<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Cotswold Life today click here

Editor’s comment: April 2017

PUBLISHED: 10:03 21 March 2017 | UPDATED: 12:56 21 March 2017

"Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough."

Archant

Following our interview with Barry Hancox, editor Mike Lowe discusses the importance of supporting mental health and also Britain’s big problem with “tree rats”

It would be difficult to think of a more exuberant and effusive man than Barry Hancox. It is always a delight to be in his company and he is the last person you would ever suspect to be struggling with internal demons. Yet he was. In his usually light-hearted blog, Barry suddenly announced that he’d been having problems. Thankfully, as Katie Jarvis relates later in this magazine, he seems now to be over the worst.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mental health problems are more common than any of us would suspect. One in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem this year. Seventeen in 100 will have suicidal thoughts during their lifetime. Three in 2,100 will self-harm. And these figures don’t include data from prisons or hospitals. The unacknowledged prevalence of the issue explains why we have recently featured it quite often in this magazine.

People are understandably concerned about going public with a problem like this. They worry about what others will think of them; they worry about keeping their jobs. But speaking out really is the best solution. For goodness sake, don’t bottle it up – talk. Talk to your family and friends; talk to your GP; talk to your boss – today’s employment practices are much more compassionate than you might think.

And if you’re on the receiving end, then listen and help. Talk isn’t cheap in this instance.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I don’t like grey squirrels. Horrible things. Coming over here, eating our nuts and passing on a virus that is wiping out the native red squirrel population. They’re just about the only immigrants I don’t welcome.

Now some weighty bodies have decided that Something Must Be Done. The Wildlife Trusts are planning to recruit an army of 5,000 volunteers to undertake training to trap and kill grey squirrels which are caught in a cage-trap, put in a bag and “knocked over the head”.

Whether or not this will put a dent in the 2.5 million population (as opposed to an estimated 140,000 surviving red squirrels) remains to be seen, but it’s fair to say that the policy (funded by the Heritage Lottery and the European Union – which is why all the greys voted Leave) hasn’t gone down too well in certain quarters.

Writing in the Guardian (where else?) a gentleman from Kent is “completely appalled” by the plan and worries that “the recruitment campaign will attract thugs and deviants who get enjoyment from harming and torturing wildlife”. Bit harsh, I would have thought.

Others have different plans. The Prince of Wales is said to favour the use of some form of contraception drug, tucked away in peanut butter. This in itself is problematic. For a start, how do you make sure that only grey squirrels eat the tainted peanut butter? What about other wildlife? And our dogs, most of which would happily mainline peanut butter all day given the chance. My whippet had his knackers whipped off as a precautionary measure when he was poorly last year, but even if he hadn’t, I wouldn’t necessarily want to put him on the Pill.

But let’s be clear – Something Must Be Done. Grey squirrels are nothing more than tree rats. The pesky blighters raid your bird tables and annoy your hounds. And their continued growth threatens the very existence of one of our more delightful native animals. If that means that extraordinary measures must be taken, then so be it

For more from Mike, follow him on Twitter! @cotslifeeditor

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Cotswold Life

Yesterday, 16:18

From a hearty fry-up to a pint of Guinness, start Cheltenham Race Week with one of these top local breakfasts. Our guide takes the gamble out of where to go for a winning way to start the day

Read more
Yesterday, 15:28

There are lots of reasons why Cheltenham is a wonderful town to visit, and the abundance of delightful boozers is definitely one of them! With gorgeous interiors, great beer on tap and menus of delicious fare, we pick 12 of the best pubs to visit in the town

Read more
Yesterday, 11:44

We look through the keyhole of some of the Cotswolds’ most luxurious houses on the property market

Read more
Yesterday, 11:43

Blow away the cobwebs with a walk that takes in Solsbury Hill, Suffragettes and a Regency poetry contest. Inspiring views of Bath, secret lanes, mysterious stones and a cosy pub await!

Read more
Yesterday, 11:14

How many points can our Cotswold Life editor Mike Lowe tick off the ‘What Makes a Gentleman’ list?

Read more
Thu, 15:58

Leading Gloucestershire law firm Willans LLP has appointed a new solicitor to its Legal 500-rated litigation & dispute resolution team

Read more
Thu, 15:48

You can receive a highly competitive salary and work flexibly by sharing your knowledge and skills with the region’s future workforce

Read more
Wed, 13:08

If you’re a local looking to try somewhere new or you’re visiting the regency town on holiday, Cheltenham has some of the best restaurants in the Cotswolds. We have picked 20 restaurants

Read more
Tue, 12:42

The Cotswolds is home to an extraordinary range of companies operating on the global stage. Lucy Parford looks at 50 of the best

Read more
Tue, 11:36

More than 360 people joined the Worcestershire LEP and Worcestershire County Council at Treetops Pavilion, West Midland Safari Park

Read more
Tue, 11:24

A Wantage accountancy firm which specialises in helping small businesses grow has been internationally recognised at the Investors In People (IIP) Awards

Read more
Tue, 11:15

Ecotricity’s new three-windmill site at Alveston, south Gloucestershire next to the M5, will provide enough electricity to power more than 3,000 homes for the next 30 years

Read more
Tue, 11:04

Did you attend the Oxfordshire Business Awards launch? You could feature in our social photos...

Read more
Tue, 10:28

From lone wolves to sophisticated gangs bringing down global services, the internet is a minefield for businesses. Simon Yeoman, General Manager of Fasthosts, negotiates the pitfalls

Read more
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
Cotswold Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Cotswold's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search