Sunday, 3 August 2014

A place of beauty or a rubbish dump?

Photo 01 - The scene as we found it on Saturday!
A place of beauty or a rubbish dump?

It seems like a strange question as there is no doubt whatsoever that the area surrounding the lochs is a place of great natural beauty. However a find on Saturday have us wondering if indeed it is a local dump for all manner of rubbish. Photo 01 & 02 above shows the latest batch thrown off Megget Bridge sometime between Friday evening and Saturday morning!

Of great concern to us was that 3 of the containers contained hazardous chemicals marked as dangerous to the environment and aquatic life! Yes Sodium Hypochlorite, a serious bleach used in the textile industry and white diesel along with containers containing unmarked liquids one with fat globules in suspension. There was no lid on one of the Hypochlorite containers so leakage into the Megget may have taken place!

Photo 02 - Missing are 2 gas bottles and a bag full of assorted plastic!
Removed from Megget were 3 calor gas bottles, one balloon gas bottle, two x 25 litre hypochlorite containers one 25 litre diesel container, 4 x 20 litre fat? containers. 12 assorted flavour two litre juice bottles 2 x two litre milk containers some polystyrene packaging material and some confectionary wrappers.

This is the third such incident where all manner of rubbish is thrown off Megget Bridge usually at the weekend. Clearly we are dealing with some seriously maladjusted people here who care nothing for the property of others or the damage they do to the environment! Obviously these people have no moral compass, no understanding of right and wrong, basically the type of person that is of no benefit to civilised society! This is the third such incident involving the tipping of hazardous containers in around five months and the common theme is gas canisters and cooking fat containers suggesting a mobile burger van type establishment.

Photo 03 - The warning labels on the hypochlorite containers!
We will not dispose of the rubbish at this time as to have the incident recorded on an official level we have to go through the procedure of notifying SEPA only for nothing to be done, and contact the police where hopefully at least the incident will be recorded. There are batch numbers on the hypochlorite containers and gas bottles which should allow authorities to trace at least the point of sale! I would stake money on the return of these fools to dump yet another load and again we will have to clean up after them! We can only hope no hazardous chemicals are involved, yesterdays find was a bit of a shock!

It is a desperate situation where the potential for possible damage is great and unless the culprits are caught in the act very little can be done. From a fishery point of view we are under a huge amount of pressure due to the poaching incidents and a pollution incident would be the last straw. If you were in the area on Friday evening between the hours of 10.30pm and 07.00am Saturday morning and saw a vehicle (probably a van) parked on Megget Bridge please get in touch. Thanks to Ian Fernyhough for helping us get rid of the rubbish your help was much appreciated!

The chemicals dumped were indeed hazardous to our aquatic environment and may have caused serious adverse effects if a spillage took place. One of the hypochlorite drums was without a cap so leakage could have taken place. Most of us will have sodium hypochlorite in our homes at a strength of around 2-5% household bleach. We used to use it at 15% strength to impart a non shrink finish to wool and believe me it is very corrosive and a strong oxidiser!

In short hypochlorite will wipe out all aquatic life until the amount of organic matter degrades the chemical until only salt is left which is why it is used as a household bleach. By the time the hypochlorite gets to the treatment plant it has all been converted to ordinary harmless table salt! It does however wipe out all living organisms whilst active.

Photo 04 - the now usual selection of gas bottles that end up in Megget!
Diesel effects on watercourses are well known and the effects of a spill allow a film of the oil to cover the water preventing the normal exchange of gasses particularly oxygen from taking place. If this is prolonged then organisms begin to die and then fish. It does not look like a large spill has taken place but this persistent dumping of harmful chemicals must stop!

Fly fishing for Pike!

What has become apparent over the last few months is the large increase in anglers trying out this method of Pike fishing. Club members Fraser Patterson and Steven Hodge leading the way. Yes yesterday they managed 4 pike with the best at 7lbs using purpose tied Pike flies luring the Pike out of the reeds with spectacular takes on the top of the water. There is some good and prolonged sport available using this method so why not give it a go! To find out more about this exciting branch of the sport click the link below to the Pike Fly fishing Association.

