Cyclists on Green a bigger problem

PUBLISHED: 14:17 11 March 2008 | UPDATED: 08:53 10 June 2010

Your article in the Budleigh Journal about dog mess spoiling The Green, greatly exaggerates the problem. Being elderly and partially disabled, I spend much time there and enjoy the sight of dogs at play and being exercised. I also welcome the punctilio

Your article in the Budleigh Journal about dog mess spoiling The Green, greatly exaggerates the problem.Being elderly and partially disabled, I spend much time there and enjoy the sight of dogs at play and being exercised. I also welcome the punctilious way most attendants clean up after their charges. There will always be an inconsiderate minority, but this does not justify officious bans.The dog warden would waste his time, at our expense, hanging about The Green. A bigger problem is the extent to which cyclists of all ages and speeds occupy the paths. A warden with power to administer on-the-spot fines would earn their keep.No, no, no to schemes to encourage 'shopping'.J C Asher,15 StanleyMews, Budleigh Salterton.CASH IN NATURAL ENVIRONMENTAs Winston Churchill once remarked, every pudding needs a theme. So does Exmouth. What's going to make the town truly distinctive? And how do we build on blessings already conferred?The answer, it seems to me, is staring us in the face. Exmouth owes its very existence to its location. Once it earned a living from fishing, and estuarial toll dues. Then from holidaymakers and the commercial docks. Now, with some success, one of the UK's biggest community colleges is tipping its hat to that same river and that same sea by feeding a host of local sports clubs.Exmouth Sailing Club will be pushing for Olympic medals. Young athletes from the Exmouth Rowing Club took honour after honour in last year's regional regattas. Steph Rowsell is a world-class kite-surfer.With the key already half-turned, unlocking Exmouth should therefore be an exercise in building on these assets. An Olympic-size swimming pool with serious training programmes, all co-sponsored by ASDA, sounds a brilliant idea. As does enhanced facilities for sailing, rowing, wind and kite surfing, plus the warmest of welcomes for visitors arriving on the Exe Estuary Trail.Exmouth happens to bestride one of the best natural settings in the country. So, for all our sakes, let's make it a true centre of waterborne excellence.Graham Hurley,4 The Beacon, Exmouth.DON'T MESS WITH THE DOG LOBBY...With reference to your article about suggestions to ban dogs from The Green at Budleigh Salterton, in last Thursday's Budleigh Journal, you have broached a very sensitive and delicate subject, like a powder keg with a short fuse waiting to explode at any time. In view of the large percentage of population now owning dogs and exercising them on any available area of green sward, there is little sympathy for anyone who dare challenge their right to do so. I recently took issue with the local council over the siting of dog bins, which is one of the many associated annoyances. My letter got short shift and was immediately passed over to Sidmouth. While fully aware of the problem which manifests itself just outside the local council office, they did not have the bottle to take any positive action as I had suggested in past correspondence, ie separating the remote area of The Green for dog exercising etc, whilst keeping the accessible lower part for dogs on leads only. Councillors are all fully aware that should they dare to interfere with the dog lobby, their days would soon be numbered.The question of insurance for third party liability covering attacks by dogs is just ignored, yet East Devon District Council, in its wisdom, has recently insisted that boats left on the Budleigh beach be covered for a sum of three million pounds, while ignoring the fact that 60 or so rod fishermen can cast lines with six or more hooks past the noses of others - in which they see no risk.One must assume that, like Lord Nelson, if they put the telescope to the blind eye, they will see no problem.A Budleigh Salterton resident.WE DON'T WANT VILLAGE CHANGEDIt did anger me to read Councillor Longhurst's comments in last week's paper about Lympstone businesses benefiting from the estuary trail and how marvellous it all is. He obviously doesn't live near the new Exe trail route through Lympstone or he would be aware of just how detrimental the path has already proven to the many residents alongside it and others. The trail being routed on this lane may have saved money, but at what expense to village life and public safety? The lanes are chaotic and potentially hazardous at weekends. They are narrow and steep and not designed to take this volume of road users, safely.Lympstone is a residential area with only five small businesses on the route - a hairdresser's, shop, post office and two pubs. These have always been well supported by villagers. The pubs will be busier, yes, but large numbers of people are not going to cycle into Lympstone to do their weekly shop, post heavy parcels or get a haircut, so exactly what economic transformation does he think we are going to benefit from?We don't want our village transformed by the cycle route. We moved to the village because we liked it for what it was. This path is not progress for the village and it may just be the death knell. We've now got noise (lots of parents screaming at children to slow down on Cox's Hill), lots more litter and dog mess, bikes propped everywhere - including in our precious few parking places - cars parked in passing places and people staring into our houses and gardens. Oh, and an eyesore now at the Sowden Lane end of the trail... two great white, jagged concrete retaining walls which create the feel of an inner city underpass on the edge of beautiful estuary side and an area of once-outstanding natural beauty. It's an environmental and visual blemish alongside the internationally recognised nature reserve and conservation area - and a disgrace. This urbanisation and sanitisation of our rural surroundings does nothing to enhance the estuary or our village. No doubt we've still got lots more signage, litter bins, dog 'poo' bins and bike racks to come!Let's face it, the main beneficiaries are our big neighbours at each end, Exmouth and Exeter, which will promote the path as a tourist attraction. The estuary villages will be the exhibits en route, losing much of what made them unique (will Lympstone residents continue to hang their washing up to dry on the beach, frequent their 'local' and meet to enjoy the sunset at The Green when the place is swarming with visitors?) What a huge price we have paid. I don't mind sharing our village with others - just not thousands and thousands in a day. The large numbers will ruin the experience here for everyone.Devon County Council is busy patting itself on the back, but has not spared a thought for how this route adversely affects Lympstone. DCC has blasted the trail through the heart of our conservation area village and ruined it. Why does the trail not follow the railway line at least to the car park with its public toilets?Sadly, I foresee people moving out of the village as a consequence of the trail... not rushing to move in.Mrs J Emery,Lympstone.SUEZ STORY RELIVEDI HAVE written a book - Suez: The Hidden Truths - which details those turbulent years of the Suez Emergency of the early 1950s, when thousands of troops, many national servicemen, were posted to defend the canal zone, often facing appalling conditions.Indeed, at that time, there were many 'hot-spots' of the Colonial Empire to be policed around the world and one, in particular, was the gateway to the East - the Suez Canal zone of Egypt where, by 1951, nationalism was becoming the new and rising force around the region.To contain this threat, many raw recruits were sent, both by air and sea, to defend a 'strip of water' against both a hostile and barbaric foe, while living under canvas in camps along the canal - with heat, flies, stench, disease and devious, dangerous terrorists to contend with in quite an inhospitable land.Even though many lads - who were only in their teens - died, we were inexplicably denied a medal. However, after a long campaign, this miscarriage of justice has been righted after 50 years, against overwhelming odds.Moreover, the Suez Emergency lasted for three years and during that time the number of troops defending the region remained at around 80,000, all crammed into camps designed for just 10,000.In addition, while many Suez veterans - now in their seventies - are delighted with the award of this belated medal, they are at the same time angry that it wasn't issued at the time, especially when the veterans look back to their comrades who lost their lives all those years ago and are buried in British Military cemeteries in Egypt and other vets who have passed on over the years since.My book costs £6, including post and package. Nostalgia abounds. (Revised edition). John Hunt, Suez Veteran,14 Carrfield, Bamber Bridge, Preston, Lancs, PR5 8BS.

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