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Garden wildlife fills me with joy

PUBLISHED: 14:35 01 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:59 03 July 2010

I READ with a smile your report on Mr Jeckell's wood pigeon nesting on his balcony in last week's paper. It just goes to prove that the swallowing up of our fields and woodland is bringing the creatures of the countryside even closer to our gardens.

I READ with a smile your report on Mr Jeckell's wood pigeon nesting on his balcony in last week's paper. It just goes to prove that the swallowing up of our fields and woodland is bringing the creatures of the countryside even closer to our gardens.

We may moan about the housing developers but at least we have the pleasure of watching creatures we do not normally see.

I live on Beccles Road, Bradwell, and I'm sure that Bill Oddie could do a “spring watch” solely from my back garden.

I have a pair of doves nesting low down in a tree directly outside my kitchen window, oblivious to the greedy eyes of my eight cats waiting down below. I have hedgehogs, frogs, rabbits, and two fat wood pigeons, who I have unwittingly trained to fly down from somewhere to the sound of my kitchen window closing, as they know I have thrown food out for them.

I have a little yellow hammer who is fascinated by his reflection in the wing mirror of my car and spends all day clinging to it. When I had to go to work the other day he angrily flew half way down Crab Lane alongside my car; when I returned he was looking in the mirror of my son's car.

Most exciting of all, I have the nightly visitor of a fox in the garden. He is not at all fussy about his food. Spaghetti Bolognese, garlic bread, cat food, he hoovers it all up. I am slightly worried if a fox would attack a cat, perhaps someone could enlighten me. I work at Somerfield supermarket and I have seen foxes crossing the car park. I wonder if anyone else has had similar experiences to me?

ANGELA BAILEY

Beccles Road

Bradwell

AFTER watching the local news about Great Yarmouth Council writing to a pensioner informing her about her recent death, which was happily untrue, I was wondering how many thousands of pounds the council have wasted on the statue in St George's Park of St George apparently getting up close and personal with the dragon. I always thought he was supposed to kill the dragon not make love to it. If you don't believe me, take a look for yourself.

K BRADSHAW

St George's Road

Great Yarmouth

I HAVE been following the saga of the nine homes development at Winterton with great interest. Living in Belton it doesn't really concern me but my sympathies go out to the villagers of Winterton.

I wonder if the planning committee is made up of local people? I am sure the environment agency does not have the right to reclassify the designated flood area just to suit the developers.

Last year I was staying in East Riding, Yorkshire when the floods hit. We were just outside Hull which caught the worst of it and after the initial first few days meetings were called to discuss all aspects of what had happened. I attended three meetings with some colleagues and at each one the subject of building insurance came up. All the big companies attended and the subject of flood plains was raised. The general concensus was that in future, people living in the flood plains area would have difficulty getting insurance at all, and if they did it would be well into four figures!

I would suggest anyone contemplating buying one of these nine new homes on the Winterton flood plain (it is still a flood plain no mater how hard the environment agency tries to hide it), should have a long hard think about it.

I wouldn't go near the place now that natural England has announced it is going to allow the area to flood from the North Sea in the next 20 to 30 years.

G CASS,

Station Road South

Belton

I HAVE to write to agree to the letter from D Colman (GYM, April 18). I am a Norfolk person although my home town is really Norwich.

I do not think Yarmouth should join Lowestoft. Leave it as the lovely place it is. I go over there when I can. Yarmouth is so different. Just leave that to the people who like it that way. I sincerely hope the two towns are never joined up.

V E ELLINGFORD

Brior Avenue

Bradwell

THE area opposite the Greek Church in Deneside is a general rubbish dumping ground. I have three flats with three green bins that haven't been empted for at least three weeks. I rang GYBC refuse department who inform me that I need to look inside the bins to see what's inside the bins, and educate my tenants on how to dispose of their rubbish. The bins are my responsibility and if they are not used correctly I will get a fine.

After telling the girl at GYBC refuse department that the area is a general tipping area she hung up on me. Thank you GYBC.

HELEN PLANE

Main Road

Filby

THE cross roads at Hemsby Post Office has always been a minor accident black spot with just “knock for knock” accidents which never get recorded. Visibility down Ormesby Road, when coming from Yarmouth Road, was reduced and made more hazardous when vans were left parked on the garage forecourt. Now an extension is being erected on the front of the garage which, when finished, will totally obscuring Ormesby Road and means that vehicles will have to venture halfway across the main road to see if anything is coming. This is now going to become a major accident waiting to happen.

