Sunday, 25 May 2014

The bar for 2014 has been set - HIGH!

Photo 01 - Elliot displays his cracking 3lbs 8oz Brown Trout.
The bar for 2014 has been set - HIGH!

It’s that man Fraser again, yes club treasurer Elliot Fraser was out on the loch on Saturday in what were near freezing conditions which for the end of May was very disappointing. That said however, Elliot was soon among the fish with a three quarter pounder in the boat within 5 minutes and swiftly returned. He got another three fish in the first hour but when he came across to the Bay of Plenty where I was fishing or rather blethering to Stevie Nimmo he let out an almighty roar.

Thinking he was in some kind of distress we sprinted to the source of the sound and lo and behold here was Elliot with an absolute stonker of a fish! A Brown Trout tipping the scales at 3lbs 8oz as fat as a bull in absolutely tip top condition! He had thought at first he was hanked on the bottom, but when the bottom moved he knew he was in contact with a special fish. Eventually he subdued the leviathan and had it in the bottom of the boat in a well of water waiting to be photographed.

Elliot won the heavy Trout cup last year and has now set the bar high for this year, it will take a very good fish indeed to trump his one caught yesterday. What needs to be kept in mind is that Elliot puts in the time in all kinds of conditions and duly reaps the rewards when the opportunity arises, many outings of course result in nothing more than near misses and the utterance of a series of Anglo Saxon expletives!

A great angler landing a great fish, his second best Brownie ever, it’s just as it should be! Oh and the reason for the commotion – unselfishly he wanted to return the fish alive to the loch which he did unlike some of the trophy hunters in the angling scene – Respect!

So there you have it the weight to beat this season 3lbs 8oz.

Photo 02 - Elliot's Brownie fat as a pig!
Utterly clueless!

On arriving at the lochs yesterday three vehicles were noted at the graveyard swim behind the barriers erected to restrict vehicular access! I went down to speak with them as it turns out around eight individuals many wearing high visibility vests. They said they were camping and on looking no fishing equipment was seen.

At this point a local worker phoned to say that they had been seen cutting wood with a chainsaw, when I questioned them about this they freely admitted cutting wood but it was dead wood! Certainly a huge branch of a tree that was present last week had now gone. Our sign at the roadside was lying on the grass having been pulled out but the campers insisted it was not their doing!

Of course it could easily have been carried out by persons unknown but it nevertheless begs the question - what will it take to stop these people from entering upon and setting up camp on what is essentially private land! Usually a barrier across an entrance road would suggest to most reasonable people that vehicular access is forbidden, but clearly for some this is not the case!

I will be asking the committee for approval to purchase some heavy duty posts and a quantity of concrete and reinforcing bar to concrete into the ground to further reinforce our message. The campers were asked to leave which they did without any fuss. My gut feeling was that these were not bad or stupid people however I cannot help but wonder how these people cannot deduce the meaning of non verbal signs.

On the same track over on the far side of the loch concern was expressed about the number of campers camping on the far side of the loch close to livestock and in what essentially is the occupier’s garden. There is no shortage of camping sites on the roadside and of course the Tibbie Shiels Inn has a proper site with facilities to cater for campers. Enjoying the countryside comes with certain responsibilities on this occasion these responsibilities were laid aside! There really are no excuses for camping next to livestock or in people’s gardens! We will erect a sign at the mast before the bridge at the bottom of the loch stating that no unauthorised vehicles are permitted to use the road!

Who is watching us?

I had a look at our stats for the news pages yesterday and there are some interesting points. Around 90% of our readers are from the UK with the other 10% being taken up by the USA, Canada and South Africa. A surprising number of people visit us via mobile devices with Android the largest with 11% and i phone with 2% of total views. Most users use internet explorer (46%) with Google Chrome in second place (29%) and Firefox with (14%) other browsers Safari, Bing etc make up the rest.

