Some Scottish News & Views Issue # 539

Issue # 539                                     Week ending Saturday 15th  February 2020

A Famous Actor Who is Promoting His Veganism Milks it for All its Worth by
Iain MacIver Courtesy of the Press & Journal

When I bumped into Angus from Harris the other day, he was complaining about the cold. He said: “It’s awful. I always get really bad chilblains in Febuary.” Febuary? As we Lewis types always tease Hearachs about their distinctive twang and how they pronounce words, I corrected him and told him there were two Rs in February. I won’t repeat his exact words but he suggested he couldn’t be bothered with all those Rs.

Poor Angus has, however, decided that he and other Harris people should probably pronounce things more carefully. He said: “I was in Glasgow last week and I went into this huge shop on Argyle Street. They had a retro section selling all kinds of stuff from the 1960s and 1970s. It was great to see platform shoes and all the glam rock stuff. I didn’t buy any platforms but I did ask to buy a kipper tie and the guy said: ‘Milk and sugar, sir?’”

Milk is now becoming a big international topic - or rather the treatment of the cows that produce it for us to have with our cornflakes. In his acceptance speech on Sunday at the Oscars for the best actor award, one of the Hollywood stars called Joaquin Phoenix spoke about us plundering the natural world for its resources. He then focussed in on how we treat a cow by snatching her calf from her and then he added: “We take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.”

Oh. Never thought of that. Aw, the poor wee calf. Maybe I ought to go back to a morning fry-up. But what about those poor dairy farmers? They have long been complaining about the price they get for milk and are not going to be happy if ideas like Mr Phoenix’s rise up. Will we all switch to soya milk or other plant-based alternatives, as is happening in so many other culinary areas. Think veggie burgers.

I must admit the origins of the dairy industry do intrigue me. After all, who was the first person to see a cow and think: “I wonder what will happen if I squeeze these dangly things and drink whatever comes out”?

Well, people have been doing exactly that for about 10,000 years. Its fat content and its by-products has sustained us through hard times and many a cold winter. Indeed many mammals’ milk is used for something as even asses’ milk famously featured in the bathtime routine of Queen Cleopatra in Ancient Egypt because it was thought better for the skin and general complexion than whatever they had before Estée Lauder and Nivea for Men.

Somehow, I think the dairy industry will get through this. The reason I say that is because we may soon be seeing a solution to the ruminant problem that is threatening our planet. The bovine digestive system produces methane gas while it is breaking down all that grass and it gets into the atmosphere by cattle burping food back up to chew the cud. Seriously, windypops by cattle are thought to be a significant contributor to climate change.

Now Australian researchers in Queensland think they have found the answer - seaweed. Tests show cattle feed containing a little seaweed extract called Asparagopsis Taxiformis cuts methane escapes by 99 per cent. They are getting quite excited about it. They love their milk in Aussie and even small corner shops are known over there as milk bars - because they sell milk, cream and butter. So these researchers are very confident and ordering slabs already. That’s Aussie for a carton of 24 tinnies - I mean the amber nectar - I mean cans of Melbourne-based Foster’s Lager - Crafted to Refresh since 1888.

Milk is something we have depended on and it is important to know where it actually comes from. Too often, we gloss over nature’s truths when talking to our kids. I remember the night my very young daughter came in and began asking difficult questions. “Daddy, daddy, daddy. Where does poo come from?” OK. I’d better not swerve this one. Food goes into our stomachs, I patiently explained, and it travels through the alimentary canal and, after being broken down with enzymes, the waste thingummyjig is expelled. OK? “Thank you, daddy. And where does Tigger come from?”

Meanwhile, Angus from Harris is still agonising over whether he should still be having milk in the mornings as his family has a cow. I think he should continue because they do not separate the cow and calf straight away. He told me there was enough milk to go round after the cow has had a calf and it is rich and delicious.

That was when Angus looked at me with that air of superiority that crofters have when they have specialist knowledge that you don’t. In that thick Harris accent, he asked: “What do you call a cow just after she has given birth?” We had a cow when I was young but I don’t remember hearing that. No, dunno, Angus. “It’s obvious, Iain. It’s decaffeinated.”