It was published that the garage had applied for permission to carry out MOTs but, to my recollection, there was no mention of an extension. Had this been done it would have enabled the villagers to have a say in this matter. Obviously the people from the planning department don't live this way and have not been out to carry out a “risk assessment” on the area. Had this been done I am certain no permission would have been given.

MRS J ROSE

Common Road

Hemsby

DURING this current debate about closing our well used post offices, I have to ask, why are all the counter positions not manned by staff at all busy times in the new office located in WH Smiths?

I have chosen to try it on several occasions, it is awful! There are long queues in a small space, when you look at the counter, there are more empty positions than manned ones! Surely, all the counters should be manned when there are queues.

It is just as bad as when it was located in the Spar shop. It beggars belief how long you will have to wait when the other branches close.

Luckily at present, my local the branch in St Peters Road is still open and run by efficient, friendly and competent staff, who I know will get my continued support and it is not the branch in WH Smith.

LYN BYFORD

Exmouth Road

Great Yarmouth

WELL done to those who gave their time to clean up a section of beach. Is it not sad that of all the people who use that beach that only a handful was bothered to get up off their backsides and do something. They are the very ones who complain that nothing is done. Who is it that wraps the faeces up and leaves it there - locals.

I was away for the last clean up but shall be there on Sunday. I urge the local people to take pride in their beach and help clean it.

KELLY SYLVESTER

Great Yarmouth

I READ with interest the letters of two of your correspondents in the last edition of the Mercury, and agree with their sentiments entirely. As residents of Caister village and keen dog walkers we find it incredible the council has the cheek to charge for the privilege of parking on the beach road car park.

It seems a long time since Prince Charles visited the new lifeboat station and the car park was swept and scraped with pot holes carefully filled. It now has more holes than a Swiss cheese and the toilets have seen much better days, whilst the bins are continually full of little sacks left by the responsible dog owners.

For much of the year the predominance of cars on this park belongs to locals paying their council tax and only on the park for perhaps half an hour whilst they exercise their beloved pet. I say to the council if you must charge us for parking on top of our rates then give us a good quality car park. You must fix the holes and empty the bins.

On the subject of dogs we also agree with the letter in last week's paper. It is about time the council and the local police take the irresponsible dog owners to task. We set ourselves up as a holiday location but too many local people fail to clean up after their beloved dogs.

I am disgusted with the state of the beach and dunes at Caister, and could name and shame some of the local offenders but they know who they are, and all of them should know better. So come on lets get the environmental rangers and the PCSOs off the streets and on the beach and clean up our act in time for the summer.

Name and address withheld

I WAS intrigued by the comment of your correspondent Mick Wynes (Letters, April 25) that Labour are perceived as stopping us from indulging in “our little pleasures”! Let us not kid ourselves Mick.

The fact that non-smokers die as well as smokers logically is true. But smokers are more likely to die younger than non-smokers and suffer more debilitating illnesses. As a smoker myself, let's be honest, we do not smoke for pleasure, we smoke because we are nicotine-junkies. What we perceive as pleasure is in fact us getting our fix. We are no better than heroin-junkies.

The only reason we do not plunge a hypodermic into our veins is because nicotine being more poisonous than heroin, would result in instant death from nicotine overdose. All smokers die younger and that is a fact. Two out of three of us will along the way suffer serious smoking related illnesses (chronic pulmonary obstructive disease, emphysema etc). One in three of us will suffer fatal smoking related illness (heart attack, stroke etc).

So let's stop kidding ourselves. If we chose to seriously self-harm then that is our choice, but we do not have the right to put others at risk from our filthy disgusting habit. If jacking up on heroin is unacceptable in a pub then so too must be jacking up on nicotine. My father also fought in world war two, including our right to kill ourselves but not for a presumed right to kill innocent others.

ROGER HAYES

Beccles Road

Bradwell

IT seems to me that Mick Wynes (Letters, April 25) has missed the whole point of the ban on smoking in enclosed public buildings. Of course we all die but it is known that smokers tend to die five years earlier the non smokers and tend to suffer many disabling and painful conditions years before they die. The smoking ban is to protect the freedom of people who used to have to work in smoky environments such as bar staff in pubs. I have no objection to Mick wanting to kill himself early of some nasty lung or heart condition as he is helping to pay my taxes but I see no reason why working people should be subject to the same conditions by secondary smoke created by smokers. I understand is more dangerous than the smoke smokers inhale through a filtered cigarette. Why does he not give up smoking then he can enjoy a pint in a clean healthy atmosphere.