70% of our visits happen between 8 and 11pm on a Sunday with another 20% on a Monday at various times. 919 people visited us last month and the trend is increasing slowly with approx 8 new readers per month. From conversing with various people we have - 1 shopkeeper, 3 tackle dealers, 3 gamekeepers, 2 publicans, 1 member of the Scottish Parliament, 8 joiners, 4 engineers, 11 council workers, 5 factory workers, 4 university lecturers, 4 nurses/carers 3 company, directors, 2 bus drivers, 4 farmers, 2 welders, 1 lawyer, 3 legal assistants, 2 policemen, 2 building labourers, 1 accountant, 1 USA fishing guide, 2 fishery workers, 4 company directors, 2 gas engineers, 8 various self employed people, 1 green keeper, 1 Environment Agency Bailiff, 1 biologist, 2 electric workers, 1 ecologist, 1 computer engineer, 1 Serco prison van officer, 2 journalists and that’s just the ones that readily come to mind. A wide and varied reader base which is just great!

Photo 03 - how did the branch grow so crooked!
The wider world in my view!

As expected!

The local and European elections took place this week and at my local polling station cobwebs were evident portraying the level of activity there! Yes a huge turnout was never on the cards and in England where the local elections took place the rise of UKIP showed no signs of letting up as all major parties suffered at their hands.

Lord Snooty was given a bloody nose as the people reacted to outright bungling and crass incompetence causing them to lose over 230 seats. The puppets, again as expected were almost annihilated with the catastrophic loss of over 300 seats which is just as it should be and despite the protestations of puppet Clegg there were red faces and discontented puppets all around. Here the puppets and incompetent Tories received their just rewards for incessant deceit and persistent ineptitude!

What must be a great concern however is the poor showing of Labour in only gaining 330 odd seats when it was widely accepted they would easily reach the 500 mark. If ever there was a clear marker for ditching dithering, directionless Ed Milliband then this was it! It is obvious that the electorate cannot under any circumstances see Milliband/Balls as a credible government. At a time when Con- Dem bungling has reached crisis point with the “recovery” about to crumble they should be miles ahead in the opinion polls, but they are only marginally ahead by two points!

It is now crystal clear to wannabe Labour voters that unless there is a quick change of leadership then their votes will be cast elsewhere! It must be obvious to Labour MPs that they have no chance whatsoever of becoming the government. The outcome of the Euro’s will be further bad news for the main political parties and puppet Clegg is almost certainly bound to face a leadership challenge. In fact a group of disaffected puppet MPs have now called for puppet Cleggs resignation and this will be further boosted by the predicted lamentable performance in the Euro poll results expected later today!

My message to puppets in turmoil as to what action to take would be – Keep Puppet Clegg, it will assure your descent into oblivion which is what is required! Good riddance! Theresa May another hard line right winger “Butcher Thatcher” clone is looking for the head of Lord Snooty as more and more blue nosed Tories call for proper Tory policy in light of their pathetic results in the local elections.

It would then be prudent for Labour MPs to call for the resignation of indecisive Ed as they now see their jobs are under threat, currently Labour are unelectable! All it will take is a few pre election sweeteners from the Con – Dems directed at middle England to rub out the two point lead and plunge the country into another five years of try it and see politics with the inevitable destitution that will bring!

I personally have had enough, a Labour supporter all my life I am now going for independence, not for many of the laudable reasons mentioned by oor Eck and company although they are indeed worthy aspirations. No my aim in seeking independence is quite simply to get away from the punishing and incompetent Con – Dems. A group of Bullingdon Club posh boys completely removed from the trials of everyday life that we have to endure!

Yes a new start whereby a new fairer society may be constructed where everyone will be cared for, no more punishing the weak, disabled or working poor and a society whereby the country’s wealth is distributed in a much more equitable manner. A new start is on the horizon lets grab the opportunity and take up the challenge! Roll on the eighteenth of September!  

Sunday, 18 May 2014

A Frog that....

Photo 01 - swimming deer halfway across the loch.
A frog that....

An event in late afternoon yesterday brought the following old Chinese proverb to mind – “A frog that comes up from a deep well will be surprised by many things”! The meaning being, that when in unfamiliar territory you will encounter many new experiences.

Yesterday me Les Henderson,  Mike Christie and Les Robson were having the usual post mortem discussion covering a myriad of topics when Les Henderson pointed out a pair of Deer coming to the loch side about 100 metres upwind of us and I thought they were about to quench their thirst.

They were both Bucks and the first one carefully stepped into the water waited a few seconds then pushed off into the loch and proceeded to swim. At first I thought it to be a spell of recreation but the buck continued into the body of the loch and it became clear that he was intent on crossing the loch. The second one had become aware of our presence and decided not to cross at this time.