Blizzards Sweep Scotland After Storm Ciara

Wintry conditions are sweeping across Scotland in the wake of Storm Ciara which battered the UK over the weekend.  The Met Office has issued yellow warnings for wind and snow for most of Scotland with disruption to travel.  Forecasters said that the snow and high winds would bring blizzards to many parts of Scotland.  Many roads have been affected by snow and one woman has been seriously injured in a crash on the M74.  The woman was involved in a collision between a lorry and two cars on the motorway at junction seven, Larkhall, shortly after 10:00 on Monday.  Police Scotland said her injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.  The southbound carriageway of the Queensferry Crossing was closed at 19:00 on Monday.  The crossing's northbound carriageway was then closed at about 20:20 due to adverse weather.  The official twitter feed for the bridge operators said the closures were a "precautionary measure due to risk of falling ice and snow from the cables".  Traffic Scotland said it would remain closed until further notice.  The diversion, via the Kincardine Bridge, adds approximately 26 miles to the journey.  On Ben Nevis, Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team said 22 team members were searching in "horrendous" weather for a group of four people stuck on steep ground near the summit.  A Coastguard helicopter is involved in the search, but the team said the aircraft was "very limited" by the weather conditions.  The bad weather also led to the closure of some schools in the Highland Council area.  Achiltibuie, Gergask and Kingussie primaries and nurseries have closed, along with Alvie, Inverie and Mallaig primary schools. Highland Council said the closures had affected more than 200 children.  Up to 20cm (8in) of snow is likely to fall on Monday and Tuesday, with conditions remaining wintry and unsettled all week, according to the Met Office.  The weather across Scotland is likely to be very unsettled with heavy showers, hail, thunder and snow expected.  Ice will also form as the the temperature drops. Wintry conditions are affecting the M74, A82, A835, A93 and A87.  Commuters faced difficult journeys across Scotland, with blizzard conditions reported on the M74 at Beattock.  The Dornoch bridge has been closed to high-sided vehicles with warnings in place on other bridges.  A response team has been set up at the Traffic Scotland National Control Centre in South Queensferry for the duration of the warnings to monitor conditions.   ScotRail said there were no services between Kilmarnock and Dumfries following a landslide.  All trains between Carlisle and Glasgow Central/Edinburgh remain suspended because of flooding at Carlisle,

Climbers in Trainers Rescued in Ben Nevis Blizzard

Rescuers said four people helped from Ben Nevis were lucky to be alive.  They said the group who were caught in blizzard conditions had "no ice axes, no crampons and as far as we are aware no maps". Three of them were wearing trainers.  Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team found them near the summit of the mountain.  All four were taken by helicopter from part-way down the mountain to be checked over at Belford Hospital in Fort William. The rescue helicopter, R151, could not be used near the summit because of the severity of the conditions.  In a statement, the rescue team said: "All casualties lifted from Half Way Lochan by R151 and transported by Team to the Belford Hospital. Extremely lucky people. No winter kit - no ice axes, no crampons and as far as we are aware no maps.  "Three of the guys were in trainers! They were about 150 metres down into Coire Eoghainn on steep ice and if they had slipped or gone down any further consequences could have far more serious." They added: "Could have so easily ended up so different."  The rescue team described as "horrendous" weather with the wind chill about -20C.  The rescue on Britain's highest mountain comes in the wake of Storm Ciara and amid Met Office yellow "be aware" warnings of high winds and snow.

Ben Nevis Tourists Thank Rescuers with 'Generous' Gifts
Four men rescued from Ben Nevis in high winds and blizzard conditions have apologised to, and thanked, their rescuers.  Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team and Inverness Coastguard helicopter went to the aid of the tourists, who were not equipped for winter hillwalking. Following Monday's incident, they have sent the team a donation along with gifts of whisky, wine and chocolates.  Lochaber MRT has thanked the men for the "generous offer".  In a statement, the rescue team said the group had admitted to having made "a significant error of judgement" and were "extremely sorry".  The rescue on Monday afternoon came during bad weather in the wake of Storm Ciara.  The four men, who were visiting Scotland from abroad, were taken to Belford Hospital in Fort William for treatment.  Lochaber MRT, like other mountain rescue teams, rely on grants and public donations for funding.  Responding to calls on social media for people to take out insurance before heading into Scotland's hills, or for people to be charged for being rescued, the team said such measures would be unworkable. "Where do you stop? Insurance for fishing, rugby, football all of which have more incidents and injuries than mountaineering?" said the team.  The team said efforts should be focused on increasing awareness of mountain safety and weather forecasts, adding that the rescued four men should be "cut a little bit of slack".

