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Lynx Trial Reintroduction Refused

Members will be aware that SACS has long been engaged with the attempt by the Lynx UK Trust to reintroduce, on a "trial basis", lynx into Kielder Forest. Having been frustrated by the media showboating dominating the public narrative of this potentially disastrous proposed trial, SACS submitted our serious and evidenced concerns directly to Natural England and Defra earlier this year, which were acknowledged ‘with great interest.’ We also engaged with SNH via the National Species Reintroduction Forum, of which we are a member. In summary, we opposed the trial on the basis that:

Lynx Trial Reintroduction Refused

1) The Trust has treated rural stakeholders poorly and as a result, there is widespread objection and resentment in the rural communities that were being told they would have to live with lynx;

2) On the evidence available to SACS, we do not believe that there is sufficient suitable habitat to support a viable, sustainable lynx population in any of the proposed reintroduction areas;

3) It has not been demonstrated to SACS beyond reasonable doubt that our members’ interests would be safeguarded in the event of a trial being approved.

We are heartened that, in this case, the authorities have genuinely listened to key stakeholders and communities, including SACS. Well done to everyone involved with this positive result. This is also a real-world lesson for those wishing to reintroduce formerly native species: well-funded media campaigns targeting people with emotive propaganda and cute photographs are no substitute for high-quality scientific evidence and genuine community engagement.

You can read the SoS' letter and Natural England's advice by clicking here.