Adopt

Yorkshire Dales: new report proves it’s a raptor persecution hot spot

Yorkshire Dales National Park is a raptor persecution hot spot

The Yorkshire Dales Bird of Prey ‘Partnership’ (YDBPP) recently published a ‘Bird of Prey Evidence Report’ which supposedly documents the status of raptors in the ‘national park’ and provides details of confirmed illegal persecution between 2022-2023. England’s ‘national parks’ are notorious persecution hotspots, so any truly independent analysis should slam the management of the grouse […]

Labour PCC victories give some hope to wildlife

PCC results 2024

Labour has made significant gains in the 2024 England and Wales Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections. This could be very positive news for animals – because PCCs have significant influence over whether wildlife crime is taken seriously by local police forces. Labour gained 9 new seats, while Conservative lost 11. A PCC’s role is […]

Here’s another reason we need to vote in the PCC elections on 2nd May

The Police and Crime Commissioner elections take place on 2 May, on the same day as people turn out to vote in the local elections. In North Yorkshire and South Yorkshire, the PCC responsibilities are being taken over by the new mayors. If you live in Yorkshire, this is your chance to vote for a […]

122 Hen Harriers confirmed ‘missing’ or illegally killed in UK since 2018

Hen Harrier and chick

Using data from the RSPB and Natural England, the UK’s leading website on the illegal persecution of birds of prey, Raptor Persecution UK (RPUK), published the details yesterday of each of 122 Hen Harriers confirmed ‘missing’ or illegally killed in the UK since 2018. Hen Harriers are the most persecuted bird of prey in Britain […]

The criminal justice system is failing wildlife

A new report once more highlights how Britain’s criminal justice system is failing animals, allowing people to hurt or kill wildlife with impunity. The report, compiled by Wildlife and Countryside Link, and containing information from different animal welfare charities, makes for damning reading. It shows that convictions in 2022 dropped by more than 40%, despite […]

Shooting industry fails to criminalise Chris Packham

chris packham goshawk chicks

Hampshire Police has said that it won’t press charges against Chris Packham. The wildlife presenter’s supposed crime? Sniffing a goshawk chick on the BBC’s The One Show. Packham appeared on the programme back in August with three ringed chicks in the New Forest. He sniffed one to detect their “characteristic scent or perfume”. An individual […]

Buzzard shot in North York Moors National Park

The criminals at large in the North York Moors National Park – a region dominated by grouse shoots – have struck again, as a Buzzard was discovered “fighting for its life” on Daleside Road in Rosedale. X-rays revealed that the Buzzard had been shot, and the bird was transferred into the care of the renowned […]

The grouse shooting industry’s ‘illusion of truth’

Hen Harrier

“141 hen harrier chicks fledge as encouraging population growth recorded” (Natural England). “Record high for Hen harrier population in England” (Moorland Association). “Another record year for hen harriers as 141 chicks fledge in England” (BASC). “Population of Hen Harrier in England experiences boom” (Hexham Courant). “Hen harrier chick numbers grow for seventh year in a […]

Scottish Greens describe grouse shooting as ‘festival of violence’

The barbaric grouse shooting season began on 12 August, the ‘Inglorious 12th’. The Scottish Green Party has sent a clear message to gamekeepers and wealthy shooters that the blood sport is not welcome in Scotland. The Scottish Greens’ rural affairs minister, Ariane Burgess MSP, didn’t mince her words when she said: “There is nothing glorious […]

THREE more Hen Harriers ‘disappear’ on grouse moors

The RSPB has posted a press release today which describes how THREE more Hen Harriers (one of the UK’s most persecuted birds of prey) have ‘vanished’ on grouse moors in northern England. All three of them have been killed within days of the ‘Inglorious 12th’, the start of the 121-day blood-soaked season the industry uses […]

‘Moor’ bad news for grouse shooting in run up to Inglorious 12th

As we reported on July 22nd, United Utilities (UU), the largest corporate landowner in England, announced its decision to no longer renew grouse shooting leases on its moorland. The last of those leases will end in 2027, after which time UU (unless they bow to pressure from the shooting industry) will be out of the […]

White-tailed Eagles poisoned in Northern Ireland

white-tailed eagles posoned in northern ireland

A reward of £5,000 has been offered for information following the poisoning of two White-tailed Eagles in Co Antrim. The birds were found on Glenwherry Hillfarm on May 15th and a post-mortem examination revealed both birds had ingested the insecticide bendiocarb. Conservationists monitoring one of the birds, which was fitted with a satellite tag, became […]