Photo 02 - There were 9 ducklings now only eight.
It was absolutely thrilling to watch the deer effortlessly make very good progress across the loch, they are extremely competent swimmers! In no time the swimming deer exited the lock and with a vigorous shake to remove water from his coat and toddled off up the bank. I have seen deer browsing and drinking on the loch but seeing a deer swim the half mile across the loch was a first for me. An absolute joy to see one of the secrets of nature, just one of the many pleasures afforded to real anglers, a spectacle to behold absolutely priceless!


Some deer facts you may not know – they can run at 30mph, 40mph in short bursts. A running deer can clear an 8ft fence with ease. A deer if forced to do so can swim over 2 miles to escape a predator. A kick from a deer can knock you out or cause severe abdominal trauma depending on where it kicks you. Respect!

Oh and if you are unlucky enough to hit one whilst driving the car they can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage a fact to which I can attest!

Photo 03 - Welsh Poppies
Our update on fishing guides and casting instructors!

Our first advisory page was very well received with over 1500 views in a very short time. More importantly it brought about some significant changes that will benefit all anglers who would wish to use the services of these people. We currently have proposals in hand to bring this less than satisfactory situation to an end by means of a submission to Marine Scotland through the Scottish parliamentary system.

The situation in this country continues to be an embarrassment to anglers in that currently one may operate as a fishing guide or casting instructor without having any public liability insurance, any formal qualifications, any vetting by Disclosure Scotland and any emergency first aid qualifications! As evidenced by comments received from our initial advisory page there will not be many who see the above as a satisfactory situation. If an angler comes seeking a day with one of these people and pays out nearly two hundred pounds for the “privilege” it is surely not too much to ask that if he were to suffer a cardiac arrest his guide or instructor would have some idea of actions that could potentially save his life! Booking a fishing guide should be akin to hiring say an electrician where any person with an ounce of savvy would immediately opt for one that is fully qualified and registered with an overseeing body.

Our advice if you come upon an instructor or fishing guide web site that lists no qualifications is quite simply to go and look elsewhere! No if or buts, an angler paying good money should expect a comprehensive and robust experience currently there are no regulations in place to ensure this happens! The minimum qualifications one should look for are

(1) APGAI it is very easy to check successful qualification for this award just go to the list of those who have qualified for the APGAI award if they are not listed they are not qualified! 

(2) An emergency care qualification provided by a number of agencies. You should look for a certificate that assesses competence in common medical emergencies and you should also check when the last refresher course was attended. You should expect attendance at refresher courses on a yearly basis.

(3) A certificate that certifies that the person you are dealing with is of sound past character. Full disclosure from Disclosure Scotland would be a good example of validating character.

(4) Evidence of the person holding public liability insurance should be insisted on.

Do not be afraid to write to these people and ask for the above assurances after all you are paying them! We currently do not allow any of these people to operate commercially on our lochs, it is likely that this will remain the case until regulation of these people becomes mandatory under statute!

Photo 04 - Wood Anemone
Remember that it is possible for you to have a day with a guide and catch only a few Salmon parr, but that’s just fishing albeit an expensive days fishing! As we stated on our initial advisory page local knowledge is a prime factor and if you can establish contact with a local club secretary you will gain some excellent advice free of charge and you may find this a better option.

The bottom line is this – if a guide or instructor has not the enthusiasm, will or professionalism to obtain relevant qualifications then booking such a person could cost you dearly! If for instance your day turns out to be wholly unsatisfactory then if the guide is a member of APGAI/GAIC then you have a body to which you may seek redress. If of course your guide has no allegiance to an organisation your chances of redress are poor indeed! As with all commercial transactions if you feel you have not had value for money you should insist on a refund or another day at no charge!

It reflects very poorly on Marine Scotland (the overseeing body) that they have not thought to this point in time to seek statutory regulation for these people. Similarly Visit Scotland who encourage people to come to Scotland seem content to tolerate visiting anglers to be subjected to potentially poor service with no regulation. In most other developed nations statutory regulation is mandatory as it should be!

When this situation comes about and believe me it will, anglers will have confidence in that whoever they choose is qualified to a minimum standard giving you peace of mind. Until this day however the onus is on you the hiring angler to ensure that the person you intend hiring has the relevant qualifications for your peace of mind and enjoyment of the day.

