I FIND myself in the unfamiliar situation of not only agreeing with Neil Mackay, but sharing in his heartbreak at the destruction that East Renfrewshire Council has wrought on Rouken Glen Park ("A park brings joy. How dare they let greed destroy it?", The Herald, August 17). All summer we have read about the devastation caused by wildfires but here the ruination of the environment has been caused by a council that was identified in 2021 as the richest in Scotland. Mr Mackay was not wrong to call it greed, but I would go further than that and use the old biblical word, avarice.

As a resident of the area, Mr Mackay will know that the council has form in this regard, and has repeatedly attempted to build on urban green spaces. It has failed in the past because of the determined opposition from local residents who know a thing or two about what matters. But it seems to me that the council has learned its lessons, adapted its approach, and is now hell-bent on a war of attrition that will slowly turn Rouken Glen into an eyesore. It's an old technique: create a wasteland and call it a development opportunity. We will no doubt be told that a new development will plant lots of trees.

For those who have never visited the park I urge them to do so before it is lost. I recommend the entrance from Whitecraigs Railway Station where the park stretches outwards before majestically sweeping downwards in a dogleg to create an illusion worthy of any Capability Brown vista. It is a thing of beauty, and should be treasured and preserved for those who come after us, just as it was created and preserved by those who preceded us. This is our responsibility, and it doesn't seem much to ask of us.

So it is beyond tragic that the more politicians of all the main political parties bleat about the need to save the environment, and the more they issue diktats about how we should live our lives, the less they show themselves capable of preserving our green spaces for future generations to enjoy.

Graeme Arnott, Stewarton.

In defence of Bradley Cooper

I AM eagerly anticipating the new film about to hit our screens in the next month or two, concerning the late conductor and composer, Leonard Bernstein, who will be played by Bradley Cooper. It is sad, of course, that already, as reported by the BBC, Mr Cooper is receiving abuse about the fact that he wears a prosthetic nose in his portrayal of Mr Bernstein. Mr Cooper is a brilliant actor and obviously has decided that he wishes to physically become as near as possible to the real person; and I was pleased to learn, too, that Leonard Bernstein's three children have no problem whatsoever about the portrayal and performance of Mr Cooper.

The film is co-produced by Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, and Bradley Cooper's co-star is Carey Mulligan as Bernstein's wife. I really do think that with an initial background of these four talented actors and directors, the resulting picture, whose trailer is readily available online, will be a masterpiece. Sadly certain people, including (I have just learned) Dame Maureen Lipman, have stated that acting should always be about the talent of the actor/actress, and have nothing at all to do with a physical portrayal of someone – surely a slightly naive description of the art of acting. Sadly too, even as I write this letter, I read that the word "Jewface" is now being randomly used and mentioned by certain people and groups to try to justify their view that Mr Cooper has made a huge mistake in his portrayal.

How sad. Can we not all wait to see the film, and then judge the biographical film as it should be judged, for its acting, its story, its filmography?

Walter Paul, Glasgow.

A wasted opportunity

WHAT a wonderful opportunity the Cycling World Championships have been to showcase Scotland's scenery and boost tourism. How unbelievable that there are three wind farms in planning within a few miles of Glentress Forest, one of the showcased venues.

New planning rules, which were part of the Greens' manifesto, have been adopted. Only National Scenic Areas and the two national parks are to be protected. Have the wheels come off the government of this beautiful country?

Celia Hobbs, Penicuik.

Pronoun posers

I FULLY support the contention of AJ Clarence (Letters, August 16) that if I am to address someone then it should be by name and not by gender nor sexual orientation. It is therefore somewhat ironical that Mr Clarence finishes his letter with just his initials and surname, rather than with a full first name. Fortunately, with him having a somewhat unusual surname and the benefits of the internet, I can address Mr Clarence as “Arthur” (Letters, May 18, 2020).

There is an advantage in allowing individuals to use a preferred pronoun since that allows people like me, and I assume Mr Clarence, who sign letters, cheques and other documents with just their initials and no reference to a forename, an opportunity to give the recipient of the letter, cheque or other document some idea as to the background of the individual without recourse to the internet. In my case the recipient would realise that I am a “Mr” and not a “Ms”, “Mrs” nor “Miss”.

In my own case, when I write letters to The Herald (and other publications), I have used my familiar name “Sandy” since many people know me by that name. If it were not for the golfer Sandy Lyle, winner of the Open and the Masters, many Americans (and others) would think that Sandy is a “she”. The addition of a preferred pronoun avoids that uncertainty.

I would welcome non-gender-specific pronouns other than “it”, which should be reserved for nouns that are neuter, rather than male or female. I would favour the term “Ee” (as used in Yorkshire) for the personal pronoun and “Hes” (as used in Kelvinside) for the possessive pronouns. The word “Hir” would be an acceptable alternative for “Hes”.

Sandy Gemmill, Edinburgh.

Have they lost their marbles?

I WONDER if the trustees of The British Museum are aware of the irony of their sacking an employee for stealing artefacts from the museum ("British Museum says items have been ‘stolen’", The Herald, August 17).

John McArthur, Glasgow.