WHILE we are all for the general public showing an interest in rural matters – and our Take a Lead campaign (pages 14 and 15) aims to promote responsible dog walking – it can become tiresome too.

As one of our readers found out this week, the ‘GP’ can get the wrong end of the stick. Whilst moving sheep from one field to another, he noticed one was hanging back and obviously lambing, so he left it behind to get on with it.

However, a passing member of the public saw the sheep and immediately phoned the SSPCA – who are duty bound to attend such reportings. The reportee said that the sheep ‘was in distress and depressed’ – and so would they be if they were lambing in this weather!

Odd juxtaposition

I HAD a bit of a cynical laugh this week at the juxtaposition of two stories in The Courier.

On one page, the ever controversial columnist in The Courier, Jim Crumley, was advocating that ‘The red fox has been subjected to obscene treatment across Scotland … time to protect it’; while on the opposite page there was a story about terriers being sent to South Georgia to root out the last remaining rats which have devastated ground-nesting bird populations.

Presumably, the terriers in the South Atlantic will not be constrained by the Hunting With Dogs Act, while the assertion that foxes need protection from their only predator, ie man, will not go down well with those in rural communities.

Happy B-Day Maimie

The Raider understand that one of our favourite, forthright letter writers, Maimie Paterson, from Dunblane, celebrated a big birthday last weekend.

So here’s a wee tribute from her sister, Caroline Matheson, from the Black Isle.

Happy birthday Maimie, now three score and ten,

I’m sure you’ll have a lovely day in the lambing pens.

Or has Rob arranged a special treat just for the occasion,

A day out at a Beltex sale or The Sheep Association?

No doubt you’ll be on Facebook giving your tuppence worth,

On Brexit, health and farming, which gives you so much mirth.

Intelligent, articulate, eloquent ... you certainly have them all,

Sometimes a tad intolerant and sometimes off the wall!

You are a farming legend and we hope you stay that way,

So from your wee sis on The Black Isle ... lots of love on your special day