Slurry threat

REGARDING the badger cull – we are constantly told about increased farm biosecurity measures to prevent bovine TB. Recent studies show that cattle slurry can be a major vector for the disease. How is it then, that anaerobic digester operators appear to be importing farm slurry and waste from multiple holdings, mixing it in the anaerobic digester plant, and then sending the cocktail out again as a product to be spread far and wide across Herefordshire farmland?

If one load of slurry coming in is contaminated with bovine TB, then the whole anaerobic digester plant will become infected. Furthermore the huge amount of haulage of slurry occurring in West Herefordshire due to these plants is contaminating all the roads with a bovine TB vector source, and many of these roads and verges are routinely used by wildlife. This seems like utter madness at a time when the county’s badgers are being systematically shot, and underlines the complete lack of science behind this cull.


Hon secretary, Golden Valley Fish and Wildlife Association Peterchurch

Poor driving

SINCE we lost the bridge at Eastham, understandably we have seen an increase in the volume of traffic using Orleton Lane and Rhyse Lane to drive to Great Witley and Tenbury respectively.

Unfortunately, the standard of driving of some individuals, who presumably don’t know the area well, using these narrow lanes leaves a lot to be desired. Clearly some do not seem to realise that an almost single track road with blind corners cannot be treated like a normal road.

Apart from excessive speed I have lost count of the number of times I have come face-to-face with an oncoming car where the driver sits and looks bewildered expecting you to do something, obviously reluctant to reverse themselves! If people took more notice of the road they might realise when they are passing an adequate passing place which may only be a few yards behind them instead of expecting me to reverse back 100 yards! I am amazed at the size of some vehicles using these roads. Only this week I came face-to-face with a farmer towing a trailer of sheep closely followed by an ambulance, complete with flashing lights.

Over the weeks I have encountered cyclists, runners and somebody out riding with a child pulling a riderless horse behind them. In the current situation some of these people are risking a potential accident. It has to be said that in these special circumstances routine cutting of the hedges would help visibility. In the final analysis we all hope that the powers that be will pull their fingers out and re-build the bridge to 21st century specifications sooner rather than later.


Eastham MP is wrong

I WRITE in response to the prominent article in the Hereford Times of September 15 – “Badger Cull Backed by MP”.  I am afraid that your wide readership will be misled by Mr Wiggin’s comments which are in parts inaccurate and lacking any detailed references.  In the recent Parliamentary debate he dismissed the idea that vaccination could be an alternative to culling as unfortunate and unfair ‘given the evidence’ – what evidence?

The Conservative government has chosen the expensive blunt tool of culling to pacify the frustrated farmers who are losing some of their cattle to bTB.  Perhaps if they had their time over again they would choose another route.  I suggest that if all the money and effort had been put into a national vaccination programme for both cattle and badgers then we would be moving in the right direction to reduce and hopefully eradicate bTB.The government chose to cherry-pick only those little bits of research which support their culling policy and ignore all other data.  A look at the Statistics of recent years start with the Krebs trials carried out between 1998 and 2005 to establish whether or not culling badgers would help control bTB. In total 11,000 badgers were killed and all were thoroughly tested. Of these, 1,545 (13.8 per cent) were found to be carrying bTB and 166 (1.1 per cent) were infectious. In every survey for bTB in badgers there have never been more than 25 per cent carrying the infection and most of these were not infectious.  At the end of the Krebs trial, an independent group of scientists concluded that culling badgers would make no meaningful difference to the control of the disease in cattle.

The government chose to ignore this advice and authorised two culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire in 2013.  Additional culls then took place in 2014 and 2015.  In total 3,943 badgers were killed in Somerset, Gloucestershire and Dorset at a cost of £7,262.21 per badger to the police and the government (Sources: House of Commons Library and Wildlife Trusts).  Mr Wiggin states that the badger cull protects cattle and healthy badgers. However, several hundreds of badgers will be shot in Herefordshire of which at least 75 per cent will be perfectly healthy and killed to no purpose. In addition, none of the 3,943 dead badgers referred to above were tested for bTB after they had been shot. This would have been an ideal opportunity to gain more insight in the size of the problem in our local counties but was ignored.

LES HARDY Leominster

We can help

IT WAS with great sadness that I read the articles on local suicides in your issue of September 22.

At Herefordshire Samaritans, we are keenly aware of the higher-than-average suicide rate in the county and last year we received more than 30,000 contacts from people going through hard times.

Around the clock, every day of the year, Samaritans offer confidential and non-judgemental support.

Anyone struggling through difficult times, anyone who is in distress or in despair, perhaps even leading to thoughts of ending their life, can contact us by phone, e-mail or face-to-face.

However, difficult those thoughts and feelings are, knowing that we care and that we will listen to whatever a caller wants to tell us, can make all the difference.

Contact Samaritans by calling us free on 116123, e-mail or visit the Samaritans Centre at 44a Berrington Street, Hereford.


Director Herefordshire Samaritans

Action needed

I WAS pleased to see Jim Sandford’s article in Hereford Times, September 22, on the state of cricket in Herefordshire and, like him, feel that action must be taken before it is too late. I was a founder member of Almeley CC in 1952 and I am pleased to say that due to dedicated officials and players, the club is still strong and currently plays in the GB Liners Marches League Division Two.

