WHISPERING SMITH: Why should wild birds be sacrificed for leisure?

TWO elderly gentlemen were sitting on a bench on the riverside walk close to the Look & Sea Centre, betting with each other where and when the diving cormorant they were watching would resurface.

The cormorant is a beautiful bird, whose plumage, when viewed close up, is exquisitely patterned and I wondered what would those two men think if they knew that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs allows 2,000 of these birds to be culled – that means shot – each year and that some angling organisations want unlimited killing, so that inland anglers can lip hook fish and chuck then back as a pastime?

A bit like the way some raptors are persecuted because they take the odd game bird and thus deprive a hired gun from killing that same bird.

I have no axe to grind with the angling fraternity or field sports enthusiasts, but I do feel sad that wild birds have to give way to the money-making enterprises that combine to provide these leisure pursuits.

On another nature tack, if you want to ensure that the discredited badger cull is kept well clear of our county, even though our MP Nick Gibb supports it, check out the following website and sign up: www.bit.ly/ArunBadgers

I HAVE for some time now been thinking, encouraged by my daughter, about having a small tattoo on my shoulder, something tasteful, a native American motif, perhaps a feather or a wolf’s head.

Then, on seeing that David Dimbleby has gone for his star sign of a scorpion I thought, yes, me too.

Problem is, it appears I am on the cusp of two signs, Leo and Cancer. I don’t think half a lion and half a crab would make a very attractive pairing, so, back to the thinking board.

THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE. I often walk past the town council’s Manor House offices late evening and find them barely aglow, while the Arun Civic Centre is lit up like a Christmas tree. Money saved on electricity would go some way to ensuring the return of our cinema, now closed for 310 days. Arun, stop procrastinating and doodling about with half-measures, give us an assurance that our town can have a permanent, professionally run and continuous cinema now and not five years down the line.




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