IT’S been eight years since we ran into a deer in Glen Cluanie, in darkness in my son’s car. It wasn’t pleasant for either party, watching the poor hind expire as we picked up pieces of smashed car. Fortunately we were unhurt and the car was driveable. And local folk told us that roadkill deer seldom go to waste.

Your recent report on 14,000 deer/car accidents per year, with more than 100 injuries (“Rising deer numbers behind up to 14,000 road accidents a year” , The Herald, December 23) was food for thought. Where else in modern society would this level of accident, injury and probable death be allowed without intervention by the Health and Safety Executive, and prosecution of those causing the hazard? Modern red deer numbers are four times higher than in my young days, kept so by landowners, and the animals are substantially less than wild now, human-familiar and sometimes human-fed. No wonder they are happy around our main roads – until hit.

The best long-term solution, and probably the easiest short-term solution too, would be the re-introduction of a few wolf packs. The first effect of this would be to scare the deer off easy lower ground where they know they would be vulnerable to wolf attack. The killing of deer by their proper predators would be good for the herd in the longer term, with many wider benefits to the environment. Much evidence of this comes from the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone Park in the United States years ago; a fascinating short film, How Wolves Change Rivers, can be found on YouTube showing the wider beneficial effects.

There are around 12,000 wolves in Europe, rising year by year. They are a protected species in many countries and in many regions compensation schemes for livestock damage exist. I’ve never heard of attacks on humans (unlike domestic dogs) and less than a handful are quoted on Wikipedia, so the risk seems minute compared with road accident risk with deer. We could GPS-radio tag all the released wolves, too. What a fascinating source of information and research data that would provide –as well as alleviating some concerns over risks to farm livestock.

So, a couple of wolf packs by the A82 on Rannoch Moor, by Drumochter pass on the A9 and maybe in Glen Cluanie? Problem reduced if not totally sorted.

Fergus Duncanson, Milngavie.


SO the good folks of Mull have identified a ferry, a catamaran, which would meet the needs of the island and is available for £10 million, or to put that another way, less than one-10th of the cost of one of those being built, piecemeal, by Fergusons ("Islanders plead for catamaran to solve ferry congestion troubles", The Herald, December 30). Perhaps even the catamaran isn't all rusty, and has glass windows rather than black painted squares.

CMAL says it's not suitable, but then it would say that, wouldn't it? The not-invented-here syndrome. How appropriate then that the answer to this dilemma may be on the back page of the very same issue ("Western Ferries hails resilience as pandemic leads to sailings fall", The Herald, December 30). Western has a history of succeeding where Government bodies have failed, going right back to Islay in 1968.

For a mere fraction of the sum expended on Fergusons, Western could be helped to get this going. I would expect in due course it would run at a profit, as does Pentland Ferries' catamaran. Crowdfunding anyone?

Scott Macintosh, Killearn.


I noted with interest your front-page lead headline on Hogmanay ("Vaccine nod sees spring jabs for over-50s", The Herald, December 31).

As a couple – one 84 and diabetic, the other 77, recovering from cancer treatment in 2019, we await some indication as to when WE might receive our jabs.

Younger relatives in both Clackmannanshire and London have already received theirs. Surely not another postcode lottery?

So, come on NHS Lanarkshire. Is our letter in the post?

Elspeth Russell, Hamilton.


THERE is an old adage along the lines of "every picture tells a story". How apposite that is when looking at the picture of pupils from Fettes College in Edinburgh working in the Gorbals ("Remember when ... From Fettes to the Gorbals", The Herald, December 30). It reminded me of the famous "Toffs and Tuffs" picture taken In 1937. That shot had some pupils dressed in the Harrow school uniform outside Lords cricket ground during the Eton v Harrow match, standing beside some children clearly from a different stratum of society of the time. That 1937 scene was then taken to illustrate the profound class divide in pre-war Britain.

It was interesting to note that your picture had been taken some time after the war in 1966. Clearly much remained to be done by way of "levelling up" in the 1960s. Indeed, there are many who believe that in that regard, there is regrettably in this country still a long way to go.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.


LIKE your correspondent (Letters, December 31) I too was fortunate to receive a good grounding in grammar, syntax and spelling. My husband accuses me of being a pedant for railing at both examples cited and at this time of year would like to add "reindeers", the plural of which, I was taught is reindeer, a plural noun, and "New Year's"; New Year's what?

I plead guilty to pedantry.

Isobel Hunter, Lenzie.


ON BBC Scotland, after a rally of Sallys (Magnusson and McNair) we now have a lorra Lauras (Miller, McIver, Goodwin and Cuthill) plus in London, our own Scottish Kuenssberg.

Robin M Brown, Milngavie.