Space Hub Sutherland Planning Application Submitted

Small satellites could be launched from the north west Highlands within the next two years, Highland and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has said.  The development agency has submitted a planning application for its Space Hub Sutherland at Melness, near Tongue..  Working with private companies, HIE has proposed building Europe's first vertical launch site.  It said the project would create 61 jobs in Sutherland and neighbouring Caithness - 44 of them at the site.  The roles would include mechanical and electrical engineering, weather monitoring, control room operations, ground services, security, management and marketing.  More widely across the Highlands and the rest of Scotland, HIE said a total of 250 jobs could be connected to the space port.  The planning application has been submitted to Highland Council.  If approved, up to 12 launches a year could eventually be made from the site. The rockets would carry small, commercial satellites that would typically be used for Earth observation.  There has been opposition from some residents in the area with concerns raised about the facility's impact on the environment.  HIE has approved up to £17.3m in funding towards designing and building the space hub. HIE would contribute £9.8m, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority £5m and the UK Space Agency £2.5m.  The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is involved because of its work to help create new jobs to replace those lost from the eventual closure of the Dounreay nuclear power site near Thurso in Caithness.  Designed by Norr Architects, the facility would comprise a launch control centre, a single launch pad and associated infrastructure, including roadways, fuel storage, office premises and antennas.  A temporary lightning tower would also be installed at the launch pad around flight days.  HIE aims to make the project carbon neutral and said it had spent two years gathering data and assessing potential effects on wildlife and the local habitat which is characterised by large areas of peatland.  Levels of light and noise that could be generated, especially around launch times, were also examined.  David Oxley, of HIE, said: "This is a truly unique and innovative venture that aims to create the first launch site of its kind in Europe."

Kincorth Hill Fire 'Deliberate', Say Police in Aberdeen

A fire at an Aberdeen nature reserve was started deliberately, police have confirmed.  Fire crews were alerted to the large blaze at the Kincorth Hill local nature reserve shortly before 09:00 on Wednesday.  Two pumps and a special forestry unit extinguished the blaze on the land known locally as the Gramps and no one was hurt.  Smoke from the fire could be seen across the city.  Sgt Kevin Souter said fire raising is "extremely reckless" as there is "limited control over how it may develop".  He issued an appeal for information and urged anyone in the area who saw anything suspicious to contact Police Scotland's non-emergency line or Crimestoppers.

Pictish 'Power Centre' Uncovered Near Dunkeld

A hilltop fort near Dunkeld was an important Pictish power centre, say archaeologists who excavated the site.  Evidence of metal and textile production were revealed at King's Seat Hillfort, a legally protected site.  Finds such as glass beads and pottery suggested the Picts who occupied the site in the 7th to 9th centuries had trade links with continental Europe. Other finds included pieces of Roman glass that were recycled and reused as gaming pieces. In a new report on last year's excavations, archaeologists said the wealth of finds suggested the site had been a stronghold of the elite in the local population, with "influence over the trade and production of high-status goods".  Fragments of pottery - of the kind made in continental Europe - and Anglo-Saxon glass beads suggested the Picts were trading far afield. As well as evidence of metal-working, spindle whorls used in textile production were found. Archaeologists said the artefacts uncovered were in keeping with other high-status, royal sites of early historic Scotland, including the early Dalriadic capital of Dunadd in Argyll and the Pictish royal centre of Dundurn near St Fillan's by Loch Earn.  Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust (PKHT) worked with Dunkeld and Birnam Historical Society, archaeological contractors AOC Archaeology Ltd on the digs.  Thirty community volunteers and Pitlochry High School students assisted with the excavations.  Last year's work marked the third and final season of excavations as part of the King's Seat Hillfort Community Archaeology Project. The site is a scheduled ancient monument and digs can only be done with prior permission.  David Strachan, director of PKHT, said: "We have uncovered lots of evidence of how people were living and working, and the remains of a building with a large hearth on the summit, with fragments of glass drinking vessels, gaming pieces, animal bone and horn. They paint a vivid picture of high-status people gathering and feasting, decorated in the latest high-status jewellery and ornamentation."  Cath MacIver, of AOC Archaeology, said crucibles, whetstones, stone and clay moulds found indicated that craft production took place at the hillfort.  "What's particularly interesting is that evidence of this activity has been found in all of the trenches [excavated areas]," she said.  "There must have been a lot of iron and other metal working going on here making the site an important centre for production - not just the home of a small group of people making items for their own use."

