Case to re-introduce lynx is ‘not proven’

A Eurasian lynx. Picture by Erwin van Maanen
A Eurasian lynx. Picture by Erwin van Maanen

The case for a trial re-introduction of lynx into Kielder Forest has not been proven, Northumberland National Park Authority has said.

This view follows a special meeting, held in public, last month at the Authority’s HQ in Hexham, where members considered the proposal.

The application to re-introduce six Eurasian lynx into the wider Kielder area – adjacent to the National Park – has been made by the Lynx Trust UK.

As a relevant statutory and key advisory body, Natural England has asked Northumberland National Park Authority to comment on a number of specific areas in the trial proposal which will help to inform their advice to Defra.

The specific areas the Authority addressed in its response included the overall objectives of the trial, its location and the potential environmental, social and economic impacts and benefits.

The Authority has advised that, for a number of reasons, including insufficient public consultation, the case for a trial at Kielder has not been proven.

The Authority has further urged Natural England to consider the wider implications of a full re-introduction in Kielder alongside this application for a limited trial.

If permission is given, the four females and two males would be intently studied over a five-year period – amassing information that could indicate whether a full re-introduction can be carried out with more individuals across a wider area.

The Trust has agreed to insure sheep against attacks throughout any trial period.