Blight of litter-strewn hedgerows

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I recently overheard a conversation about the lack of colour in the winter hedgerows now that the summer growth has died down and the birds have plucked the last berries.

Nonsense! What about the beautiful, metallic browns, greens and yellows and the shimmering silver of the numerous discarded empty beer cans? And the multi-coloured crisp packets and plastic bottles with their red, green and blue caps and eye-catching labels?

Are they blind to the crisp, white polystyrene fast-food trays, trapped in the thorny fingers of the hawthorn, and the many other colourful items, obviously thrown from the windows of passing vehicles? Where there’s a lay-by, these can be counted in their hundreds, decorating the verges and adjacent fields with splendid vibrancy.

A young British soldier wrote a short verse describing Stobs prisoner-of-war camp during the First World War. The verse contained the line ‘And to bonnie bonnie Scotland, a damnable disgrace’. Looking along the beautiful valley which played host to Stobs camp, it’s hard to believe his description. However, if he’d have been writing about some of the 21st century hedgerows in the lanes around Hawick, those very words would have been a perfectly fitting testimony.

BILL ATHERTON

I WOULD like to thank the couple who helped me across the Lawson Bridge on Sunday at around 2.15pm. Due to the water being higher than usual, I panicked when I approached it and could not have done it on my own.

W. GRAHAM

AS A resident of Mansfield Road, I would like to thank Councillor Stuart Marshall and Davey Elliot for once gain raising awareness of the disgraceful condition of the Eastfield Road flats.

For many months now these flats have been a haven for antisocial behaviour, with the constant presence of police and community wardens. The housing associations responsible for this concrete jungle must surely sit up and take heed of Mr Marshall’s calls for demolition before someone is seriously hurt.

We have had to put up with this eyesore for many years and in the past have had councillors and MPs tell us that it was an issue which was too difficult to resolve because of tenants’ rights etc.

Well now there are no excuses, because there are no tenants. So come on, let’s get the bulldozers in and make this area a much safer place to be.

L. BELL

AFTER reading Provost Zandra Elliot’s comment in last week’s paper regarding motorists turning right onto Mart Street, may I ask why police vehicles are allowed to turn right at this junction? I’ve seen them do this many times before. Surely it should be one rule for all.

VICKY LANE

WITH reference to last week’s Soap Box column by Councillor Ron Smith, it was interesting to read that he believes abstaining on voting might be wrong. Even more interesting was that he concluded his article by abstaining on any commitment as to whether he is for or against ‘free lunches!’.

Maybe Councillor Smith will join his colleague, Councillor Davie Paterson, who, after a remarkable U-turn which took him from a strident defence of his “free denners” to following the lead of the SNP group and boycotting the meals. Actions speak louder than words though and it will be interesting to see what happens at lunchtime at the next council meeting at Newtown.

JEAN BRUCE

SNP local branch