New £6.6m Digital Learning Network Now Up and Running in Borders

A new £6.6m digital skills and learning network part-based at Borders College’s Galashiels and Hawick campuses is now up and running.  That network, given the thumbs-up by the South of Scotland Economic Partnership in July 2018, was launched simultaneously yesterday, February 12, by Scottish Government business, fair work and skills minister Jamie Hepburn in Galashiels and deputy first minister John Swinney in Dumfries.  Its aim is to improve access to online learning opportunities for people of all ages and educational backgrounds in the hope of enhancing their job prospects and helping bridge skills gaps flagged up by employers in various sectors.  The digital hub at the Galashiels campus will focus on teaching skills needed in the care industry and its counterpart in Hawick will do likewise for construction.  Mr Swinney said: “The south of Scotland skills and learning network will broaden access to teaching for students and learners of all ages right across the region.  With a clear focus on areas that have growing regional job opportunities, the ability to develop key skills without having to relocate will provide so many more people with an excellent start to their careers or the chance to retrain to branch out into new areas.  I look forward to seeing how the colleges develop the technological platform that has been created here to its fullest potential.  Alongside the south of Scotland enterprise agency, which will launch on 1 April, the work of the partnership will help us maximise the full economic potential of the south.”  College principal Angela Cox added: “This innovative partnership enables us to better capitalise on the expertise and resources that exist across the south of Scotland and provide more accessible learning opportunities.  Our schools and employers, such as NHS Borders and Eildon Housing Association, are already benefiting from investment in our technology-enhanced care hub and science, technology, engineering and maths hub.  We remain committed to expanding the range of learning opportunities in conjunction with Dumfries and Galloway College in order to deliver on our joint vision of being regionally focused and globally connected in the delivery of future skills.”  What are described as digital spokes will be located across the region in schools, community venues and businesses, and lessons delivered elsewhere will be open for others to participate in, along with online learning resources.  Borders College has spent its £2.3m portion of the funding for the network on a care hub in Galashiels and construction hub in Hawick.

COP26: Government Insists COP26 Summit Will Be in Glasgow
The UK Westminster government has insisted that the COP26 climate summit will be held in Glasgow despite fresh claims that it could move the event to London.  The FT reported that the government has "opened talks" with the ExCeL London venue as a "fallback option". But the government said it was standard practice to carry out "contingency planning" for major events. A UK Westminster government spokesman told BBC Scotland: "As the PM said last week at the launch, COP will be in Glasgow".  The spokesman said planning for the UN summit was "well under way", and added: "We are committed to working with the Scottish government to make it a success".  The conference is due to be held at the Scottish Events Campus between 9 and 19 November, but there have been concerns about spiralling costs amid claims that the UK and Scottish governments have been at loggerheads over planning for the event.  Speculation that the summit could be moved was first sparked by comments made by former UK energy minister Claire O'Neill after she was sacked from her role as president of the conference.  Ms O'Neill said she had been told that the government was considering relocating the event to England - but her claim was strenuously denied by Downing Street.  She has also claimed that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had "heartily and saltily" refused to give Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, an official role in the summit.  And she accused the Scottish government of behaving "disgracefully" ahead of the conference, and said the two governments were locked in a "stand-off".  The FT reported on Wednesday that it had been told by UK Westminster government officials that negotiations had started with the ExCeL London venue in the east of the city as a possible "fallback". Asked about the London venue being lined up, the PM's press secretary added: "It is standard practice to carry out contingency planning for major international events at this stage."  About 30,000 people, including some 200 world leaders, are expected to attend COP26, with Police Scotland warning that the cost of providing security could be more than £200m - partly because the force will need to bring in officers from elsewhere in the UK to help. On Wednesday, Ms Sturgeon and the UK Westminster government's cabinet minister, Michael Gove, both sought to ease fears that the summit could be threatened by a political row between Westminster and Holyrood.  Ms Sturgeon said: "There are plenty of issues Boris Johnson and I can have squabbles about. This really should not be one of them.  I personally and my government are committed absolutely and unequivocally to working closely and constructively with the UK Westminster government and with other partners in preparing for the COP26."  Meanwhile, Mr Gove - who has been tipped to replace Ms O'Neill as the president of the summit - said the UK had a moral responsibility to lead on climate change. He insisted that the UK and Scottish governments were getting on "very well" ahead of the conference, adding: "You have a UK Conservative Westminster government working with a Scottish Nationalist Scottish government and, whatever their differences, a determination to make this a success."  What is COP26?  It's a UN-led annual meeting set up to assess progress on tackling climate change.  COP stands for Conference of the Parties. The parties in question are countries that have ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  The UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty that came into force on 21 March 1994.  The first COP meeting took place in Berlin, Germany, in 1995.   COP26, in November, will see about 200 world leaders meet in Glasgow to agree a new, long-term deal on rising temperatures.  It's seen as particularly important because the Madrid COP last year left a raft of complex issues unresolved

