Deadline News News and pictures from Scotland and beyond Mon, 27 Apr 2015 16:40:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 91% back return of lynx in Scotland Mon, 27 Apr 2015 16:40:50 +0000 Research by the Lynx UK Trust has shown that 91% of the UK public are in favour of a trial reintroduction of the lynx to the UK.

The survey, which was carried out in partnership with the University of Cumbria, consulted 9,000 people across the country and revealed “a huge weight of public support behind the reintroduction.”

Experts predict Scotland in particular would get a major economic and environmental benefit if the animals were to roam free for the first time in 1,300 years.

Conservationists believe lynx could be the answer to deer overpopulation in Scotland.

Conservationists believe lynx could be the answer to deer overpopulation in Scotland


Campaigners say the Lynx would provide effective control of the deer population which would lead to forest regeneration and a boost to the entire national ecosystem.

Wildcat enthusiasts have also explained that the return of the wildcat could have huge benefits for the “eco-tourism” industry.

Dr Paul O’Donoghue, the Chief Scientific Advisor of the Lynx UK Trust, said: “This is by far the biggest survey of its kind ever carried out in the UK, with almost five times the feedback of the original beaver reintroduction survey in Scotland which recorded an 86% approval rating.”

“That led to government approval for the trial reintroduction, so we’re expecting to see a consistent response from Scottish Natural Heritage and hope for similar in England and Wales.

“The UK public have spoken; people overwhelmingly want these animals to be given the chance to come back and we’ve got an extremely capable team to deliver it.”


Reintroduction attempts have already succeeded across Europe, and now environmentalists are hoping to replicate their success on British shores, with experts indicating that Scotland would be particularly suited to the experiment.

Steven Piper, Spokesman for the Lynx UK Trust, said that the terrain of the country would allow the animals to “wander around and find territories.”

He said: “In Scotland more than anywhere you’re going to feel the benefits, because they’re going to behave in a more natural way.”

Once common in the UK, the Eurasian Lynx was wiped out over 1,300 years ago by fur hunters.

Whilst the predator is expected to foil deer overpopulation, authorities say they will not act as a threat to livestock as the cat is an “ambush hunter” that prefers to avoid open terrain.

Growing to up to 130cm in length, lynx hunt a variety of species, ranging from rabbits to grouse and deer which currently have no natural predators in the UK.

The introduction of the lynx is also expected to yield a number of benefits to the human inhabitants of the country.


Mr Piper said: “The Lynx is going to bring money out into the middle of nowhere, getting tourists travelling out to these places, as we’ve already seen happening in a lot of places in Germany.”

Dr O’Donoghue said: “We see the lynx as being a major economic driver in rural Scotland.”

He explained that the Trust are “working closely with SNH (Scottish Natural Heritage), hoping that they make the decision that is best for everyone.”

But he said: “Scottish government need to move more quickly to secure the eco-tourism benefits.”

He warned that if the government south of the border managed to implement schemes first then Scotland would fail to see the full benefit of the boon, which “could generate tens of millions of pounds.”

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Sumo wrestling social worker struck off Mon, 27 Apr 2015 16:23:49 +0000 AN AFTER-SCHOOL worker has been struck off after sumo wrestling with her boyfriend in front of young children.

Nicola McDonald, a registered social worker, engaged in “horseplay” with her partner while she was the manager of the after-school club at Flora Stevenson Primary School in Edinburgh.

The mum-of-two donned a sumo suit and “inappropriately” grappled in front of children as young as five.

Ms McDonald was removed from the Scottish Social Services register

Ms McDonald was removed from the Scottish Social Services register


She also swore at workmen, stole from petty cash and claimed almost £300 that she wasn’t entitled to.

Ms McDonald, who worked at the school from November 2008 to April 2013, has been removed from the register by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) after all 23 charges against her were proved.

The ex-manager abused her position by keeping school iPads at home for her children to use, letting her kids use the club mobile phone and even buying equipment using club funds.