DEREK BROWN

Nelson Road South

Great Yarmouth

IN response to the letter “Who really cares about the elderly?” (Mercury, April 18), I would like to say I care.

As the councillor candidate for West Flegg, I have recently pledged to support Help the Aged new “Right Care, Right Deal” campaign, which is looking towards the establishment of a social care system which does not just meet people's needs, but also supports people to have a better life and expand their opportunities.

Social care for the elderly is something which has affected my family directly, and something which I am passionate about supporting. Sometimes it may seem that people don't care, but there is a huge number of people who do. I have pledged to continue that support, as I have done in the past working with Help the Aged and the Alzheimer's Society. For more information, please visit www.rightdeal.org.uk.

KATIE JAMES

I WOULD like to congratulate David Neve and the parish council of Winterton on Sea for the hard work and time they put towards representing the village in the re-run planning application of a housing development at Empsons Loke. On the first occasion the borough council committee voted to object to the plans and then continued arguments over the possibility of appeals and financial responsibilities then they had a second vote and allowed the application.

Due to complaints as to their illegal actions they had to hold a further planning meeting on Tuesday last week and yes, you guessed it they passed the planning application. One must conclude there is no reason whatsoever for parish councils to be in existence as they are completely ignored by borough committees and that parish councils are merely puppets, given power only to report broken street lights, holes in the road and dogs' mess.

Parish councils have no power, are restricted in what they can achieve and are ignored in their knowledge of what is best for the people of the parish they represent. There is no-one in Winterton who wants these houses built in Empsons Loke so, why build them?

ROBERT ATYEO

Hillview Drive

Winterton on Sea

I AM very grateful to Roy Walding and The Mercury for re-producing the advertisement for the Great Yarmouth bathing pool, dated 1928. How ironic that 80 years later residents are being made to fight for the retention of a swimming pool in the town.

The borough council continues to publicly ignore this issue and the many letters to the Mercury.

The millions of pounds given to the town for regeneration, and the large casino licence appears to have produced an element of arrogance and superiority within the council towards those who elected them to serve. They appear to have lost touch with or simply ignore public opinion, whilst being courted by sycophantic developers all eager to profit from the riches of the large casino.

The recent six week closure of the Marina Centre swimming pool to repair roofing damaged by high winds, has proved, if proof were still needed, that many people's health would suffer if they did not have access to a pool. If any councillor is sufficiently concerned, please talk to some of these people. It can easily be arranged.

There is one theory, ie the council has already decided to have the large casino built on the Marina Centre site, and will select from the best proposal which includes a swimming pool, and will continue to ignore all letters from concerned residents, because to reply honestly would impair negotiating strength and reduce the price the council will be able to extract from the developer.

If an alternative site for a pool is eventually required, one proposal is worthy of detailed consideration ie to develop the grossly under-used south end of the Wellesley Recreation Ground to create a brand new enclosed sports and leisure complex, combining this with the existing athletics track and also the football club.

This would provide a complex in which the town would be justly proud, and with insignificant prior demolition needed to delay building. Car parking provision would not present anything like the problems at the Marina Centre. Extending the 'long-stay' car park on North Drive southwards, (at the expense of some of the remaining tennis courts, which could be relocated), is an option which could also be considered.

The JPH is working under extreme pressure to improve the health and well being of residents. It would be an utter disgrace if the GYBC undermined their work by demolishing the Marina Centre and not replacing one of the town's major assets, which provides improved health and well being for so many residents. The residents are top priority.

TONY ARCHER

Caister-on-Sea

I HAVE read two letters about the care of the elderly in Norfolk. I moved from Surrey three years ago and did care work for many years and I can tell you now the care of the elderly in Norfolk is first class. I work for a private care company and the training is first class. In Surrey we were just sent out and had to work things out for ourselves.

As for you giving medication we are only allowed to give it from a dosset box which has already been filled by the family or the chemist. I do agree we are badly paid but so are many jobs in Norfolk.

As for coming out of hospital and having to face new carers they soon build a bond with their new ones. We have people who have never had to have a carer and find it very hard to accept someone coming into their home but soon realise they need help and in time look forward to them coming in.

I hope this letter will show the other side of care work. I don't have to work but the people I look after are now my friends and I look forward to seeing them as much as they do me and I am sure it is the same for a lot of the other carers which I might add work very hard, sometimes from dawn until dusk.

S ARNOLD

Scratby


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