Sir, – In his detailed article on the many down sides to our present government's tree planting policy, Jim Ramsay posted a graphical comparison about the carbon storage in different soil types.

If one is going to argue on the basis of figures, the context and reliability of these figures matters. Back before UK metricated, it was accepted by most in agriculture that an acre of soil to a depth of six inches (150mm to the youngsters) contained about 1000 tons of material.

The figures implied by the graph in the article would suggest to the naive that wetland stored several times more carbon than any other land use. This does not take into account that the large amount of carbon stored there is probably an accumulation of many years, or centuries, and does not equate with the far more modest amount that some sources claim is how much additional carbon land allowed to become saturated will store.

Some claim that bogs only grow in depth by about an inch per decade. Measuring what that means in carbon storage is tricky as much of what is measured is saturated with acidic water. A more reliable set of facts is the lower temperatures at altitude and the effects that has on what plant life can grow and thrive.

Our politicians are only human and like the rest of us prefer to converse with those of similar outlook. However, the so called experts they find themselves listening to are seldom those who have to back their opinions with their own money and experience.

They may be able to trot out lots of statistics, but without personal knowledge of what it can and often does cost when the unforeseen happens, their figures have limited value. Our politicians want much of our energy needs to be 'low carbon' but baulk at what delivering that will really mean in terms of the conflicts over land use and technical investment.

In a damp country – where much of our population live – domestically, heat is as much about combating damp as keeping warm. In this regard, combined heat and power stations make a lot of sense and if the primary energy source is nuclear, there is no rational reason why that cannot be located underground close to where there is a large market for warm or hot water.

Many people fear spiders, but learn to live with them and fear of a well run nuclear program fits the same bill. For those who are phobic about radioactivity, they should be asked when they stopped eating bananas – they have a higher potassium content than some other fruits and all the potassium in the world has some radioactivity in it, and has done since the earth formed billions of years ago.

Trees can enhance the land if planted in the best places to provide shelter as well as timber products and the nasty notion that once down to trees, nothing else should be allowed to grow there, is just another example of those with power not taking responsibility for their actions.

Sandy Henderson, Faulds, Braco.