UK farmers’ fears raised as wild lynx could be reintroduced to Britain in the hope of controlling deer populations.
Phil Stocker, Head of the National Sheep Association said the organisation had previously opposed the plans for the introduction of lynx in Kielder Forest, as within a 30-mile radius there were around 1,000 sheep farmers. He also said that fears have been raised concerning the potential loss of sheep.
Lynx Trust UK believes the farmers would see an improvement in the amount of crop yielded as the lynxes would help control the deer population which can damage crops. The trust hopes that if lynxes were introduced there would be less damage to trees and woods in the UK’s fields, along with less crop damage. It is also hoped the number of crashes caused by deer in the road would be reduced.
The Lynx Trust UK’s plans will also include a compensation scheme for farmers if their sheep are lost due to the predators. It is currently thought that the UK’s wild deer population numbers over two million and this is the biggest number seen in 1,000 years. As natural predators such as wolves have become extinct from the land, the number of deer have grown.
Trust director Dr Paul O’Donoghue said, “What was seen as wildly ambitious in 2018, is now seen as essential and urgent.
“The whole environmental agenda in the UK has changed – reintroducing lynx is now a mainstream concept and the protection and restoration of our broken ecosystem is very high up on both the public and political agenda.
“Our team has been working extensively on the application, and we have spent the last two years carefully addressing the feedback provided by Natural England after our first licence application.”
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