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16SPRING 2012Welcome to your new-look letters pages -where you getto have your say and to share your experiences.To contact us, write to:The Editor, Scotland in Trust, 91 East London St, Edinburgh, EH7 4BQor email: may be editedYou can also tweet @N_T_S or find us on Facebook via had a tour of@N_T_S CrathesCastle with HeadGuide Ron Nairn.Very informativeand delivered by aknowledgeable andenergetic host!@donjacobsukForest regrowthI was concerned to read in the autumn newsletter fromthe Cairngorms Campaign that Scottish Natural Heritagehad felt it necessary to refuse payment to the Trust "undera management agreement with the Trust conditional onachieving regeneration". This refers to the Trust'smanagement of the Mar Lodge Estate and its efforts toimprove natural Caledonian forest regrowth throughcontrol of deer numbers. The Trust has achieved much atMar Lodge in terms of removal of inappropriate tracksand new forest growth in enclosures. However, most ofthe remaining Caledonian forest is very elderly and littletime remains to allow these trees to regenerate throughseedlings before they die off. I would be very interestedto learn the Trust view of SNH's decision to withholdpayment and what the Trust's plans are for forest plantingand regeneration and deer numbers reduction. Dr Alan FraserAberdeenThe Trust's head of communications, Jim Whyteside,replies: The estate receives about £170,000 a year fromScottish Natural Heritage -about £51,000 is for deermanagement. In 2011 SNH withheld some of this grantbecause we did not achieve the performance indicatorswe agreed to. We saw in advance that this would be thecase and voluntarily did not draw down some of thefunding allocated. The reason we did not meet thosetargets is simple: we did not implement our deermanagement policy early enough and progress withforest regeneration was delayed. However, in the lastthree years we have made excellent headway on this. Anecological survey shows the density of woodland almostdoubling. This happened in direct correlation to the deerpopulation having been brought down to a sustainablelevel of about 1,700. In the aftermath of the independentreview of the estate's management, we have rededicatedourselves to our 200-year vision, which unites delivery ofconservation, field sports and access.Measured responseWhy do you quote distances and heights in metric units?We do not need to know how many kilometres there arebetween places, what the area is in hectares, or heightsin metres. Our measurements are based on the statutemile and its sub-divisions - yards, feet and inches. Areashave always been acres. Road signs give distances inmiles, odometers measure speed in miles per hour (as dospeed traps) and fuel consumption is in miles per gallon- even though we buy it in litres, as imposed by the EU.Mountain heights have always been in feet. The Trust hasbeen working to conserve Scotland's heritage for 80years, says Kate Mavor. Great! So why give in to"metrication by stealth"?Ron Munroby emailThe Editor replies: Another reader made a similar point,and more views on measurements would be welcome.There is little consistency on this out there in the world,and perhaps our pages reflect that. Tradition is important,but feet and inches are no longer used in schools, so byusing them exclusively in our magazine would we notrisk putting off the younger readers who we hope willcarry on the conservation effort in the future? British soil An article in the last issue states: "Bannockburn was oneof the most significant battles fought on British soil". Asthe British state did not come into existence until some400 years later, this is nonsense. William Douglas by emailThe Editor replies: We were using the term "British"simply in a geographical sense - it's more concise than,say, "Scottish, English or Welsh soil". Tiny houseI was interested in the news in the last issue about thebeadworkers' model of the Tenement House. A few yearsago I made a 1:12 scale model of a room there. I mademost of the items in it (pictured top right) -range,cupboard, coal box, table, chair, trundle bed, bread binand clothes pulley. I added Agnes Toward as a child. ITwitterOften overlookedholiday options are@N_T_Sselfcatering places.Stayed in LydiaCottage, Cromarty afew years ago -great! @LisainEdinburghStudy pack forexcellent @N_T_S#Culloden VisitorsCentre, includesgreat mod. photos,battlefield tocelebrate QueensJubilee organised awalk at the JubileePath NTS inRockcliffe/Kippfordopened for Q VicsJubilee@LodgeinKippford

WWW.NTS.ORG.UKtook the room to school to show the children, who wereconcerned that Agnes was on her own, with no adultpresent. I said her mummy had gone out to the toilet,which was not in the house itself, and they found thishard to understand. Ailsa LogueGuildford Viewing timeReaders going to the House of Dun to view the paintingsin the Hutchison collection should be made aware thatthis is only available for open viewing on the last Sundayof every month. At all other times, visitors have to join aguided tour of the entire house. The time allowed to seethis splendid collection permits little more than aperfunctory glance at one or two paintings.Professor AR GrieveBroughty FerryProperty manager John McKenna replies: We wereprivileged to be asked if we could accommodate themagnificent Hutchison collection of Scottish colourists.Of course we accepted, realising the challenges inpresenting the collection and displacing furniture toaccommodate it. We have had very complimentaryfeedback. We would love to be able to afford to pay staffso that we can have every day as a free flow, allowingvisitors all the time they need to enjoy the timepieces,some of the finest needlework in Scotland, the chinacollection, the Trust's largest collection of family linearportraiture, the stunning collection of Stirling furnitureand the Hutchison collection. For 2012, in the lowseason we will open on the last Sunday of the month forthose wanting to examine any part of the collection moreclosely. In the high season we will do this every Sunday.The autumn/winter edition's story about the Spencefamily on Canna contained some errors, andinadvertently used a picture not meant for publication.We apologise for this.