She also listened to loud dance music in the club office during working hours, purchased a rucksack using club money and allowed her children to attend the club when they were not entitled to.


She went as far as to forge statements of fees for her children to say that she had paid for them to attend the club, when she had not. The fees amounted to several thousands of pounds.

On one occasion, when the children were watching a DVD, she smacked her own child’s bottom in front of everyone when they refused to leave with her.

Another charge found proven was that she told a workman to “f*** off” when he entered the canteen hall of the school.

There were also several instances when Ms McDonald falsely claimed expenses, including £8.98 for a taxi fare for a “club meeting” on a Sunday – when there were never meetings on a Sunday.

She also claimed twice for a lunch meeting, and even claimed £247.60 for a planned lunch outing with children which she was not entitled to.

She was dismissed from her position as Manager on April 25 2013 for “gross misconduct”.

The fitness to practice hearing was held by the SSSC in Dundee earlier this month.


The panel struck Ms McDonald off the register after agreeing her misconduct was “very serious and deliberate” and “fundamentally incompatible with being a social service worker”.

They also found that there was a “lack of real insight or regret” from Ms McDonald throughout the hearing.

They determined that she failed to treat colleagues with respect and failed to work openly and cooperatively with them, and decided that the most appropriate course of action would be to remove her from the register.

The Flora Stevenson Primary School is located on Comely Bank Road in Edinburgh. After school care is provided for children aged five to 11.

Their website states that staff are “trained in Child Protection and committed to providing the highest level of childcare”.

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Satan the pony becomes an internet hit Mon, 27 Apr 2015 16:13:10 +0000 THE devilish antics of a pony called Satan have turned him into an internet hit.

It has taken three years just to get a saddle on the 4ft Palomino from Kentucky without the need for drugs.

The three-year-old pony, dubbed a “fireball”, rears, kicks bucks and bites so much it has never been ridden.

Satan was first advertised on Craigslist for £130

Satan was first advertised on Craigslist for £130


Satan’s first owner sold him on Craigslist for £130, warning the purchase was “at your own risk” and “no returns”.

Satan’s brave new owner, Olivia Dixon from Salvisa, Kentucky, claims to be making progress and reckons she has “fallen in love with the devil”.

He rears, kicks and bites so much he has never been ridden

He rears, kicks and bites so much he has never been ridden


Olivia has set up a Facebook page – A Pony Known as Satan – dedicated to the “evil” equine which has attracted 112,000 followers.

Satan was rescued at six months after being mistreated and neglected and allowed to roam freely through eastern Kentucky, a state known for its horse racing.

Satan (centre) out in the field with two friends

Satan (centre) out in the field with two friends


Olivia responded to an advert placed by Jessica Lynn in July last year which read: “Pony available at your own risk.

“Meet Presley (AKA Satan). He got the first name, earned the other.

“13 hands of fireball. He isn’t broke to ride and most days barely broke to lead (if you can even catch him).

Olivia Dixon took up the challenge of training the pony

Olivia Dixon took up the challenge of training the pony


“He does rear, kick and buck a little bit. Even a bite on occasion (especially if you try to touch him).

“You can pick up his feet (if you have a death wish). He would excel as a bronc prospect or maybe just a lawn mower.”

It went on: “He will remind you to pay your health insurance on time. He loves horse treats (will take them with or without chunks of your hand).

“He has had a saddle on once after a tube of ace and a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

“He is a beautiful mover (whilst trying to catch him you will see this movement a lot).

Satan was advertised with a strict no buy-back policy

Satan was advertised with a strict no buy-back policy


“Will sell on a NO buy back contract. Free bottle of tequila with purchase (you will need it).”

The advert also explained that he was up for sale for just $200 “so the canners (meat buyers) stay away.”

Not one to be put off easily, Olivia took on Satan and was given a bottle of wine as she drove off with the pony.

His recent milestones include allowing Olivia to pick up his leg – an ordeal which took a lot of time and patience.

