Man is the reason

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I feel I must add to David Green’s excellent letter. Many people who know little about birds seem to think that birds of prey are constantly killing small birds and mammals.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Raptors will only hunt if they have young or are hungry.

The kill rate is about 10 to 15 per cent success so you will appreciate it takes a lot of effort to find enough food. Also if a sparrowhawk, say, manages to kill a blackbird, that will last it several days during which it “chills out” until it’s hungry again.

This is why the sky is not full of raptors.

The unfortunate truth is that the activities of man are the reason that bird populations have crashed, particularly in the last 50 years.

Anthony Fields

Barnsley Road, S5

Boxing in the Peace Gardens

I am writing to express my dismay that boxing as a spectacle is being allowed in Sheffield and my disbelief at the chosen venue – The Peace Gardens.

Mike Reid

Northcote Road, Sheffield S2

What can we do?

So the Manchester murderer was known to counter-terrorist police and he has been identified as a member of Isis. Now what? This information changes nothing. This war on us is only just beginning.

I grew up in the 70s and 80s with the IRA bombings and they were frightening times. Now another war is starting, what can we do, just sit back and wait for the next atrocity?

Jayne Grayson

by email

Happy birthday

May 29 is known as Royal Oak Day to commemorate the restoration of King Charles II to the Monarchy.

It was King Charles’ birthday also known as Oak Apple Day. It was a national holiday and a time for parties and dancing. To show support for the monarchy people wore sprigs of oak leaves or a sprig with an oak apple on it.

The oak was chosen to remember how Charles hid in an oak tree to hide from his enemies, the Roundheads, after the battle of Worcester. The oak tree has become the symbol of Britain.

The holiday was abolished in 1859 but the day is still remembered in Northampton where a garland of oak apples is placed on Charles’ statue each year and in Worcester where the Guildhall is decorated with oak branches and leaves.

Charles founded the Home for Army Pensioners and each year a Parade is held at Chelsea before a member of the Royal family.

Nearer home, Castleton still has its Garland Day when a three-foot garland of flowers is carried through the streets and eventually placed on the Church Tower. Both ships and public houses have been named The Royal Oak.

More important than this, it just happens to be my birthday!

DW

S5

Means-tested for sport

I am not quite sure what point Robert Jackson is making, (Letters, May 23), in his letter about the tennis courts in the city’s parks. He appears to suggest that restricting their use to those who pay to play and bring their own equipment is a bad thing, but then goes on to claim that the system leads to people being allowed in to play for nothing.

I can only speak for Weston Park, which I visit quite regularly. There the courts were refurbished a year or two ago and access to them, initially, was free. They were then well-used. Since the new system was introduced, they are hardly used at all. You have to wonder who in the council decided, in effect, to privatise them and whether it supports their policy of encouraging people to partake in more physical activities.

By contrast, the bowling greens in Crookes Valley Park seems to be accessible to anyone at any time. Perhaps the council think that only elderly people play bowls and that they should be allowed to play for free?

Let’s hope St Theresa of May doesn’t latch on to this or players might soon be means-tested.

Paul Kenny

S3

Snakes in the grass

The Green Party have some admirable policies, but have a dark side. A canvasser recently turned up at my door and when I questioned her party’s ties with the SNP stated that the Greens supported Scottish independence.

So, if you like the idea of free university education for our young people, vote Green. However, you would also be voting in favour of a breakup of the United Kingdom. The phrase snakes in the grass comes to mind.

Terry Tiller

Kelham Island

A friendly competition

For some years The Star made Saturday’s crossword a prize crossword, and did not publish the solution until the following Saturday.

This was discontinued some time ago, and the solution is printed on Monday.

For those of us who enjoy a little friendly competition with friends and colleagues, it would help if Saturday’s solution was withheld until the following Saturday, as before.

Printing the solution on Monday does not give much time to complete the crossword.

Apologies to those who complete it in less time than is allowed at present.

DC

Sheffield

Footnote: We have had a number of letters asking for the solution to be printed on Monday, so we are adhering to this.

There can be only one

RIP Sir Roger George Moore, KBE. Although as 007, I do think nobody does it better than Sir Thomas Sean Connery KB.

DS

Dronfield

This shoddy workmanship

For anyone eagerly waiting for their road, footpath and street lighting to be upgraded they should visit Crookes to see what to expect.

Last Wednesday work was being done on Marston Road, Flodden Street and Pickmere Road.

The old asphalt on the footpaths was dug up and levelled out and on Thursday new asphalt was laid.

The next day, Friday when the asphalt was still warm it was dug up.

There are big holes and trenches as the old street lamps are still in place and working and have to be replaced with the new ones.

This is normal practice for Amey as can be seen in front of the University Arms pub where the asphalt was laid then a long trench dug between two lampposts.

Someone should lose their job over this type of shoddy work.

Jay Bee

Crookes