We are surveying locations across the UK and meeting with local communities in those areas, to identify potential release sites for a trial reintroduction of lynx.
We will work closely with local communities, stakeholders and the general public to improve understanding of lynx and their place in our ecosystem.
Selected reintroduction sites will provide soft releases for a small number of closely monitored lynx, as part of a scientifically led trial reintroduction.
Welcome to the Lynx UK Trust, a group of conservationists dedicated to reintroducing the lynx back into the ecosystem of the British Isles.
The Eurasian lynx, an original native of the British Isles, is a medium sized felid that has been forced out of much of Western Europe by habitat destruction and human persecution over the last 2000 years. The last of the British lynx disappeared around the year 700.
Focused on hunting deer species and a variety of smaller mammal prey, the lynx is a legendarily elusive creature, known by ancient cultures around the world as a mysterious 'Keeper of Secrets' that rarely leaves the forest.
This solitary and secretive nature means that they present no threat to humans and it is exceptionally rare for them to predate on agricultural animals. Their presence will return a vital natural function to our ecology helping control numbers of deer and a variety of agricultural pest species whilst protecting forestry from deer damage caused by overpopulation.
Reintroductions into other European countries have been a remarkable success, with the best managed programs constructing whole new eco-friendly industries such as wildlife tourism around their presence, breathing new economic life into remote rural communities.
With no natural threats and bringing a great range of benefits to humans, the time is perfect to bring back the lynx to the British Isles.
The Lynx UK Trust is made up of a group of expert feline conservationists with specialisations in areas such as wildlife reintroductions, field research, ecology, biology and genetics, determined to return a sustainable population to the UK over the next decade.
We are currently engaged in a range of research to identify potential release sites and carrying out stakeholder and public consultations on the reintroduction of these cats to the UK.
This website serves as a basic overview of our objectives which is periodically updated; please join our social networks to keep up with the latest news (click for Facebook or Twitter; it's going to be an exciting time ahead!
09/01/2018: LATEST ON THE TRIAL LYNX REINTRODUCTION LICENSING APPLICATION
In July 2017, the Lynx UK Trust submitted the first ever license application for the release of Eurasian lynx into the UK. The license was submitted after a comprehensive consultation lasting almost 2 years during which a wide range of local and national stakeholders were consulted. The wider general public were also consulted using an online questionnaire to which we got almost 10,000 responses in 7 days. 92%of the respondents were in favour and the majority of respondents were from rural areas.
The license application consisted of thousands of pages of rationale, explanation, data, scientific analysis and literature review and this paperwork was submitted directly to Natural England who are the relevant licensing body. It is important to note that the Lynx UK Trust has also had ongoing communication with SNH, DEFRA and the Animal Plant and Health Authority, who are all fully aware of the license application and are in communication with Natural England about it. Indeed it has been very encouraging that this application is the subject of multi-agency attention which shows just how seriously this application is being treated.
After a period of review by Natural England, the case managers from Natural England and representatives of the Lynx UK Trust met to discuss the status of the application in September 2017. The meeting was very useful and lasted around 3 hours during which time all aspects of the license were discussed. As was agreed at the meeting, Natural England sent over details of further information that they required. The Lynx UK Trust is in the process of compiling the further requested information and will be submitting this to Natural England at the end of January.
It is important to note that the Lynx UK Trust has not been requested to carry out any further consultation for the license application. This is very satisfying given the effort and scope of our pre license consultation process. However this does not meant that consultation and engagement work has stopped, indeed these activities are still ongoing both in Kielder and at other sites.
Since we submitted our license application, relevant senior members of the government have expressed an interest in being involved with the decision making process and this is something that we of course welcome. Indeed representatives of the Lynx UK Trust have been invited to Westminster for a meeting to discuss the application in the very near future.
This type of application has never been submitted before but we are very satisfied that our application is being taken very seriously by all relevant government departments and is being appropriately considered. From our point of view, the licensing process is going exactly to plan and we are hopeful and confident of a positive decision in the very near future. The exact timing of a decision is of course out of our hands. However rest assured you will all know as soon as we do and in the meantime we are all working flat out to ensure that any information requested of us is comprehensively and promptly provided.
Thanks for all your interest and support, it is a real privilege to be leading the way on what will undoubtedly be the most exciting conservation/reintroduction project ever conducted in the UK.
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