Saturday, March 28, 2009

Letter to the Gurn from Joe Telfer - '...and some that have got me irate yet again!'

Dear Gurn,

The Gurn has been on the ball this week covering many subjects, and some that have got me irate yet again !I will comment under this subject but will touch on others as they are related.
Last year you may recall that there was a serious pollution incident just as the swan was entering the harbour for the first time with the cygnets. Thanks to myself and Robert the skipper of Osprey, a tragedy was narrowly averted.I said then that accidents do happen and that it would be a good idea to have a few knapsack sprayers with detergent ready and waiting to deal with any future oil spills.
I was assured by highland regions head of harbours that the Nairn harbour master had all the equipment needed to deal with any pollution incident, and it was at his discretion as to how to deal with any incident.It is obvious that the response yet again is insufficient to deal with the latest incident.The female Swan (pen) is laying right at the moment and is busy picking algae, grass shoots, and shell silt, minerals etc, to produce her eggs. Some of this she gets from the harbour walls pontoons and harbour base. Today she is subject to contamination thanks to the insufficient harbour authority response!
This leads me to the next related subject regarding mechanised response to the shingle beds in the river estuary. I have to ask what is the wisdom of removing perfectly sound shingle beds located at either sides of the navigation channel ?I have a feeling that this is a King Canute exercise with no real thought or understanding of the dynamics of river and tides effects?The channel was in fact being naturally created and carved by the river and the shingle on either side acting as virtual extensions of the piers, resulting in a deeper and straighter channel than would otherwise have been there.Now the sea will no doubt flatten out the channel and make it shift yet again !
This leads me to yet another related subject highlighted in the gurn this last week, that of Nairns place in the world of tourism. Much was said about visitnairn and the positive contribution of Iain Fairweather's strategy plan to boost Nairn as a tourist resort. It is common knowledge that harbours piers and rivers are magnets for tourists. I have witnessed many coachloads of naturalists and birdwatchers trotting down to the end of the piers to witness and photograph the myriad of seabirds which had established themselves on the new shingle islands . Canada geese , brent geese, oyster catchers, turnstones, Knots, ducks, mergansers and goosanders, many species of gulls also used the place to feed and roost.It is ironic that Nairn is desperate for attractions to entertain the tourists, yet when nature provides this at no cost to the public purse, then a few machines move in and destroy the very thing that is needed! I rest my case, but will keep a weather eye as always on those that would harm the wildlife and environment either by accident or design!If the gurn will allow I enclose a photo of birds that used to enjoyed the new shingle islands

Yours etc,
Joe Telfer

Editor's note: due to previous controversy comments are closed on this thread. The Gurn does however welcome any responses on the issues raised by Joe Telfer but they will also have to be in the form of a letter with contact details (that will not be published) to enable the Gurnmeister to confirm your identity. Anonymity can still be available however.