter conditions force them into taking on fully grown adults?

This would be beneficial in controlling an ever increasing out of control population, with no existing predator, and maybe deflect damage away from lambs in spring, especially if this were to lag behind slightly, with hatching.

D Roberts,

Galson farm,

South Galson

Diabetes doesn’t need to spoil 
your Christmas

As preparations and excitement for Christmas grows, some of your readers who have diabetes will realise that Christmas is not as straight forward as they would like it to be.

For most people, Christmas is a time for treats and a bit of over-indulgence and with the thought that any extra pounds gained can be lost in the New Year.

However, for someone with diabetes, Christmas is a time of temptation, unpredictable or delayed meals, extra nibbles, excitement and stress, all of which can lead to varying blood sugars.

We recognise that Christmas can be a difficult time for people who have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, especially the first Christmas with diabetes, so we have an information pack which includes our booklet. ‘Diabetes – Everyday Eating’ and our ‘Christmas Tips’.

These give various options for Christmas dinners, a recipe for homemade, lower carbohydrate and calorie Christmas pudding and many other tips to make life a little easier over the festivities.

We are happy to send out this Information Pack free of charge to any of your readers to help them over Christmas.

To obtain this information, your readers can contact IDDT on 01604 622837 or email

We do hope you will let your readers know how we can help.

Martin Hirst

Insulin Dependent

Diabetes Trust [IDDT]

Thanks from NSPCC Scotland

I would like to say a personal thank you to all of your readers, who have helped support NSPCC Scotland throughout 2013.

While the year ahead is likely to bring significant change, whatever the outcome of the independence referendum, there is much more that we must do to make the lives of children here better, safer and happier.

In recent months and years child abuse has been brought to the forefront of the public consciousness, however the relentless suffering of so many children across this country demonstrates that we have much further to travel.

For many children, life is miserable, frightening, and dangerous. They are denied their most fundamental rights from the earliest days, when abuse and neglect causes profound harm - damage that lasts a lifetime but, in too many cases, is invisible.

This year we launched our Now I Know appeal, to enable our ChildLine Schools Service to visit every primary school in Scotland once every two years.

We estimate that over 9,000 primary school children in Scotland are suffering from abuse and neglect right now.

80 per cent of children on child protection registers in Scotland are under the age of 11, yet only 14 per cent of children contacting the charity’s ChildLine service are this young.

We need to help younger children recognise abuse and empower them to seek help if they ever need it.

We also know that many adults are still not sure where to turn to or how to report their suspicions, so we would urge anyone who has a concern about a child to contact the NSPCC’s helpline for advice and support about any issues relating to child abuse, past or present.

Contact us on 0808 800 5000 or email

These are just some of the many steps we’re taking to protect vulnerable children.

We have made significant strides to help children this year, but still need the Scottish public’s support to continue our work.

Visit to find out more, and discover the many ways you can help.

Wishing all your readers a safe and happy New Year.

Matt Forde,

Head of Services for

NSPCC Scotland