Reprint of a letter in the Herald on this glorious 12th of August [when grouse shooting begins] from some years ago...
by the late SNP Cllr Sandy Lindsay of Aviemore
Discussion regarding the right of individual Scottish citizens to walk on open ground clearly upsets those persons who wish to amuse themselves by shooting birds and animals.
My father was a beater, flanker, then loader in the butts and I have early experience of the kind of people who engaged in this "sport". They gave the impression of being extremely unhappy and disturbed. The appearance of the women particularly frightened us children.
Deprivation is not confined to the less affluent sections of the community, and it is pretty obvious that many of the shooting fraternity have been deprived in their early years of love and affection.
Their wealth is such that they are able to sterilise large areas of the Highlands for their cruel amusement. What they really require is support and help of a psychiatric kind from the rest of us. If need be, I will endeavour to arrange with our social work department and the health board for this treatment to be made available.
Also a service such as the Samaritans could be extended to these misguided people along the lines: "If you feel the urge to kill a defenceless creature phone for help and advice."
Cllr Sandy Lindsay, Kincraig, Kingussie.