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Beast of Backwell
COUNTRY CREATURES: The large lynx photo is for illustration purposes only - the lynx roaming free at Backwell is pictured in the lane...
The Lynx UK Trust has applied to Natural England for permission to release six Eurasian lynxes into Kielder Forest and a licensing decision is expected shortly.
The rewilding group (sounds like something from The Game of Thrones) said consent for the project was now a ‘near certainty’ after the owners of 20 adjoining plots in the forest agreed the animals could be let loose on their land.
If the release is successful it could lead to the widespread reintroduction of the cats into the Scottish Highlands and other parts of Britain.
Nailsea and nearby is not known to be part of this scheme - unless you know something different?
Big cats in the wild are generally believed to be escaped or released pets that had been held illegally, possibly released after the animals became too difficult to manage.
In 1980 a wandering puma was captured alive in Scotland.
Sightings at a distance may possibly be explicable as domestic cats seen near to a viewer being misinterpreted as larger animals seen farther away.
Dave has had his ‘caught on camera’ sighting verified as a lynx.
Has anyone else seen anything?
UPDATE: Neighbour thinks the photo is of a Great Dane which used to live down the lane at nearby garden centre and often went walkies on its own!
What do you think? Email email@example.com and let us know.
The one that got away…a Backwell man spotted a wild lynx down by the lake grounds in the summer of 2016.
Dave and Eileen Lynch were driving home when in a lane close to Nailsea & Backwell railway station they spotted the young animal.
But Dave was advised by friend and wildlife expert Craig Thomson not to go public as ‘every man for miles around with an air gun would want to try to bag it’.
At that time there had been a few other sightings at Chelvey.
Since then there have been no reports made public about the wildcat which is about the size of an average dog with long, tufted ears and short, bobbed tail.
Dave, aged 63, who works for a national industrial electronic import company, said: “We spotted it and thought that doesn’t look right so we stopped the car and I got out with my camera.
“The light wasn’t brilliant, but I recognised it as a strange animal and I knew it wasn’t a fox or wild deer.”
Author Camilla Swift wrote about a similar beast at large in The Spectator a few months ago.
She said: "It’s interesting that everyone is making such a fuss about this ‘dangerous wild lynx’ that has escaped from a Welsh animal park.
"Various reports have described it as ‘fearsome’ warning that it ‘could eat pets’ and be ‘aggressive if cornered’."
The lynx has almost been hunted to extinction in western Europe but is now making a return.
It's favourite food is roe deer and they are also known to feast on rabbits and hares, rodents, birds and even smaller carnivores like foxes.
With no natural predators, the UK's deer population is thought to be at a 1,000-year high.
It has been suggested the reintroduction of lynx would help to manage this population, reducing the negative impact excessive deer numbers can have on woodland and associated species.
However, concerns have also been expressed about the potential for lynx to prey on livestock such as sheep.
Well one lone lynx wandering on the outskirts of Nailsea isn’t going to make much of an impact, said Dave.
In August, this year it was announced that wild lynx could return to Britain for the first time in 1,300 years after landowners agreed to let them roam on 270 square miles of forest in Northumberland.
Traffic news for commuters
Two major resurfacing schemes will start in Tickenham and Abbots Leigh in December.
A £94,000 scheme to resurface the A369 Rownham Hill, from its boundary with Bristol to near the junction with Bridge Road, Abbots Leigh, will start on Monday, December 3.
The work will be carried out on three consecutive nights using a road closure between 8pm and 6am.
Diversion routes will be in place.
Road resurfacing will also be carried out on Tickenham Hill /Clevedon Road from Thursday, December 6.
The road will be closed between 8pm-6am for two nights, re-opened for the weekend and then closed again during the night on Monday and Tuesday, December 10-11.
The aim of the £75,000 scheme, which will also include new signage and replacement gullies, is to improve the condition of the road and lay anti-skid material on Tickenham Hill to help with accident prevention.
Diversion routes will be in place during the work and drivers are urged to be patient.
North Somerset Council executive member with responsibility for roads Elfan Ap Rees who is Hutton and Locking ward councillors said: “Investment in roads continues to be high on our agenda and we remain committed to maintaining and improving roads across North Somerset.
“We would urge people to be patient while these essential works are carried out.”
For more information click HERE.
A word of warning to Nailsea drivers thinking of going into Bristol for a bit of Christmas shopping.
The park and ride at Long Ashton is now called the M2.
It no longers goes along Anchor Road but takes the scenic route through Bedminster.
People wishing to visit We Are Curious, Bristol Cathedral or Park Street who get off at Wapping Wharf face a wet and windy track via the Arnofini if the weather is inclement.
Oh and another word of warning take a bank card as you have to buy a tickets before getting on the bus and the machine doesn't take cash.
Bus drivers have been known to take pity on stranded motorists who come armed with mountains of cash and no plastic!
Have fun finding out where to catch the bus back and enjoy the Redcliffe roundabout delays especially during rush hour.
Nearly all the passengers on the M2 bus were overheard complaining about the route(s) into town.
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For 12 years Ben had been one of the team at The ICT Workshop which provided a wide variety of computer services to Nailsea, Clevedon, Yatton, Backwell and even Weston-Super-Mare.
Ben felt it right to continue the same great service customers had previously experienced but under new branding for a new business and The Tek Hut was born.
Trading at the familiar location in Nailsea, The Tek Hut will continue to offer the same cost effective, new laptops and PCs, upgrades, onsite support for homes and businesses through to a wide range of workshop services and accessories.
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