She even managed to put a saddle on him, something the previous owner had only managed to do with the aid of drugs.

Olivia says she has no regrets about buying Satan

Olivia says she has no regrets about buying Satan


Olivia said that despite the struggle, she has no regrets about buying Satan.

She said: “It was too good of an opportunity to show people no matter how lost of a cause a horse may seem to be, at any point in their life, they’re always worth redemption.

“He wants to learn because he’s an intelligent horse, but he doesn’t know that it’s ok to receive affection.

“If it takes ten years to make him a happy horse then I’ll take ten years. By that point I would probably just keep him anyway.”

Satan with Olivia's husband, Matt

Satan with Olivia’s husband, Matt


She added: “It’s changed my outlook on life and on everything. If a horse can be abused and tied up with a tight lasso around his neck and still come around to trust enough, trust people again, why can’t we change?”

Hundreds of people have written on the Facebook page, praising Olivia and her efforts.

Connie Cole said: “I think you are amazing. People don’t realise the time, patience and effort it takes to work with an animal, especially one with issues. I’m so impressed with what you’re doing.”

Hundreds of people have praised Olivia for her efforts

Hundreds of people have praised Olivia for her efforts


Jeanelle Horlacher wrote: “This is a great story. Olivia deserves amazing kudos for all her patience with a beautiful but challenging guy.”

Some followers piped up with equally devlish names for their own horses.

Shauna Kidney wrote: “We have a mare named Hell’s Bitch. She has turned out to be one of the best ranch horses.”

Gerry Wardell said: “I had a young Thoroughbred named Suicide. I am in for the adventure of watching Satan.”

Kari Kidd added: “I have Satan’s tri-coloured brother from hell. His name is Malfoy…for a very good reason.”

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Church of Scotland to raise thousands of pounds for worldwide organisations Mon, 27 Apr 2015 15:55:06 +0000 SIX worldwide organisations are set to benefit from thousands of pounds raised by the Church of Scotland’s Guild.

Care for the Family – a Scottish charity helping new parents through the tough times after having a baby – is one of the organisations which will benefit from the much-needed funds.

All Friends Together, a project to make churches more welcoming for people with learning disabilities, and Street Pastors, who go out to help people in local communities, will also receive thousands of pounds.

Abroad, there is support for tackling Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya, an environmental project in Bolivia and a missionary project in Haiti.

The Church will help raise money for charities across the world

The Church will help raise money for charities across the world


Each of the six projects adopted by the Guild can expect to raise around £100,000 during the 2015-2018 fundraising cycle. As the Church’s voluntary organisation, the Guild has more than 22,600 members in 890 groups across Scotland, and enjoys a track record of success, raising more than £670,000 for the projects it adopted during 2012-2015.

The Guild’s National Convener, Kay Keith, says Care for the Family, Scotland – like the other five projects—is meeting a very real need. More than half of all new parents who divorce or separate do so within three years of having a child.

“It’s a very exhilarating time when you have a new baby, but it’s also a time of great change for the family and the beginning of a new life,” she said. “Some couples don’t make it and it seems a bit easier today for couples not to stick together.


“We recognize that a huge part of that is about communication and understanding what is going on. Care for the Family Scotland helps new parents build strong family relationships and stick together through tough times. As an organization that is very much concerned with children and with encouraging and helping and the family unit, we wanted to support this work.”

“This is an opportunity, not to just give funding, but also to be part of it,” she added. “We will raise funds for all the projects, but we are a service organisation so our members will get very involved as volunteers with the three Scottish projects.”

Fiona Marks, Care for the Family’s Scottish representative, said The Guild’s support for “Let’s Stick Together” will help the charity work with thousands of new parents across Scotland.
“Together we literally have an opportunity to change the future for children and families. I’m very excited about the next three years.”

The projects were chosen to reflect the Guild’s theme for 2015-2018: Be Bold Be Strong. Projects are chosen by members and get the final seal of approval from the national committee.

