Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Nature notes: Wildcats, wolves and lynxes could make a return to the British countryside

1 APRIL 2016 • 1:59PM

Wildcats could be reintroduced to the Devon countryside as part of a "rewilding" programme.

The Wildwood Trust has created a natural woodland enclosure for its new wildcats which it hopes will show how they once prowled Devon.

One of the new arrivals, Staffin, has been recognised as one of the purest British wildcats left in the wild. It is to be joined by a female and their offspring will be part of a national breeding programme aimed at preventing the species' extinction.

Scottish wildcat monitored for wildlife project
The wildcat is confined to the north of Scotland, and became extinct in England in the 19th century. Peter Smith, founder of the Wildwood Trust, says he would like to see the reintroduction of lynx and even wolves. Mr Smith said: "By changing the rules of agricultural subsidies and returning animals like wildcats, our uplands could blossom with wildlife."

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