Youngster’s 50-mile hike raises £400 towards reintroducing lynx

By Toby Leigh in Local People

Eleven-year-old Mahni Clear has raised nearly £400 for a wildlife project after hiking 50 miles from one end of the river Dart to the other.

Mahni, from Dartington, brought in well over the £350 target he had set himself before spending two days walking from the source of the Dart on Dartmoor to the mouth of the river at Dartmouth.

Mahni’s mum Heidi said the walk had gone smoothly, although the Dartmoor section had been a bit muddy and Mahni had got lost briefly before getting back on track.

Mahni was raising money to support the Lynx UK Trust, which is looking at trying to reintroduce the Eurasian lynx back into the UK, where it died out around the year 700.

The trust is currently surveying locations across the UK and meeting with local communities in those areas to identify potential release sites for a trial reintroduction of the lynx.

Before his hike, Mahni said: “As I walk I’ll imagine that one day I may be walking here or another wild place and catch a glimpse of a lynx in the bushes or see its footprints and know I’ve been part of it being here.”

Now the youngster is ­planning to organise a small presentation and talk about the lynx project and his fund­raising walk in the autumn.

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