Kilmarnock to Dumfries Rail Line Repairs to Take Four Weeks

Emergency work to repair a landslip beneath the railway between Kilmarnock and Dumfries will take a further four weeks.  The line has been shut near Holywood in Dumfries and Galloway since Monday in the wake of Storm Ciara.  Heavy rainfall has caused the nearby River Nith to erode an embankment beneath the railway.  Following detailed examination Network Rail said the line would need to stay shut until 16 March. Engineers are currently working to repair the 1,700-tonne landslip beneath the 50m (160ft) stretch of track.  They will first have to construct a new road and compound to bring material to the site before they can stabilise and rebuild the embankment.  ScotRail services between Dumfries and Carlisle and between Kilmarnock and Glasgow will continue to run with replacement buses operating between Dumfries and Kilmarnock.  Passengers with ScotRail tickets may also travel on Avanti West Coast and TransPennine Express services between Carlisle and Glasgow Central, via Lockerbie.  A Network Rail spokesperson said: "Our engineers are working hard to reopen the line as quickly as possible for customers.  Storm Ciara has caused significant damage beneath the track and we will need to rebuild the track-bed and supporting embankment before we can reopen the line.  The landslip is located in a challenging location above the river and will also require our engineers to construct a haul road to bring equipment and materials to the site."

Sutherland Contractors' Fury At Being 'Sold Out' by Highland Council

Tradespeople throughout Sutherland are up in arms after losing out in a new procurement scheme about to be introduced by Highland Council.  The majority have failed to make it onto newly drawn-up lists of preferred local authority suppliers – despite working for the council for decades.  Contractors claim it is the “nail in the coffin” for their businesses and will have a severe knock-on impact on Sutherland’s economy.  Golspie builder Michael Bonner said: “It will wipe us all out and that is no exaggeration. It has massive job implications for Sutherland and needs to be addressed immediately.”  The new framework, which goes live on February 24 and lasts until 2022, will see jobs previously offered to local contractors go to joiners, electricians, plumbers and other trades from Inverness and beyond. An emergency meeting attended by 11 tradespeople and the three East Sutherland and Edderton ward councillors was held in Golspie on Tuesday night when the call “Local jobs for local people”, was made.  The ward councillors were due to have high-level talks with council leader Margaret Davidson and the authority’s head of procurement yesterday afternoon.  Councillor Richard Gale vowed: “I am going to do everything I can to get this changed. We have got a fight on our hands but we have the ammunition.”  The council began work towards implementing the new framework in spring last year. It said at the time it wanted to “streamline” the process but it is widely thought the main impetus was to cut costs. Suppliers who wanted to be considered for local authority work were asked to fill in a 40-page document containing 167 questions.  So complicated and burdensome was the task that many tradespeople had to pay procurement experts to complete it on their behalf.  Trades were asked to provide two prices – one for work within a 30-mile radius and the other for work further afield. Both prices had to include travel.  From these applications, the authority has drawn up lists of six preferred contractors in each trade who will be used in the future. It is understood the selection was based mainly on price.  The 11 contractors at Tuesday’s meeting, for whom local authority jobs represent on average 50 per cent of their workload, vented their anger and concern and expressed disbelief that Inverness firms could undertake the work any cheaper than them given the travelling time involved.  The contractors warned that jobs and apprenticeships in the county were now at stake.  James Urquhart, who runs an electrical firm in Golspie, said: “It is a huge nail in the coffin for this area. This has to be stopped. Inverness wants everything.”  Talmine joiner Magnus Beveridge, who highlighted the loss to the council of local knowledge, said: “It makes no sense and it can’t save Highland Council money.  A contractor from Inverness would have to drive 440 miles to a job in Strathy – compare that to a local contractor operating within a 40-minute drive. It’s not cost-effective nor environmentally friendly. So much for Highland Council doing its bit to be greener.”  Councillors present said the new scheme had previously been sold to them as focusing on local jobs. Councillor Deirdre Mackay said: “Everyone is stunned.” Councillor Jim McGillivray said: “I am absolutely shocked. These new procurement procedures will simply wipe out Sutherland trades, with disastrous consequences for the county.  But this is typical of the one-size-fits-all attitude of this Inverness-centric council administration which cares not a hoot for the rural Highlands as long as Inverness is doing just fine.”  A council spokeswoman said: “We are currently in a standstill period which allows any supplier notified to seek feedback on their bid or clarity around the process.”