Fishing week at ALDI

Needing fishing clothing, footwear, rods, reels, boilies and rigs check out the ALDI site, my personal favourite, polarised glasses at £3.99 now hows that for a price, I bought these last time round and they are ace! The gear is on sale now so you need to be quick!  Gone are the days when ALDI sold tat, now the sixth largest supermarket in the UK displacing Waitrose, they are growing at a phenomenal rate!

Photo 05 - Rain, what rain, it was empty yesterday!
The wider world in my view!

The Commonwealth Games.

The closing ceremony takes place tonight and early indications are that it will be a musical cracker! We have been treated to three weeks of unparalleled sport leading to the discovery of some great talent and a record medal haul for Scotland. Thirteen year old Erraid Davies the youngest medal winner ever must surely have gladdened hearts with her performance in the 100m breaststroke. A reluctant celebrity with modesty her byword will remain a Scottish hero for the rest of her life and rightly so!

Athletic’s contender Scot Lynsey Sharp’s silver medal in the 800m was absolutely fantastic given she was on a drip just hours before the race for dehydration caused by nausea and vomiting! A year of operations and twenty courses of antibiotics would surely see most athletes throw in the towel but not Ms Sharp. Grit and determination saw her claim the prize she had long sought. And blind athlete and local girl Libby Clegg who hails from Newcastleton thrilled the crowd with a faultless run with her seeing guide, each and everyone of them a star for Scotland! Respect due!

Yes the games have welcomed hundreds of thousands of overseas visitors to experience Glasgow and its people. Praise was universal for the warm welcome extended by the people of Glasgow probably the UKs friendliest city! Trade opportunities were aplenty as visiting spectators wined, dined and sought out souvenirs of a memorable games well named the friendly games.

Club treasurer Elliot Fraser took his family along to the weightlifting and his opinion was absolutely fantastic! The atmosphere was electric with every competitor being warmly welcomed and heartily applauded for their efforts! He did comment however the food prices were a tad rich with a venison burger coming in at £7.00! Overall however the games have been an unmitigated success irrespective of the alleged comment made by Usain Bolt!

After 4 years of Con – Dem punishment particularly for disabled people as they were crippled by bungling, clobbered by the Bed tax and hit again with benefit cuts. To see them on a par with able bodied athletes, a master stroke by organising officials showing Scotland on a different level altogether with fairness and equity their guiding principle! This was an opportunity to showcase Glasgow and Scotland and both have emerged with a high shine. Doesn’t get much better tune in to see the finale tonight! To the city of Glasgow and its people - Respect!

Will we never learn?

As the death toll of innocent civilians tops 1,700 in the Palestinian Israeli conflict there is still no realistic possibility of a lasting ceasefire! It seems this conflict is intractable with both sides have legitimate claims to back their actions. In an all out war Israel would level Gaza in less than 24hrs such is their US supplied firepower,we have to hope this is not the end scenario.

Most commentators now agree that Israel has ventured beyond what would be termed as an appropriate response. Israeli casualties are as low as thirty whilst the Palestinians edge ever closer to annihilation. The United Nations must step in and put in place a peace keeping force and the resumption of peace making talks. Even then it will not be easy but it must be done. How can anyone stand by and see the senseless loss of life climb ever higher. Most agree war is not the answer to problems rather it creates even more. It’s high time both these countries got round the table and started talking with open arms and minds lest we never learn!  

Salmond vs. Darling!

Not the debate which should have taken place, that was Lord Snooty vs. Eck Salmond but a poor second choice! Yes Tuesday evening on the STV we will hear the views of the Yes Scotland and Better Together campaigns from the horses mouths. Salmond of course is odds on favourite to win the debate but Alastair Darling is no fool and a much tougher proposition than Lord Snooty would prove to be!

For those who are undecided this will give some meat to chew on as hopefully flaws in the Better Together campaign are exposed. It should be a spectacle of cut and thrust debate suitable for all people as points are won and lost. There is a huge number of people undecided and whilst ideally decisions should be made on independent reading this will suffice as a quick view decision maker! Scotland is facing the biggest decision in its history, I dearly hope the country has the courage to grasp the opportunity to start afresh and embrace independence! Let’s get rid of the Westminster bunglers and vote for independence!

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