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YOUR VIEWS: Comments on dog statue on River Ness, Ragwort problem and travellers in Culloden

By Andrew Dixon

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Ragwort problem is making our efforts futile

Ragwort growing along a path at Wick riverside. Picture: DGS
Ragwort growing along a path at Wick riverside. Picture: DGS

I AM astounded at the local council and their lack of attention over the years to the ragwort invasion, in and around Inverness.

If we as farmers or crofters have this poisonous plant on our land we have to, by law, take action to try and remove it. We would be visited by the local department officer and threatened with a penalty or fine.

Every part of ragwort plant is highly toxic and if ingested by a dog can be fatal. It is also highly poisonous to horses, cattle and sheep.

We endeavour on our farm, as do most responsible farmers, to eradicate ragwort, but it is of no surprise that this practice is completely futile given the acres of the stuff along the distributor road and among all the houses and on the road sides throughout Inverness.

The general public are often misled into believing that it poses no risk and that it is a wild flower – perhaps if they knew the risks to themselves and their animals, their opinions would undoubtedly change.

I would not normally take to proclaiming in our local newspaper, but surely those responsible need to do something about this problem?

Christina Smith


Which River Ness ‘artwork’ do you prefer?

The new art installation in front of The Gathering Place. Picture: James Mackenzie.
The new art installation in front of The Gathering Place. Picture: James Mackenzie.

The chainsawed Labrador dog sculpture placed in protest near the controversial Gathering Place by some members of Inverness Angling Club could be removed by Highland Council.

“The dog wins hands (paws?) down on three counts. Visually, it’s far more pleasing. It’s infinitely more cost effective. And finally it shows how simply and straightforwardly the riverbank can be enhanced without imposing an unwanted and deeply unpopular eyesore on Inverness and delivering the biggest blow to the credibility of the local council in living memory.” – Charles Bannerman, Inverness

“The Labrador sculpture is an asset to the riverside and is real art compared to Highland Council’s Gathering Place so-called art, which does not enhance anything whatsoever by our river.

“It’s the biggest waste of money ever and monies that could have been used to much better use.

“The council should hang their heads in shame – they’re shown up big style for going ahead with this monstrosity.” – Brian Leitch, Inverness

“I totally support this gesture (rude or otherwise) [installation of protest do sculpture]. Highland Council are hoping the controversy surrounding the installation of this uninspiring concrete block [Gathering Place] will die down but it won’t and this canine sculpture proves that point.” – Dancy Joan, Inverness

“That beautiful sculpture reminds me of my dog who truly lived up to her Gaelic name – Dìleas – faithful.” – Laura Martin, Troon

“The idea of placing the Labrador near the ugly wall is an excellent and tasteful way of bringing the insanity of that pointless waste of money to the attention of the wider population.

“It’s bad enough building this structure in an unspoilt and beautiful part of Ness Islands but to waste £800,000 of council taxpayers money on it when people will be struggling to pay the council tax is criminal incompetency.” – Alan Roberts, Dingwall

“It all comes down to what has more meaning and brings joy to people. A dog symbolises unconditional love, kindness and loyalty. Says it all really!” – Terri MacDonald, Inverness

“Now and in years to come the walkway will be considered as a viewpoint and nothing to do with art.

“The Labrador, however, is definitely a work of art.” – May McIntosh, Alltsaigh

“The Labrador sculpture is far more reflective of the area and the users of the islands than the ugly Gathering Place, which visitors are confused by.

“Let’s hope the council accepts the new sculpture.” – Marjory Shane, Inverness

“The dog sculpture is lovely, just a pity that it is in the same vicinity as that concrete monstrosity.” – Kathleen Main, Inverness

“The only thing the council should consider removing is the eyesore which is the Gathering Place.

“The public did not want it but they made the incredulous decision to waste money on it and not listen to public opinion.

“The dog sculpture is brilliant and has to remain.

“There will be an uproar if the council decide to remove this instead.” – Sharon Milsum, Inverness

Travellers at new camp in city

Travellers who are camped near Culloden roundabout and Culloden West.
Travellers who are camped near Culloden roundabout and Culloden West.

A GROUP of travellers are still at an unauthorised camp in Culloden.

“Come on let’s deal with this and sort it out before more arrive.

“I totally respect their culture and beliefs but let’s get on top of the environment issue.

“I hasten to add it’s not all travellers but some leave so much rubbish behind and there’s the lack of toilet facilities.

“We all need a place to live and I’m sure there are plenty of places to set up home but come on, right at the road side with no facilities – shocking.

“I’m sure I would be moved on quickly if I parked up somewhere for any length of time.

“I am fed up of people belittling their culture in this day and age when we hear so much about inclusion – let’s communicate with them.

“Asking them to have portable loos and for no rubbish to be left is not rocket science but are the powers that be scared of them?

“Respect each other and communicate.” – Ellen, Inverness

“What is the issue exactly? Travellers exist.

“They will try and find places to set up. People clearly just don’t want them existing and that isn’t healthy.

“Leave them alone.” – Ryan McGuinness, Dingwall

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