Fence ob­ser­va­tions

The Arran Banner - - Letters -

Sir, Hav­ing just read the head­line ar­ti­cle on the fenc­ing and par­tial re­plant­ing of Glen Rosa in the Ban­ner of June 9, I think cer­tain ob­ser­va­tions should be made.

The ar­ti­cle states that the glen has been over­grazed for many years by deer and sheep. How­ever, it is at least 10 years since sheep grazed on the hill. This be­ing the case, any cur­rent over­graz­ing is solely down to deer. If the deer are to be fenced off from an area of 400 hectares(1,000 acres), some of which is prime win­ter­ing ground, will the Na­tional Trust cull an ap­pro­pri­ate num­ber of stags and hinds to avoid fur­ther over­graz­ing and win­ter star­va­tion on ad­join­ing land?

It is pro­posed that the fence would be in place for around 30 years, which means to­tal stock ex­clu­sion for this length of time. Although only 10 per cent of the site would ac­tu­ally be planted with trees, ex­clud­ing graz­ing an­i­mals for 30 years could al­low scrub en­croach­ment over sub­stan­tial parts of the to­tal area as can be seen in the area around the Machrie Moor stand­ing stones, which will ac­tu­ally need clear­ing in the fu­ture.

Farm­ers have dis­cov­ered that the cur­rent wood preser­va­tives used on fenc­ing ma­te­ri­als mean that posts and stobs sel­dom last more than 10 years. This means re-erect­ing the fence three times be­fore the trees are deemed big enough to sur­vive. Sub­stan­tially longer last­ing but more ex­pen­sive ma­te­ri­als can be sourced from Swe­den. In either case it prob­a­bly means a much larger fenc­ing cost than the Na­tional Trust an­tic­i­pate.

Yours, Char­lie McAllister, En­vi­ron­ment and land use mon­i­tor, Ar­ran branch NFU.

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