Conserving wildlife is at the heart of what we do. Use this page to find out about wildlife and the law, reporting a wildlife crime, planning applications, our position on current conservation issues and more.
Current conservation issues
Here you can find the Trust's views on current conservation issues.
Updated 9 February 2021
The Trust strongly supports nature recovery including large scale wildlife focused projects. We would support the reintroduction of species that are appropriate to natural processes and fulfil an important ecological role in ecosystems. An example being water voles at Kielder, a process that only started after several years of local consultation.
Any introduction of a species that has been lost from our region needs to be properly planned, backed by science and have the support of local communities.
The lynx is a species that has been absent from the county for centuries. The Trust believes it may have a role to play in our nature recovery but it has to be accepted that reintroduction of predators needs particular care in involving and informing local people.
We believe that before any lynx introduction trial can take place much more work is required to build trust with local communities to further understand the local concerns. It will be necessary to work closely to mitigate these concerns to build a project that is acceptable to the majority of those who may be affected by the introduction. This is best achieved through a collaborative approach in project design.
We have attended Lynx UK Trust consultation events but have not been invited to contribute in more detail for the second application. We remain concerned about the apparent lack of acceptance to local land managers around the project area and the consequently high potential risk of reintroduction failure. We do not feel that the Lynx UK Trust has yet demonstrated a level of community support and trust-building appropriate for a project of this significance and we hence cannot currently support this project. We are also concerned about the effectiveness of GPS tracking in the forest and that there is a guaranteed exit strategy backed by fully accountable organisations.
Badgers and bovine tuberculosis (bTB)
We are very conscious of the hardship that bovine TB (bTB) causes in the farming community and the need to find the right mechanisms to control the disease. However, we believe that a badger cull is not the answer. The scientific evidence demonstrates that culling is likely to be ineffective in fighting the disease and, worse still, risks making the problem even worse. We believe the emphasis of all our efforts should be to find a long-term solution and we are calling for the Government to end its policy of culling badgers.
- This is a cattle problem, not a badger problem.
The control of Bovine TB in cattle should be the main focus of everyone’s efforts to control this problem. The evidence shows that badgers are not the primary cause of the spread of TB in cattle: the primary route of infection is via cow-to-cow contact.
- A vaccine for cattle should be a priority.
The Government has failed to develop one for TB. UK Cattle are already vaccinated for up to 16 diseases so why should TB be different?
- The cull is scientifically unsound.
The results of the previous badger culls indicate that this policy is flawed and unsupported by the evidence. In 2014 scientist and badger expert Rosie Woodroffe deemed the cull ‘scientifically rubbish’ in response to changing Government targets. Culling has been shown to be more expensive, less effective than other Bovine TB (bTB) control mechanisms and the free-shooting of badgers has been shown to be an inhumane method of killing.
Other useful links
Biodiversity and conservation
|BTCV (international conservation volunteering)||www.btcv.org.uk|
|Country Land and Business Association||www.cla.org.uk|
|Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group||www.fwag.org.uk|
|Flexigraze (conservation grazing)||www.flexigraze.org.uk|
|iSpot! (reporting sightings)||www.ispot.org.uk|
|Natural History Society of Northumbria||www.nhsn.ncl.ac.uk|
|North East Biodiversity Forum||www.nebiodiversity.org.uk|
|North Pennines AONB||www.northpennines.org.uk|
|Northumberland Coast AONB||www.northumberlandcoastaonb.org|
|Northumberland National Park||www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk|
|Northumberland Strategic Partnership||www.nsp.org.uk|
|Red Squirrels Northern England||www.rsne.org.uk|
|The Ambler - Amble's Community Newspaper||www.facebook.com/TheAmbler|
|Tyne Rivers Trust||www.tyneriverstrust.org|
|David Bellamy Conservation Awards Scheme||www.bellamyparks.co.uk|
|Dove Marine Laboratories||www.ncl.ac.uk/marine/facilities/dove|
|Field Studies Council||field-studies-council.org|
|Open Air Laboratories network (OPAL)||www.opalexplorenature.org|
|Wildlife Watch (the junior branch of TWT)||www.wildlifewatch.org.uk|
|Bikes for Work Cycle Scheme||www.cyclescheme.co.uk|
|Energy Saving Trust||www.energysavingtrust.org.uk|
|Forest Stewardship Council||www.fsc.org|
|UN Global Compact||www.unglobalcompact.org|
|Alnwick Castle & Gardens||www.alnwickcastle.com|
|Day Out with the Kids||www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk|
|Ford and Etal Estates||www.ford-and-etal.co.uk|
|Hancock Great North Museum||www.twmuseums.org.uk/greatnorthmuseum|
|Kielder Water & Forest Park||www.visitkielder.com|
|Northern Experience Wildlife Tours||www.northernexperiencewildlifetours.co.uk|
|Tide tables for Lindisfarne||www.lindisfarne.org.uk/0/tide.htm|
|This is Northumberland||www.thisisnorthumberland.com|
|Tyne & Wear Museums||www.twmuseums.org.uk|
|Woodhorn Colliery Museum||www.experiencewoodhorn.com|