New proposals by the Lynx UK Trust to reintroduce three predators in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park just 30 miles from Glasgow have provoked a hostile response from the farmers union.
The trust says it has already carried out an ecological feasibility study and met with senior officials at Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) prior to submitting a licence application, and it intends to conduct public engagement events in the area from next month.
However SNH said it had given the project no approval or endorsement.An SNH spokeswoman said: “We are aware that there are strong views about these proposals and, in the event that an application is submitted, would expect extensive consultation to take place.”
Lynx Trust director, Dr Paul O’Donoghue, described the proposed release area in Queen Elizabeth Forest Park as a “lynx paradise” with high deer densities, extensive forest cover, low human population density and no major roads.
However support is not forthcoming from NFU Scotland (NFUS) which insisted it would take all necessary steps to ensure the interests of farmers and crofters are protected if a formal application for release of lynx is made.
NFUS environment and land use chairman Angus MacFadyen said: “In our opinion, no local consensus nor political consensus has ever been secured and this latest supposed ‘consultation’ in Scotland will not change that.”