Anne-Marie Trevelyan, MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed, has expressed her relief that the Environment Secretary Michael Gove has listened to local concerns and decided not to allow the re-introduction of Lynx into Kielder Forest.
The Secretary of State has written to the Lynx Trust UK, to refuse their application to release 6 Eurasian Lynx into Kielder Forest. He took the rare step of publishing the advice he received from Natural England on the matter, which detailed concerns over safety, feasibility and ecological concerns, as well as unanswered questions from Lynx UK which left the Secretary of State unable to proceed.
Anne-Marie said: “I am delighted the Secretary of State has listened to the concerns raised by Natural England, which echo those raised with me locally. It is astonishing that Lynx Trust UK had not even carried out an assessment of the ecological impact the plan would have, not least on the new species of birds who have recently recolonised the Forest. The Forestry Commission has worked extremely hard with conservation and species preservation in Kielder forest, and this slapdash plan, which lacked proper consideration, could have put that in jeopardy.”
The Government policy, as expressed in its 25 year Environment Plan, is to allow for the reintroduction of formerly native species where appropriate, but only when the plans are thorough and there are clear economic and social benefits to doing so.
Link to Mr Gove’s letter and the Natural England advice: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lynx-reintroduction-in-kielder-forest