Extract modified and taken from our submission to the Scottish Parliament.


The wider world in my view!

The Pfizer carry on!

I must admit feeling a little depressed on hearing Lord Snooty pontificating on how his government is open to foreign investment. Learning nothing from the Kraft/Cadbury takeover he seems determined to allow this takeover to take place. But then what could you expect from a bunch of posh boy clowns?

Pfizer has no interest in securing long term employment or maintaining the research laboratories. A company spawned by the actions of right wing capitalists their only interest is maximising profit at any cost! Yes the more appealing aspect of this takeover bid is the wish by Pfizer to pay less tax than they currently do in the United States.

Obviously the Pfizer portfolio is diminishing the golden cheques coming in from the development and marketing of Viagra which is now open for other pharma to produce generically. Taking over Astra Zeneca gives them a host of new developments from which to produce the next wonder drug and significantly reduces its competitors. No pharmaceutical company comes with a moral and social conscience built in, profit whatever the price is their only god!

The bunging fools that are the Con – Dems need to wake up quickly and stop this takeover which will only leave this country poorer as production and research is gradually moved back to the United States. All it would take and it is a real possibility that the tax rate in the USA is lowered to compete with other countries. One politician said that any guarantee from Pfizer is not worth the paper it is written on and he is perfectly correct!

There could be a catastrophic loss of jobs as well as the loss of research establishments and employment given to sub contractors. The risks in allowing this takeover to proceed are just too great. Astra Zeneca appears to be a successful company more than capable of developing their own future. Far better to allow them to go forward on this footing than put their fate in the hands of a serial closer of companies, surely even Lord Snooty can see this!

European elections

This is a nerve ridden time for all politicians particularly for the Tories and the Lib – Dem puppets as they await crushing losses. The competition is between Labour and UKIP. It’s as if the almighty is taking retribution for past wrongs, the Tories delaying the recovery for years by strangling growth and the puppets leaving a trail of lies and deceit! Yes it’s just what they deserve; none of them have served this country well with persistent bungling and downright deceit being their bywords! A number of Lib – Dems are calling for puppet Cleggs head after what is likely to be a total wipe-out for the puppets! Roll on Thursday!

A very poor society!

Yes reported this week that the 1,000 richest people in the UK have increased their wealth by a staggering £69 Billion! Yes when the lower earning parts of society scratch around trying to feed their families by making use of charity and foodbanks the rich coin it in! This is the society the Con-Dems are creating sounds to me like a very poor society!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

It’s over or is it?

Photo 01- She has fulfilled her function a new generation created.
It’s over or is it?

It is never at the same time every year; it always varies due to a number of factors. It is of course the annual Pike spawning event that often heralds the end of a sometime fast leading to voracious hunting of prey! The fish above weighing in at 9lbs 3oz had recently deposited her collection of eggs that will bring forward the next generation of supreme predator. Her abdomen was flaccid and the vent showed a reddish tinge and some distension signifying the recent release of eggs. I remember reading that the female Pike carry around 9,000 eggs/pound in weight so the fish caught would have released around 100,000 eggs! Of course survival is low and on hatching predation among the fry is great so few survive!

She was a fine specimen that prior to deposition would have tipped the scales at around 11lbs and for a post spawning Pike she was in excellent fettle with no battle scars to be seen! She took my bait with great alacrity powering off at high speed to devour the lifeless but nutritious Mackerel. After a very pleasing struggle she was landed weighed and photographed. The spawning event however does not take place in a few days rather a few weeks so there may be some that have not yet spawned. What is clear however is that there will be a number of Pike in the loch with a single minded determination to feed, and feed hard! Time now to get those baits in the water!

How to take scales!

Click the link below to see a new Tweed Foundation video on how to take some scales from a Trout you intend returning to the water. It is not a difficult procedure and with practice it is carried out in seconds with no harm to the fish. Contrary to the words of the infamous Mr Kens who attacked us for taking scales, all anglers thinking to the future should be able to carry out this procedure. Our specific aim with this procedure is to determine the sex of our Trout in the loch and it will provide a database for retrospective studies in the future which will provide invaluable information for those who come later.

Etiquette on farmland.

