Last Sunday, we took a very long walk to the beach and decided (some would say rather foolishly!) to walk back through the fields and woods, just as dusk was finishing up it’s journey over Norfolk.
I kept telling myself that being in even the darkest of woods is no more scary than in the daytime, but still the eery darkness enveloped us and despite eating all of my vegetables, I could only see a few feet ahead.
Each side of the well-trod path brushed us with ferns and I could feel lots of animal eyes upon us…owls, birds, squirrels, muntjac deer, badgers and other night creatures as they froze on detection of our scent and rude, heavy stomping through their home.
I’ve been spending abit of time researching extinct British animals recently, a subject I’d long forgotten I loved and one that is fascinating to revisit. With a vivid imagination like mine, I wondered what it must have been like for humans to live alongside such amazing creatures like the Red Deer, Wild Boar, Wolf and Lynx…I should think those woods we walked through might well have been alive with the sound of wolf howls…and the eyes looking out at us might have been hungry ones – eeeek!
Although records prove we had Wolves, Brown Bears and Red Deer in Norfolk before they went extinct, I couldn’t find any information with regards to whether we ever had the Eurasian Lynx here.
The elusive Lynx, driven out of many areas due to habitat destruction, currently occupies hilly tree filled terrains elsewhere in the World where it is harder for us to grow crops.
I like to think that she might have been tempted our way long ago, drawn to Norfolk by our abundance of Hares and our vast swathes of long-lost tree cover before heavy agriculture took over most of our flat lands.
This is my drawing of what she might have looked like peering out at us silly night-blind humans walking through the woods…
Like the Wild Boar reintroduction to the Forest of Dean, conservationists are hoping to reintroduce other long-extinct species back into Britain. The Lynx UK Trust is currently looking into areas in which bringing back the Lynx to our shores might be possible :D – check out their Lynx FAQ to find out more about this beautiful creature!