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Anonymous donor gives football legend’s signed shirt to charity shop Mon, 27 Apr 2015 15:30:19 +0000 A SIGNED shirt belonging to a Scots football legend has been anonymously donated to a charity shop.

Workers at Shelter Scotland’s shop at Clarkston Toll, East Renfrewshire were shocked to find a football shirt signed by Scotland and Rangers legend Colin Stein.

The retro shirt, of the kind worn by the Scotland team in the late 1960s and early 1970s, was anonymously donated to the charity shop recently and is signed by Colin Stein, who scored nine goals for Scotland in 21 appearances.

The shirt was left by an anonymous donor

The shirt was left by an anonymous donor


Stein was also part of the Rangers team that won the 1971-72 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, scoring one of the three goals that brought the Glasgow side victory.

The shirt will be auctioned off to raise vital funds for the housing and homelessness charity.

Jean Abdulrahim, area manager for Shelter Scotland’s shops, said: “We found the signed football shirt in a bag of donations that was handed in recently, and once we realised its significance we were delighted.

“The auction is a great opportunity for a collector to get their hands on a piece of Scottish footballing history, as well as raising money to help support Shelter Scotland’s work.”

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “We’d like to thank whoever it was who donated the shirt for their generosity.

“We welcome all donations to our shops, no matter how big or small, and it’s always humbling to know that people want to help Shelter Scotland. Without this support we would not be able to deliver our vital services and campaign towards our goal of ending homelessness and bad housing.”

The silent auction – by way of sealed envelope bids to the Clarkston shop at 21 The Toll, Busby Road – opens on Wednesday 29 April and will close on Friday 8 May.

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World-record attempt to be held in Fife Mon, 27 Apr 2015 15:18:33 +0000 CHILDREN and parents are being urged to sign up for a one-off record-breaking attempt in Fife.

On May 19, families will read their way into the record books at an event which will see almost 1,000 people attempt to break the record for the most parents reading to their child at the same time.

Free tickets are going fast, and organisers hope as many families as possible come forward to help get Fife into the record books.

The record attempt is part of the Take Time for a Story campaign, which aims to encourage parents to spend time storytelling with their child in the early years.

Organisers hope as many children as possible get involved

Organisers hope as many children as possible get involved


Carrie Lindsay, Head of Education and Children’s Services, said: “Hundreds of families from across Fife have signed up to help us break this record, which celebrates storytelling and the positive impact it has on your child’s development.

“We’d love to smash this record and need as many parents and children as possible to sign up to come along. It’s set to be a brilliant event and we can’t wait to share a story with almost 1,000 people.”

Families will be entertained on the day by children’s authors Chae Strathie and Tony Bonning, and every child who attends will receive a free book and certificate to take home.

Read Your Way into the Record Books: The Big Read will take place on Tuesday 19th May at 10am, at Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre.

This event is run in partnership with Fife Council, NHS Fife, Fife Voluntary Action, Fife Cultural Trust and Fife Sports & Leisure Trust.

Free tickets are available now at

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Scots town to host a two-wheeled festival this weekend Mon, 27 Apr 2015 14:37:51 +0000 A SCOTS town will turn into a two-wheeled festival this weekend as hundreds of bikers head to the Borders.

The Selkirk Mountain Bike Marathon and British Mountain Bike Marathon Championships will begin this Friday evening on the High Street in Selkirk.

Top class entertainment includes a new Pump Track (a huge airbag on which to try out big air tricks), lung-busting roller racing, displays from a bike stunt team and a showing of stunning bike films.

The challenge will include  various stages in different sports

Thousands of enthusiasts will arrive in Selkirk for the festival


Hardies Bikes of Melrose will also be on hand for everyone’s biking related queries and repair needs.

At 10am on Saturday the biking marathons will get underway, as hundreds of mountain bikers ride in a huge procession from the centre of Selkirk to the entrance to Bowhill Estate behind a special lead vehicle.

Once the flag drops in the lead vehicle, it’s game on and the marathon can begin, with spectators and supporters waving the riders on from the sidelines.

