Food for thought as labour shortage bites | Brief letters

Asylum seekers | Nature and children | Narrowboating | Weather predictions | A Star is Born

While UK food firms beg ministers to let them use prisoners to ease labour shortages (Report, 23 August), we keep thousands of asylum seekers, eager to work, in hotels for months or years while the Home Office considers their cases. Could the government do some joined-up thinking?
Alan Lane
Abingdon-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

• In order for children to love the natural world and wish to protect it (The more children know of the natural world, the more they’ll want to protect it, 22 August), I suggest a return to natural history as the main focus for school science at key stages 1 and 2. This is the age at which to nurture children’s awe and wonder of the world around them.
Christine Crossley
Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire

• The lovely article advising those new to narrowboating holidays covered all the basics (‘Don’t fall in!’ Readers’ tips for the perfect canal boat holiday, 20 August). If I might just add one pearl of wisdom: no matter how much it’s raining, you’re really not meant to moor up under a bridge and get the barbecue going.
Ian Grieve
Gordon Bennett, Trent and Mersey canal

• Reading about how Connor’s grandad’s knee condition could predict rain or not (Letters, 22 August) reminds me of my uncle in Ireland who said: “If doesn’t rain between the showers, you’ll be OK.”
Peter Stewart
London

• Sorry, Margaret Vandecasteele (Letters, 22 August), but the original – and best – version of A Star is Born was made in 1937 starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March. I wept.
Linda Mockett
Winnersh, Berkshire

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