Alok Sharma to Be President of UN Climate Conference

A little known minister has landed the key job of running the UN's next big climate summit later this year.  In Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Cabinet reshuffle, Alok Sharma becomes Business Secretary and "president" of the crucial event.  The summit, known as COP26, is due to be held in Glasgow in November.  Mr Sharma's appointment follows the controversial sacking of former minister Claire Perry O'Neill from the role.  The initial announcement about Alok Sharma, who was International Development Secretary, did not specifically mention that he would be president of the conference.  The Downing Street press office later confirmed that he would be chairing the event, and that puts him right at the centre of some very difficult international negotiations.  Under the terms of the Paris Agreement - a global deal designed to tackle climate change - this year is meant to mark a step-change in action. The countries of the world are meant to bring forward improved plans for cutting emissions of the gases heating the planet.  But very few have done this so far, and coaxing reluctant governments to change their policies will be an extremely difficult challenge.  Back in May 2019, Mr Sharma wrote that there was "an unstoppable momentum" towards more ambitious global action - the coming months will reveal whether he can help deliver that.  Kat Kramer of Christian Aid said handling the climate talks was a "delicate and grave task" made harder by the new appointment "coming in late in the process".  The government needs to "put the UK's house in order" as host of the event, she said, but that Mr Sharma, as Business Secretary, was well placed to oversee that. "In order to be a credible host, the UK needs to rapidly step up efforts to reduce emissions at home, not just boast about its 2050 net zero target. The target is only worth anything if it drives short-term decarbonisation and so far those plans are thin on the ground."

'It's Nessie' - Mystery Skeleton Washed Up on Scots Beach Leads to Speculation It's Loch Ness Monster
The discovery of a mystery skeleton uncovered on a Scottish beach during the recent Storm Ciara has led to speculation that it could be the remains of the Loch Ness Monster.  The photos of the rotten carcass on Balmedie Beach in Aberdeen were posted on a local community Facebook page - Fubar News - after it was revealed following the powerful storm which battered the country last week.  The member who sent in the pic posted: "Came across this weird creature today near Aberdeen. Any ideas what it could be?"  Other users were quick to respond that it could be the Loch Ness Monster, despite the fact Loch Ness itself is over 120 miles away from the beach where the remains were discovered.  "Nessie! Escaped to the sea but then came to a sticky end," one person joked, while another added that Scotland's most famous creature couldn't "adapt to saltwater".  Others speculated that it was everything from an orca or a dolphin to a (very lost) saltwater crocodile.  One person even quipped that it was "Aberdeen FC's backbone" as it "hasn't been seen this year!"  The post itself has had over 1,200 likes and over 300 shares but it appears the real answer to the mystery may be rather more mundane.  Nick Davidson of the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme confirmed that it was in fact the remains of a Minke whale which originally washed up in October last year but had been uncovered by the recent bad weather.

Glasgow Valentine's Washout As Storm Dennis Brings Weekend of Heavy Rain and Floods

Love may be in the air this weekend - but there's also a lot of wind and rain as Storm Dennis makes its presence felt across the country.  Forecasters are predicting a Valentine's weekend washout for Glasgow, with weather warnings in place from Saturday morning until Monday lunchtime.  It comes less than a week after Storm Ciara brought travel chaos and treacherous conditions to much of Scotland - with rain, hail, snow and heavy winds.  The Met Office have issued amber alerts for further south, meanwhile in Glasgow we're set for just yellow warnings for wind and rain.  It states that flooding of homes and businesses is likely, with delays to road, rail, air, and ferry transport to be expected.   Some damage to buildings is predicted, with power cuts also possible.  Those living in coastal communities on the west coast are also advised that spray and large waves will also be prominent. Storm Dennis is also predicted to bring strong winds - like that witnessed with Ciara - of up to 70mph. Meanwhile the worst affected areas of the country will see more than 100mm of rain in one day, while 40-80mm is likely in other parts. Met Office meteorologist Matthew Box said: "The winds will be a touch down on what we saw with Ciara but the focus is on a bit more rain with Storm Dennis due to the persistence of the rain."

Last Updated (Saturday, 15 February 2020 02:47)