JUST WHEN you think the vegan movement couldn’t get any more off the wall, then they go and astound you yet again.

This week, the Royal Horticultural Society were the latest to pander to this small minority by asking suppliers of products to gardeners to come up with acceptable fertilisers that do not involve any animals for their vegan members.

I’m sorry, but does this mean the end of the road for the trillions of billions of worms and insects who turn compost into a valuable resource. They are, after all, animals too!

The tartan tup tour

IT’S THAT time of year when shepherds prise themselves off the hills and head for the annual round of tup viewing – which usually consists of the ‘experts’ condemning sheep left right and centre in the hope that they will be cheaper to buy at the big sales!

However, a Peebles-shire crew added a new dimension to that last weekend by purloining a famous tartanised pick-up truck for their tour of Borders’ flocks. The team, led by Ian ‘Thompy’ Thomson got a demo in a Mitsubishi L200 twin-cab pick-up, with passengers Euan McMillan, Billy Renwick, and Ian Pringle – so there would be no disputing the pick-up’s load carrying capacity then!

But this was no ordinary pick-up – as lent to them by dealer principal, Alister Scott, of Mitsubishi dealer, Adam Purves – for this was the ‘My Name’5 Doddie Foundation’ vehicle which was used to great effect at a fundraiser for Doddie Weir’s charity aimed at fighting muscular dystrophy.

So, the tup tour crew decided to use it to add further money to the funds at each farm of the 10-or-so that they went to. It was a good move, for they were able to add more than £300 to the charity. But, as Thompy pointed out: “Some were a lot mair generous with their money than they were with their drams!”

Matching more than a mole

BBC Radio 2 presenter, Jeremy Vine, sometimes gets a bee in his bonnet about a lot of rural pursuits and farming in general, so it was nice to hear him getting his come-uppance recently.

He was on about mole catching and how it was cruel to trap the furry little creatures, being generally sympathetic to the views of those advocating a ban on mole trapping (he obviously does not have a lawn!).

Mr Vine, though, was totally taken hook line and sinker by the lady whom he used to end this particular discussion with, who said very much tongue in cheek that the ground keepers at her golf course got rid of the moles by ‘burying them alive’ ... to which he ended by saying that there were no lengths of cruelty in mole catching, unaware that he was having the Michael extracted!

Good on whoever the lady was.

Freedom to roam

HIGHLAND COOS gearing up for their annual sale in Oban this weekend, will be delighted to hear that some of their sisters and brothers might once again be allowed to wander the streets of Plockton unhindered.

Famously banned from the streets and beaches around the Ross-shire village some 15 years ago, the coos could be making a comeback.

At a meeting on Monday coming, the locals are getting together to decide whether the coos will be given the freedom of the village. However, we hear that there are divisions even within the common grazing committee which would oversee the coos return. The picturesque wee settlement is busier than ever with traffic and might not be the place for livestock to be.

We await the decision with bated breath ...