It has become necessary to raise this important topic yet again following a few incidents recently. We have good relations with the farmers in the area, we want to keep it that way! The fields and the stock contained within them are the farmers livelihood and must not be interfered with in any way.

You should avoid if possible entering upon land where stock with young are present and if the beasts are cows your life may be at risk if the cows senses any danger to her young and believe me a cow can run much faster than you!

Dogs in fields of stock are forbidden as is camping in such areas and it goes without saying that cars including 4 wheel drive vehicles in any fields at any time are strictly forbidden! If we hear from a farmer of any transgression of these rules the perpetrators will be banned never to return to the banks of the loch! We will also lend our support to any prosecutions that may be initiated following such an incident! I used to think it was inherent in an angler to fully know and understand such laws of the countryside; clearly this is not the case!

If you are spotted contravening any of the above rules expect to be ejected swiftly with or without the aid of the police never to return! If you read this and are somewhat baffled by countryside rules click on the link below and carry out in thought word and deed all that it prescribes!

Photo 02 the wild primrose to be seen all around the loch.
The wider world in my view!

Suitably ashamed!

I spent some time on Friday looking over the latest report from the charity Oxfam on the state of the UK. For anyone seeking equality and freedom from poverty it is grim reading indeed! The current estimates are that there are 1.9 million adults and 800,000 children living in abject poverty in this one of the richest countries in the world!

Causative factors mentioned are deep austerity cuts, poor quality jobs such as those involving zero hours contracts or part time work, increased cost of living and wage cuts, and severe delays in paying benefit to those in need! Contrast that to the claims of the Con-Dems who claim the economy is recovering with over a million private sector jobs and reforms to the benefit system that gives those in need more!

Rather interestingly Channel 4 interviewed a group of those who had found new employment in some of these high quality jobs. The jobs were part time supermarket assistant, part time green keeper, full time shop assistant, graphic designer on zero hours contract and casual building labourer! There were many more but the above is a typical cross section. I would struggle to describe any of the above as high quality jobs even with assisted imagination!

On a similar basis those who struggle due to delayed or non payment of benefit can be quantified by those being referred to charities in order to get food to exist. The figures are absolutely shocking as reported here previously and paint the true picture of what is taking place in our present society courtesy of the detestable Con-Dems.

I find this situation to be quite intolerable, when you couple the above with how well the well off have done in the crisis manufactured by the Con-Dems. The fact that we have risen to fourth place in the most unequal countries in the world and are almost certain to slip behind South Sudan yes that’s South Sudan with the numbers of poor we are manufacturing is possibly the worst ever indictment on our current society.

In a few short years since 2008 when the numbers in poverty were at an all time low we are now in danger of moving above third world countries for numbers in poverty! Oh the Con-Dems would tell you that they are rectifying the mess left by the previous government but in reality the crisis was caused by the excesses of out of control bankers! What they won’t tell you is how they set back the recovery by initiating years of unneeded austerity effectively choking off economic growth and creating the new class of working poor!

On many occasions locally have I seen proud people shiftily entering the local pay day lender seeking a cash boost to put food on the table. Similarly on the Border news increasingly reported is the establishment of a new food bank in the region. You can believe the Con-Dems if you like but from a variety of sources the news is grim indeed! I would hope the Con-Dem buffoons are suitably ashamed!

The “High Street”!

Walking home one day this week I took some time to browse the shop fronts and display windows of the few shops still operating in the main streets. There has been much publicity about the fate of the high street in national terms and I pondered the local situation. There’s not much in the local streets, the busiest outlets probably being the local Polish shop where the proprietor keeps a well stocked shop with a variety of products and is often seen cleaning outside her shop. Other shops are the ubiquitous hairdresser, charity shop and cafe. I could not help but notice the scruffy shop fronts with flaking paint, cloudy windows and window displays that have remained unchanged for many years!

No one owes shopkeepers a living, but surely there is an onus on them and for god’s sake surely in their own interests to present a clean and cared for look to their premises. Before bleating for handouts (and many have had them) and other help they must surely do their utmost and expend a little effort to entice customers.

The internet can provide next day delivery, are usually much more competitive on prices and no hassle returns, why Amazon even send a pre paid label for returns! Given this is the case there is no hope for the High Street as a shopping centre, it is a lost cause in every town as the internet crushes all comers, but surely with a bit of pride and effort from shopkeepers the inevitable demise could at least be delayed!

