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Sir, – I am very disappointed to see West Lothian Council destroying the trees and hedgerows in and around the car park at the west end of Linlithgow Loch.

Sir, – I am very disappointed to see West Lothian Council destroying the trees and hedgerows in and around the car park at the west end of Linlithgow Loch.

Year round, there are blue, great, coal and long-tailed tits, greenfinches, goldfinches and chaffinches, house sparrows, thrushes and moorhens here.

The well-established hedgerow bushes are used for nesting in springtime.

When I pass this spot during winter months, I often see redwings, fieldfares and bullfinches foraging on the grass and in the trees.

The area is being cleared in order to expand car parking.

I understand the need to encourage and provide for visitors but it is a shame that we don’t make more use of trains and buses and therefore need less tarmac.

Councillor Martyn Day very helpfully gave me more details – replacement trees will be planted along the west end of the space.

Thank goodness, but the green space unfortunately will still be significantly reduced. Perhaps space could be found nearby to establish a replacement patch of hedgerow planting also – mature hedgerow is excellent nesting habitat.

On a more positive note, I look forward to learning more about Transition Linlithgow and Burgh Beautiful’s plans for new planting etc., at the Vennel.

There is a public meeting on Sunday, March 2, in the LYPP lounge at 2pm. – Yours etc.,

Leo du Feu,

2 Greenpark Cottages,

Edinburgh Road,

Linlithgow.

Sir, – The very nature of caring means that so often people don’t, at first or sometimes ever, identify themselves as carers. Rather, they think of themselves simply as wife, husband, son, daughter, mum, dad or perhaps grandparent, niece or nephew helping a loved one.

But without the right help and support caring can have a devastating impact – carers can quickly become cut off, with their physical and emotional health, work and finances all hit hard. Caring for those who are older, disabled or seriously ill is a huge social issue – every day 6000 people take on a caring responsibility for a loved one.

Carers Week Quest is an important new initiative aiming to reach out to the thousands of carers in the UK missing out on support and services that can help them. Individuals and organisations, community groups, GPs, health and social care professionals and employers can all make a difference.

I urge your readers to sign up today and start thinking how they can make a difference and connect with those in their communities who are caring. To find out how you can join in and help carers visit www.carersweek.org – Yours etc.,

Lynda Bellingham,

by email.

Sir, – A couple receiving a £13,000 pay-out after staying at a hotel in Turkey represent a continuing cycle of holiday-makers contracting illnesses at hotels. Holiday-makers are putting themselves under unnecessary risks by failing to check if safety standards are being maintained at their chosen hotel. It’s essential that important checks are made before booking a hotel.

Too many people are turning to online review sites, which do not offer reliable assurance that a hotel is safe.

It’s vital people do their homework and research independent sites before making a choice of hotel based on “glowing” reviews. It’s the only real guarantee that a hotel will have the high standards you expect. – Yours etc.,

Mark Harrington,

CEO at Check Safety First,

by email.

Sir, – There are around 90,000 children in care across the UK, 6000 of whom need to be adopted. There is a desperate shortage of adopters and foster carers. Thousands more people are needed to give these vulnerable children a secure and loving home. Through our work at the British Association for Adoption & Fostering, we know members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community make fantastic parents and that children in their care flourish. This is why BAAF is supporting LGBT adoption and fostering week (March 3-9) which is run by New Family Social. People from all walks of life are welcome. You can be single or in a relationship, you don’t have to own your own home and you don’t need to be under 40! If you think you could give a vulnerable child or children a loving and supportive family life please visit http://www.lgbtadoptfosterweek.org.uk

To find your nearest event or for more general information about fostering and adoption please visit www.baaf.org.uk – Yours etc.,

Srabani Sen ,

Chief Executive,

British Association for Adoption and Fostering ,

6-10 Kirby Street, London.