The ever-popular Selkirk MTB Marathon has a choice of three single-loop and fully marked courses (approx. 25km, 50km and 75km), all setting off in waved start and visiting the valleys of the Rivers Tweed, Yarrow and Ettrick.

The British MTB Marathon Championships will see the UK’s elite riders fighting it out over the 75km loop for national honours and those coveted red, white and blue winner’s jerseys.

Paul McGreal from Durty Events, said: “Our Friday evening Bike Festival is an extremely popular event within the Selkirk MTB Marathon weekend, with both locals and visitors alike having a fantastic time on the traffic free High Street.


“This year we have a Pump Track, head-to-head Roller Racing, bike stunt displays, an airbag and a mini bike film festival. Best of all, it’s totally free of charge, family friendly, and pretty spectacular. Please come along, bring your bikes and join in the fun before hundreds of riders head into the stunning Scottish Borders’ hills on Saturday morning.”

To round off the Marathon weekend in style The Selkirk MTB Marathon and The British MTB Marathon Championships will be followed up by ‘The Reivers Raid’, the fourth round of the Scottish MTB Challenge Series (mountain bike orienteering) on Sunday 3 May 2015 -

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Property developers to build underpass for newts Mon, 27 Apr 2015 14:12:14 +0000 AN UNDERPASS for newts will be built to protect the species during a large-scale property development.

1,040 new homes are set to be built in Glenboig, North Lanarkshire, and developers have pledged to protect the Great Crested Newts that dwell in the area.

Banks Property has been granted a ‘Great Crested Newt Development Licence’ by Scottish National Heritage, meaning the newts will be relocated during construction and then re-introduced into a new, specially designed habitat.

The plan also includes building an underpass under a new proposed link road for the newts to use, and an expansion of a nearby local nature reserve.

1,040 homes are set to be built in Glenboig, North Lanarkshire

1,040 homes are set to be built in Glenboig, North Lanarkshire


Scottish Natural Heritage, the government body responsible for the conservation of Scotland’s wildlife, granted the licence to the Hamilton based developer following a detailed application which confirmed that the development will not affect the favourable conservation status of the species.

Great Crested Newts have been subject to significant habitat loss since WWII when there was a huge amount of change in how land was managed, which is why they are now protected by European and UK legislation.

Scott Knowles, an ecological consultant to Banks Property, said: “Through a commitment to protecting the local ecology, Banks Property successfully demonstrated that the population of Great Crested Newt would not suffer a decline and that a detailed management plan involving creation and management of retained habitats will allow the population to continue to grow and expand from the adjacent nature reserve.”

Colin Anderson, director at Banks Property, said: “Being awarded this important licence is testament to our development with care approach at Banks Property.


“We are pleased to be doing our bit to safeguard such an important pocket of rare wildlife, including manual investigations of construction routes as well as developing long term mitigation measures and habitat compensation.
“What is particularly pleasing is that rather than suffer a loss of habitat, the great crested newt population could continue to grow with the development of habitat and long term management.”

The 1,040 homes earmarked for Glenboig are part of a Community Growth Area aiming to deliver 3,000 new homes allocated in the North Lanarkshire Local Plan.

It is estimated this development will support approximately 2,500 constructions jobs and provide a boost of around£1 billion to the North Lanarkshire economy.

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New art gallery to open inside a pub Mon, 27 Apr 2015 13:39:53 +0000 A new gallery showcasing famous street artists is opening inside a pub – so you can buy a Banksy with your beer.

The Street bar in Edinburgh is set to sell original works by world-class artists, such as Keith Haring, Banksy, New York’s Shepard Fairey and even pop art legend Roy Lichtenstein, through its Street Art Gallery on the premises.

The bar is set to sell original works from world class artists

The bar is set to sell original works from world class artists


The innovative project has even won backing from TV bombshell Cleo Rocos, who is sponsoring the gallery with her AquaRiva tequila brand.