By your actions....!

Yes this is the hidden plea from Puppet Clegg as the puppets call foul over supposed money targeted at free schools! After 4 years of unmitigated collaboration with the vile Tories they now want the population to believe the two parties are different! Admittedly there has been a difference all along the way insofar as outright lying is concerned with the puppets assuming the mantle of blatant liars! The Tories at least try and camouflage this aspect of their affairs!

With eleven days to go until the humiliation of the Tory puppets this is a futile attempt to get rid of 4 years of capitulation in a number of days! However although most of the electorate are peasants we still have enough savvy to pick out lies from the truth! Puppet Clegg and his band of lying puppets are on the way out for years of mistruths and downright lies and a last minute plea will make not a jot of a difference! By your actions shall ye be judged and so it will be with the puppets! Oblivion calls, good riddance!

Sunday, 4 May 2014

A rubbish day!

Photo 01 - Frank & Stevie on the Little Yarrow tree planting!
A rubbish day!

Yes our first task today was to remove the rubbish dumped by persons unknown into the Megget. The containers found consisted of six calor gas bottles the 25kg variety, two 25 litre containers that held concentrated soy sauce with Chinese markings on them and two 25 litre containers that held cooking oil. In addition to this were a large quantity of juice and mineral water bottles plus some assorted general rubbish! We previously a few months ago found 3 x calor gas bottles over at the sculptures probably from the same perpetrators these having floated directly across from the Megget water!

Speculation on the source of this illegally dumped rubbish would tend to point to a catering establishment/mobile burger van. The only possibility of tracing the fly tippers would have been through the serial numbers on the calor gas bottles but as you can see from the newspaper article reproduced last week no one seems to be bothered in the slightest!

Our water being used as a dumping ground and none of the regulatory bodies shows the slightest interest! This is an abysmal situation and one that makes a mockery of all the fine words uttered by SEPA and their like! I don’t know the effects of cooking oil/soy sauce on watercourses but the facts of the matter are that an instance of illegal fly tipping has taken place and as stated by Doreen Davies in the newspaper article this has happened before!

The perpetrators of this dumping incident now have more reason to believe that this is a safe place to get rid of their rubbish without having to pay as commercial operations must do. It could be the case that next time they would try to get rid of their used engine oil in the same manner, where does it stop? Now this is the second time dumping has taken place as mentioned in the newspaper article and it is suspected the same people were involved!

What is the point of having regulatory agencies if it turns out they are paper tigers completely unprepared even to go through the motions! The regional council actually sent someone up in a van to inspect the items dumped but he left taking none of the rubbish away! Yes both the agencies above have had their budgets slashed by the blundering Con – Dems but these agencies must be prepared to act in situations such as these, having services such as mentioned is part of the reason we pay general and council tax!

The Con – Dems have rolled back the state and this is the result and couple that with council incompetence and we have a joke scenario where nothing gets done apart from irrelevant projects pushed on by a few zealots. From the people of the area and our angling club there is a resounding vote of no confidence in these agencies it seems its DIY from now on! We have sent a mail to Doreen thanking her for her prompt action in removing these items from the water preventing a possible pollution incident. It is a serious state of affairs indeed when a member of the public has to carry out the work of the regulatory bodies, the future looks rather gloomy!

Ps there were no problems in presenting the items for recycling.

Photo 02 - The rubbish left by "anglers"!
More rubbish!

A group comprising three individuals were noted at the graveyard possibly fishing but on coming back to check their permits they were absent. Yes they had packed up in a hurry leaving in their wake all manner of rubbish! They had gathered up some rubbish and put it into a pail but this had toppled over scattering the contents everywhere! Uneaten food, tissue paper, disposable barbeque, tent pegs, carrier bags, an almost full spray tin of interior car valet foam for cleaning car seats (apparently used to stimulate a fire due to the propellant) and a myriad of bottles and among them the ubiquitous mark of a Muppet, Buckfast and MD 20/20 both get crazy quick products!
Photo 03 - Muppet juice!
We do not know if these people were fishing but on checking, none of our outlets had issued permits in the last two days. Even if they were fishing they were not anglers, anglers do not leave such rubbish! Frank Gillespie and me collected 4 carrier bags full and the pail mentioned above full of alcohol bottles empty of course!

