National Park calls for clarity on lynx decision process

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

Northumberland National Park Authority wants more clarity on how a decision will be made on the proposed reintroduction of the lynx.

In July, the Lynx UK Trust submitted an application to Natural England, the statutory body which will decide on the bid, to carry out a trial reintroduction of six Eurasian lynx to Kielder Forest.

This week, the National Park Authority reported that it has written to Natural England and Defra seeking clarity on the decision-making process surrounding the application for an area adjacent to the National Park.

In September last year, the Authority agreed its own process for commenting on any official proposals for the reintroduction of the lynx.

However, since the submission in the summer, the Authority has yet to be approached, consulted or informed on what the formal process is for assessing the application.

Coun Glen Sanderson, chairman of Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “The National Park Authority wants to have the opportunity to consider the proposal to reintroduce the lynx and we wish to do this based on the proposals in the formal application by the Lynx Trust and with the benefit of all available evidence.

“If necessary, the Authority will call a special meeting to consider the matter and will communicate its views widely, ensuring they are fully explained to the public and decision-makers.

“To date, however, we have not been consulted nor have we received clarity on what the process for assessing this application is.

“Understandably, this is causing concern among local communities and their representatives and we feel further information is needed.

“In the meantime, the National Park Authority will be liaising closely with Natural England and Defra to help ensure the views of the Authority are considered in this process.”


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