Could we see wildcats return to Dartmoor? That is the plan of millionaire Ben Goldsmith who funded the reintroduction of beavers to Devon and is ready to fund the return of the wildcats to Britain.
Wildcats roamed the country up until the 1700’s but were wiped out as farmers thought they would kill livestock. There is now a small population in Scotland.
Ben Goldsmith is an adviser to Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Mr Gove is ‘open to the idea’. Ben is the brother of conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, and spent £200,000 supporting the reintroduction of the beaver on the River Otter in Devon.
Wildcats could help to cull the grey squirrel which drove out the native red squirrel. One of the country’s leading experts on mammal reintroduction has drawn up a briefing for minsters as a meeting of conservation organisations takes place next month.