Since we do not know their identities we cannot really ban them but let me say that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated! If angling is to move forward then we need to root out these wasters that desecrate our countryside, root out people such as the bully boy’s, people who are incapable of thinking of others, of respecting the property of others! Angling has indeed a way to go to establish a culture of appropriate behaviour, only when we have crossed this bridge will we be able to hold our heads high!

Tree planting!

Yesterday Stevie Nimmo, Frank Gillespie and me headed off to the Little Yarrow with some trees to fill in a void just before the wooden bridge at Riskinhope. This is the end of the tree planting season and our trees being planted were mostly Hazel which can tolerate very wet conditions and the leaves were bursting forth. We made very good progress in spite of some very stony ground and we soon had the area filled.

Photo 04 - A "nest" maybe a type of Gull!
Stevie suggested that we should move on to Kirkstead to carry out our annual maintenance session, Frank and I agreed. There is some tremendous growth taking place with trees bursting out of the poly protectors. However it was not all good news there were a number of fatalities in particular one variety of tree with a silver grey bark which seemed to populate the dead list!

One specimen I examined had what looked like gnawing marks at its base possibly suggestive of attack by rodents of which there are many in the area. We need to identify this species of tree as for whatever reason it is not thriving in this area. Unfortunately none of these specimens managed to get to the open leaf stage which would have made identification easier. Our only hope is to find a tree with similar bark in one of our other plantations and identify this.

Photo 05 - There's a tree in there somewhere!!
Some of the trees were found to be completely smothered by rough grass yet still were thriving. We cleared all the vegetation within the tubes to give our trees the maximum opportunity to spout forth and flourish and on over two hundred trees this was back breaking work! At the same time we hammered in stakes straightened tubes and removed tubes and stakes made redundant.

I think we will look to replacing the trees lost with Willow whips which we can source easily from the banks of the loch. It was hard work, but we all agreed time well spent, with lads like Frank and Stevie there can only be one direction for the club - onwards and upwards! To Frank and Stevie yet again the club is indebted to you both!

The wider world in my view!

The Royal mail fiasco!

It’s reared its head again, the huge loss to the taxpayer caused by puppet Cable and minister without a clue Gideon Osborn. These two fools rushed through the privatisation of the Royal Mail which should never have taken place in the first place and sold shares at £3.30 and now they stand at over £5.30! Yes a shambles if ever there was one, just another blunder in the seemingly never ending series of blunders perpetrated by the bungling Con – Dems that ends up hitting the working man in the pocket! In total the loss to the taxpayer £750 million not a lot in terms of Con _ Dem bungling!

However it seems that underneath the front page bungling more sinister actions have taken place much of which only recently came to light. According to The Independent, Daily Mirror and the Daily Record minister without a clue Gideon Osborn’s best man has profited hugely from dubious dealings! Yes Peter Davies close friend of the clueless chancellor has seen his firm boost its profits by £36 million from the sell off!

You couldn’t make it up; his old pal’s firm were one of 16 firms given priority in purchasing shares on the basis of being long term stable investors! True to form twelve of these investors sold their shares only days after the sell off making huge gains from their long term investment! Postal workers who were given shares must hold on to them for at least 3 years before selling! You will of course see a recurring theme here in one law for the rich and one for the poor!

This is how a Tory government works, it has always been their way to favour the affluent and punish the poor! Puppet Cable was hoodwinked not really a difficult task and is only guilty of crass incompetence! Minister without a clue Gideon Osborn and ultimately Lord Snooty are guilty of criminality! Of course when Snooty was questioned on this he parried the criticism off by spouting about the free market etc! He has got off with it purely by the actions of Milliband’s weak opposition! Any competent opposition would have at the very least got a public inquiry into the whole business!

This is the madness of Westminster with lying, corruption and staggering incompetence taking place on a daily basis. We need to exit this circus and focus on Hollyrood for the sake of all the people in Scotland, vote for independence! Let’s take charge of Scotland’s destiny!
A thinking newspaper!
I refer to the Sunday Herald which "came out" today and laid its cards firmly on the table in favour of independence! I bought this paper today for the first time and was impressed by what I read. In short they said the referendum was "the chance to remake our society in a more equal, inclusive, open and just way". They got it in one! Respect!!