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    It is a privilege to have birds of prey in our city

    NewsBirds of Prey NewsWednesday 30 May 2012
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    Birdtrader

    The spectre of birds of prey threatening our songbirds and attacking racing pigeons is raised by Graham Foster (Letters, May 16).

    This perennial subject is based on a misunderstanding of basic ecological dynamics.

    Predators do not control the number of prey animals. It is the population levels of prey that determine how many predators there are.

    In Nottingham there are large numbers of feral pigeons and, within a relatively small radius of the city, the countryside contains a vast range of wild birds on which the peregrines can feed.

    The RSPB estimates there are only 1,400 breeding pairs of peregrine falcons in the UK and we are lucky enough to have two based in our city centre which we are able to observe.

    Regarding the constantly made accusation that peregrines and other birds of prey kill racing pigeons. They may kill some, but you only have to look at a sample of pigeons in any town centre to see that some of them have rings on their legs.

    Many racing pigeons decide that the racing life is not for them and join their feral cousins. Pigeon breeders often, wrongly, blame falcons for their losses. Some of these errant birds may, however, end up being eaten by urban peregrines.

    MARK GLOVER

    Burton Road

    Carlton

    AS most readers will know, advertising helps to pay for the production of television programmes and the publication of newspapers and magazines, of which the latter is the least intrusive and less annoying way companies attempt to get their message in the public domain.

    But how many readers are constantly bombarded by telephone calls and texts throughout the whole day and night by companies promoting services for reclaiming mis-sold PPI or representing you following claim for an injury, better referred to as ambulance chasers?

    How much is wasted clearing answering machine, deleting texts or even answering the telephone to such calls? How many of these calls and texts disrupt attempts by family and friends to communicate?

    The Information Commissioners Office recently stated that it wanted the public to note telephone numbers and companies which constantly intrude our lives to the point of annoyance.

    Even our lifelines, our mobile phones, are bombarded constantly with text messages to beyond annoyance.

    With the recent floatation of social network company Facebook, one asks how they are going to retain members, whilst increase it advertising 1ten-fold to make the estimated profits expected to satisfy investors?

    How many readers actually record their favourite television programmes or films for the ability to skip the intermissions, sorry adverts with the remote control, of which I have to confess being an occasional offender, although the natural world outside of the city has much more excitement and interest.

    Has this heavy practice of intrusion through technology partially led to a world led by consumerism, where people feel insecurity or social isolation if they don't have a certain product or designer label?

    TONY MORRIS

    Manor Green Walk

    Carlton

    Like so many pubs in St Ann's, the old "Wessie" the Westminster Abbey Hotel, had an integral role to perform within the local community.

    It was a venue for weddings, funerals, in fact most family occasions, few of which could be accommodated in the predominantly terraced housing occupied by residents.

    For many drinkers it was a escape from their often overcrowded living environments, for others simply social meeting place for the working class community.

    Seaside trips, darts teams, skittles, flower shows and an Easter hat parade were some of the activities of the pub. The weekend entertainment was usually a piano player/vocalist .

    Residents would dress smartly to go to the pub, which had areas with long gone identities, a smoke room, the snug (off sale) and the backyard, an adventure playground for children

    Men would queue, discretely, awaiting the 12 noon Sunday opening, watching with pride whilst being entertained by the local youngsters marching home on church parade, invariably many drinkers returning to a cold dinner or skin-covered plate left in the oven to be rewarmed over a pan of hot water. Thank goodness for microwaves!

    Newly built, the Westminster, close to the old "Wessie" site, still provided a link for the local community many still coming to terms with the changed St Ann's.

    St Ann's and the immediate areas lost many pubs during the slum clearance and gradually many of those surviving the clearance, the Westminster now potentially joining the long list of lost pubs once on St Ann's Well Road.

    The Gardeners on Wells Road now gone, with the Bellevue and Porchester on Woodborough Road, both long-established pubs lost in recent years. along with the surviving Lord Alcester on St Matthias Road.

    Still, some will say of this continued erosion of our cultural heritage, "that's progress"!

    PAUL KEY

    Castleton Avenue

    Arnold

    I JUST read your article re. various "scams", especially on the elderly.

    Recently I faced a caller at the door purporting to be working on behalf of the council, insulating homes.

    I wondered if the chap telling the truth so when I got rid of him (my home has already been insulated) I endeavoured to phone the council.

    What an uphill job that turned out to be. The dreaded automated voice telling me to try later or to contact the internet (not on it). I could not get any joy.

    Is there a quick way' finding out as to whether a door knocker is actually above board, I wonder?

    JOSÉ P LLOYD

    Elms Park

    Ruddington

    IT is empowering to know that there are still people who have a sense of consideration, honesty and kindness, despite the present financial downturn.

    My sincere thanks to whoever handed in my bank card at Sherwood. I had not realised it was missing until it was returned through the post at the weekend.

    Whoever you are, your thoughtful actions are humbly appreciated.

    J SEVERN

    Danethorpe Vale

    Sherwood

    I WANT to say hank you to Ward E16, West Block, QMC doctors, nurses, staff and British Red Cross and Care in the Community agencies for the wonderful supportive help during a recent episode of ill health. So very much appreciated. My grateful thanks.

    SHEILA WELCH Charlecote Drive

    Wollaton

    Source: This is Nottingham

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