Sadly, we have lost teams over recent years and some others are only just keeping going. When we started we had neighbouring teams to play like Titley, Pembridge, Golden Valley and Eardisland, etc, which of course, then were then all friendlies.

To hear now that Hereford has only one team is truly shocking. I hear that the earlier start was done so that the players could finish earlier. But, if that is the case, why not play, say, over 40 overs instead of 45?

We must do all we can to encourage people to play – cricket is the best game in the world and, of course, to finish in the pub afterwards is the bonus.

Well done Jim – let’s hope more people will listen.


Founder, Member and Past President of Almeley CC Oakland Eardisley

Phone moan

YARPOLE is only a stone’s throw from Kingsland where we are also suffering phone problems at the hands of BT. Having waited 12 months for the BT pole opposite our house on Hereford Lane near Mortimers Cross to be replaced on September 7, we are now experiencing a bad connection.

This also applies to the broadband which fades in and out at will. We also cannot use our mobile phone unless we go outside.

Open Reach has installed a fibre broadband control box on the main road recently as they have in many parts of the village, but we have been told we will not be connected down our lane.

We travelled through Somerset last week and commented on the large number of areas where Open Reach had holes in the road. At this rate the whole of Great Britain could soon be suffering the same fate.

MRS J FOYLE Kingsland Leominster

Still waiting

IT REALLY is disheartening to read the constant complaints levelled at BT for their inadequate phone and broadband provision and I’m afraid I can only add to their woes.

We have had superfast broadband connected to our property for three months and just awaiting the final indoor connection and switch-over.

In the meantime our contract with the previous provider has expired and we have been disconnected from broadband.

Sky were very patient and understanding of our situation but say that BT have control of the line. BT have escalated our plight to Executive Complaint Level with a promise of resolution from the chairman’s office, still to no avail.

In the meantime, we enjoy the relative peace and quiet of having no broadband service.


Look at maps

RE: Amanda Preece’s letter (Poor Spelling, Letters, HT September 29), I am sure that someone raised the same question in your pages previously.

The answer possibly may be found on Isaac Taylor’s 1757 map of Hereford where the south-western city gate is described as “Fryers Gate”. On John Speed’s map of 1610, it was described as “Friers Gate”. Neither of these spellings is correct according to modern usage.

Spelling was not consistent in previous times, and only became standardised fairly recently as more people became literate –; viz. my family name being spelt in the baptism registers of St Martin’s Birmingham as “Pool” pre-1815 and “Poole” thereafter, I presume as a result of a change in cleric, followed by my ancestors learning to spell their own name.

I recommend to your readers “The Story of Hereford” edited by Andy Johnson and Ron Shoesmith, Logaston Press, 2016; which contains both of those maps and is a thoroughly interesting read.

DR THOMAS POOLE Stoneycross Marden

Oh, the irony!

I NOTICE that a letter in the Hereford Times of September 29 from Amanda Preece of Hereford complains of poor spelling in respect of “Fryers Court”. She asks “so whose decided to spell these luxury flats as FRYER, etc”.

You couldn’t make it up, really. Could you?.....

GARTH LAWSON Cleeve Orchard Hereford

Collect cash

I’D LIKE to send a heart-felt message of thanks to all your readers who took part in Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life event at Hereford Leisure Centre.

And I’d also like to reassure anyone who hasn’t returned their sponsorship money yet that there’s still time.

More than 850 mums, grans, daughters, sisters, aunts, workmates and friends united in Hereford with one mission in mind – to beat cancer sooner.     One in two of us will get cancer at some point in our lives. But thanks to advances in research, the good news is more people are surviving than ever before.

And that’s why we need everyone who took part to take the vital last step by collecting their sponsorship money – whatever the amount – so that our scientists, doctors and nurses can transform their passion into progress and save more lives.

You can pay your sponsorship money in online, by phone, by cheque or in person at a Cancer Research UK shop. Just to find out more.

SIMON BURLEY Event Manager Hereford Race for Life

Reject road

1950s suburbia and new towns like Milton Keynes were built around the motor car, the cities of now and the future need to be built around efficient, low-emitting mass transit and people-powered machines. Hereford has the opportunity to stop this inner ring road and go for a modern approach to town planning and transport.

Road construction in the modern age is self-defeating, the more roads you build the more cars use them. Break the cycle and move to a new way of living in cities.

Hereford is a beautiful city and attracts good economic income as a result. More roads will just add more pollution and less attractiveness.

Think positively in terms of building Hereford as a modern city for people, good health, and very pleasant surroundings.

Let’s look around, In Bristol they’re using bikes, in Milton Keynes they’re using self-drive electric pods, in Nottingham they’re using electric trams and in Hereford, we still have time to stop the inner ring link road and think creatively.

In Hereford, we need more bike lanes, small quick electric buses, broader and more pleasant pavements/walkways, and a network of light small electric trams.

If we’ve got £42 million let’s spend it wisely.


Excellent care

RECENTLY our father passed away in Hereford Hospital, Monnow Ward. The care he received was excellent, compassionate and dignified.

We cannot praise the nursing staff highly enough. Everyone involved in his care – doctors, nurses and catering staff – could not do enough for him or the family.

It is quite usual to hear negative things about Hereford Hospital, but our experience was the opposite.