The star – who was made famous on the Kenny Everett Show – said: “Art is for everyone. It ignites the impossible as everything is possible in art. This is why I support the Street Art Gallery.

“Street Art is provocative and edgy and often created at great personal risk to the artist – like Zorro with paint cans. I love the happy danger and the strong and powerful messages in some of the very beautiful work.”

Cleo Rocos has backed the bar

Cleo Rocos has backed the bar


The Street Art Gallery is the first of its kind in Scotland and is the brainchild of the bar’s owner, Wendy Schofield. She said: “I’ve always had a strong interest in art and I believe street art is freshest art form because it is accessible to everyone and takes away the stuffiness of traditional works.

“I set up the gallery because I feel there is a huge gap in the market for this kind of work – especially in Scotland. I have collected some wonderful pieces that I believe more people should see.

“My plan is to regularly change the exhibits and to show a wide cross-section of world-wide street artists. The works will change every month and, hopefully, I will be able to include more local artists and maybe even produce my own work – anonymously, of course!”

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New plans to protect Scotland’s first National Park Mon, 27 Apr 2015 13:22:18 +0000 NEW plans to protect Scotland’s first National Park have been approved today following an extensive public consultation.

Four camping management byelaw zones will be implemented at the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in a bid to protect its unique environment.

There will be an investment in improved camping facilities, including the creation of 300 camping places and responsible camping education.

A tent left abandoned and on fire

A tent left abandoned and on fire


The Authority was unanimous in its decision, which drew on the responses of hundreds of members of the public.

The plans were developed following increasing evidence that the Park is being severely degraded by relentless pressure from high volumes of campers repeatedly visiting the same popular areas.

Further damage has been caused by litter, lochshores being used as a toilet, trees being cut down for firewood, abandonment of entire campsites and summer-long unauthorised caravan encampments in laybys.

Linda McKay, convener of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority board, said: “We believe our duty first and foremost is to conserve the environment of this special place for the enjoyment of this and future generations.

Further damage has been caused by litter

Further damage has been caused by litter


“Our proposals build on the success of wide-ranging measures introduced at east Loch Lomond and if we are successful in seeking Scottish Government approval for these new steps, we feel absolutely confident we can provide an outstanding National Park experience for all.”

During the recent Your Park consultation, key delivery partners Police Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and Forestry Commission Scotland all responded positively in support of the proposals and provided constructive feedback that helped improve the final recommendations.

Ian McEachern Convener of Luss & Arden Community Council said: “As a resident of Luss who has to endure antisocial behaviour from large groups of campers every summer, I was delighted with the National Park’s proposal to managing camping on West Loch Lomond.

High volumes of campers repeatedly visit the same areas

High volumes of campers repeatedly visit the same areas


“As part of our response to the Your Park consultation, Luss & Arden Community Council conducted a survey of all residents in the area. Of the 110 written responses, 95% supported the proposals.

“Without a byelaw to manage camping, Police are only able to act after antisocial behaviour occurs and they are limited in what they can arrest for. By the time they are contacted and able to respond, which is generally late on a Friday or Saturday night, the troublemakers are likely to be so intoxicated that they cannot be moved for their own safety. At times this has meant these campers continue to disturb residents and to damage property for the remainder of the night.

“As a community, we feel the proposed byelaws are essential and that they cannot come soon enough.


Richard Graham, local business owner and member of St Fillans Community Council, added: “It’s heart-breaking to see the damage being done to such a beautiful area, the rubbish being left here and the constant antisocial behaviour. I know of visitors who’ve been coming for years who now say publicly that they won’t return.

“You rarely see kids paddling in the water because of the broken glass and cans that have been dumped and the septic toilets which have been emptied into the Loch and surrounding fields. Even in the last few weeks I have again heard people using chainsaws to cut down live trees for firewood.

“My hope is that the Park Authority’s proposals go ahead so that changes can be made to help return this beautiful place to the world-class National Park that it should be and that it once was.”

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