Arran Banner letters – week 50

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Distillery sea outfall


Over the last number of weeks there have been various letters published in the Banner which contain inaccuracies which are giving the wrong impression of the proposed long sea outfall near Lennimore.

The SEPA application is over 100 pages long and cannot be explained through the media and letter pages of a newspaper. If there is anyone concerned with the implications of the outfall I would encourage them to come to speak to me at the distillery where I will go through the application and hopefully address any issues they feel concerns them.


James MacTaggart

Production director

Isle of Arran Distillers

Carol concert


The annual carol concert has been running for over 35 years, and continues to be an excellent start to our Christmas celebrations, with Lamlash Church providing an enthusiastic audience from around the island to be entertained by the exceptionally talented musicians and singers, of all ages, who showed their appreciation by donating the collection of £1,020 on behalf of Clic Sargent.

Thank you all.


Robert Marr

Lamlash Church

Motorhome woes


I refer to your correspondent Mr MacGregor’s comments about facilities on Arran for motorhomes and his comparison with such across the English Channel.

Firstly, his five euro payment is probably the Kulturförderabgabe; Culture Tax also known as the Bed or Cure Tax, a nasty little earner which most of our, soon not to be, European partners use to swell local coffers as Mr MacGregor points out.  But it is not just levied on those poor people with motorhomes, all visitors have to pay it in one way or another and it is payable for every day of your stay.

Secondly, we do have facilities for motorhomes on Arran, they are called campsites and having lived in Germany I am aware that that country is also well provide with excellent campsites too.  However, as is evident from his letter, Mr MacGregor and his ilk would prefer not to pay too much, or better still nothing at all, to park their motorhomes overnight.

Of a Summer’s evening they are found littered all over the island, shoehorned into any space to be found. At Lochranza not on the campsite, but rather the Castle Spit, the hard-standings opposite the Sandwich Station, even the ferry marshalling area and at the Sailor’s Grave. On one morning in August there were four which had been parked overnight in the car park at the entrance to Glen Catacol, three of which were obviously travelling together.

Before anyone starts banging on about Scottish access rights and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, these do not apply to motor vehicles, of any description including parking the family saloon, getting a tent out of the boot and pitching next to it.  Further, The Road Traffic Act 1988 states that ‘you can drive a vehicle up to 15 yards off a public road for the purposes of parking, but this does not confer any right to park the vehicle. Most un-metalled roads, unfenced land and beaches are private property, and you do not have the right to park unless it’s authorised by the landowner by verbal agreement or signage’.

Thirdly, with regard to the state of Arran’s roads, take it up with North Ayrshire, we’ve tried!

Finally, there are the claims of ‘benefitting the local economy’.  By such do they mean the Morrisons/Tesco back home and the petrol station at Asda?


P W Yates


Cry for action


The central truth of ecology is that everything in nature is related to everything else. Often we do not realise just how much we depend on our environment for our very survival and well-being. Blue Planet II has so clearly shown us all that we influence our seas around us whether by industrial or domestic effluent pollution, overfishing and methods of fishing, through creating climate change by use of carbon fuels, which is raising water temperatures, increasing ocean acidity and creating storm surges, by pesticide use and by our own individual carbon footprint, be it by car use, flying and use of plastics.

The Firth of Clyde is a microcosm of the world’s marine environment. It has warmed a degree or so in 10 years. It hosts 17 industrial fish farms, with no containment of the wastes they produce, some wanting to expand with further gross pollution data to concern everyone. The Isle of Arran Distillers Ltd is committed to empting its untreated effluent into Kilbrannan Sound and their second distillery is coming to the South End of Arran, creating more effluent. This week I see that there is yet another planning application submitted to Argyll and Bute Council (17/02839/PP) for a new distillery this time in Loch Fyne, both for whisky and gin. What about the effects on the marine environment of Loch Fyne, an integral part of the Firth of Clyde?

Blue Planet II is a cry for action by us all. This is not a ‘what an amazing programme’ followed by our own individual inertia and carrying on just as before. After all what can I, as one person do? We live on a beautiful island set in a silver sea. We must protect it, both as an island community and as individuals. Not just parts of it, but every area of it.

We must insist that the statutory organisations like SEPA, SNH, North Ayrshire Council and our local representatives realise the importance of protecting our marine habitats: from pollution, sewage contamination, untreated effluent of any sort, and uncontrolled expansion. We must use less plastic bags, and persuade the Co-op to change their habits too. There are some good stories to tell about local initiatives on Arran but we need to work together to have more influence on our planners and regulators.

Each one of us needs to recognise we have our individual responsibility for all the marine environment on Arran, part of a global world. It is part of the global system. We must look more seriously at how we protect it for the future.

Remember, everything affects everything, and each of us affects everything in some way. Let’s work together at our local level to make changes happen.

And it is just not in faraway places that recovery can happen. Blue Planet II is telling the world how the Firth of Lorne special area of conservation is recovering following a decade of protection.


Sally Campbell


Saving squirrels


We are very lucky to have a population of red squirrels on the island, but this will not continue if they keep being killed by road vehicles.

It is difficult sometimes to avoid them and the increasing amount of vehicles coming to the island does not help. However, I think locals should try and be more aware of the situation, so come on sharpen up you reflexes and cut your speed.

After all they are worth the effort and we do have a speed limit.


A Marriott

Whiting Bay