World’s tiniest violin plays for shooting industry

Last week Yahoo News reposted a Daily Telegraph puff piece for the shooting industry which ran with the headline, “Gamekeepers face ruin after last-minute change to licences.” Lamenting a normally supine government for actually (finally) recognising the terrible threat of Avian Flu to wild bird populations and that protected areas ought to be – you […]

Illegally set spring trap causes death of Barn Owl

North Yorkshire Police have reported on the sentencing of a man after the death of a Barn Owl trapped illegally on an allotment plot in Hunmanby, near Scarborough. On 8 April 2023, a dog walker discovered a badly-injured adult Barn Owl caught in a spring-operated trap in the allotments at Sands Lane, Hunmanby. Despite the […]

Gamekeeper Francis Addison convicted in dead goshawks investigation

Francis Addison gamekeeper charged in connection with discovery of five dead goshawks

On the 29th of June, Francis Addison (72) a part-time gamekeeper of South Park, Weeting, pleaded guilty at Norwich Magistrates’ court to NINETEEN charges in connection with a multi-agency raptor persecution investigation led by Suffolk Police, including the possession of five shot Goshawks. As Protect the Wild reported back in January this year, the bodies […]

Short-eared Owl shot and killed on Peak District grouse moor

The RSPB has released news of the shooting of a Short-eared Owl on  Broomhead Estate, a notorious grouse moor in the Peak District National Park. The incident took place last summer but wasn’t publicised until police investigations had concluded. The shooting was witnessed and recorded on a mobile phone by an individual birding on the […]

RSPB: The Economics of Driven Grouse Shooting Report

grouse shooting

The RSPB (the “UK’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home and secure a healthy environment for wildlife’) recently published a report called ‘Driven Grouse Shooting – Assessing the economic and social impacts of future options for grouse moor management‘ Or did they? Curiously, this detailed and over 100-pages long report […]

“Huge blow for struggling species” as yet more Hen Harriers ‘disappear’

Hen Harrier

The suspicious disappearance of two rare Hen Harriers is “a huge blow for a struggling species”, the RSPB has said. The UK’s most persecuted bird of prey, an adult Hen Harrier ‘disappeared’ from the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire on 4 May after its satellite-tag stopped transmitting, and another bird went missing in what the […]

Paltry punishment for wealthy company that deliberately burnt moor

burning grouse moor UK

A company worth almost £20 million has pleaded guilty after it deliberately burnt swathes of moorland in the Peak District. Dunlin Ltd, which owns Midhope Moors, didn’t have a licence to set fire to the land but was fined just a paltry £2,645. Dunlin’s land agents, JM Osbourne Rural and Sporting, had initially applied for […]

Hen Harriers: Illegal killing major cause of death, says RSPB

As everyone but the shooting industry acknowledges, illegal killing IS the main cause of death in Hen Harriers aged between one and two years, and a major cause of death in birds under one year, according to a new paper, published in the journal Biological Conservation, and led by the RSPB. According to a press […]

Protectors of the Wild – putting eyes in the field

Have you ever wondered what UK law says about hunting, shooting, collecting bird eggs, or about foxes, badgers, and bats? About operating drones, using airguns, or driving quad bikes legally? What the Hunting Act 2004 says, or whether the snare or spring trap you’ve just found is being used within the law or not? Us […]

“Sickened”: Hen Harrier had head pulled off while still alive

Natural England (whose useless scheme to boost populations of the rare Hen Harrier has been slammed repeatedly by conservationists) says it is “sickened by evidence of persecution” of Hen Harriers after a staggering twenty of the rare birds ‘went missing’ from areas managed for grouse shooting in northern England in the past year. Hen Harrier […]

Sun sets on failed Peak District Bird of Prey Initiative

According to a statement by the Peak District National Park Authority, the Peak District Bird of Prey Initiative is to close as persecution cases continue. Set up in 2011 by the National Park Authority, the ‘initiative’ was intended to restore populations of birds of prey (or raptors) to 1990s levels, but has crashed amidst ongoing […]

Cambridgeshire: Buzzard shot in head with airgun

Shot Buzzard RSPCA

ITV News is reporting that a female buzzard has been found ‘thin and weak’ in a garden in Cambridgeshire after surviving being shot with an airgun. The bird was taken to a vet in Ely where an x-ray revealed she had an airgun pellet lodged in her head. The RSPCA said it was a “miracle” […]

Scotland: Gamekeeper guilty of shooting Sparrowhawk on grouse moor

On 31 March 2023 Rory Parker (24), pleaded guilty to shooting a Sparrowhawk whilst employed as a gamekeeper on the notorious Moy Estate, Inverness – becoming the 56th gamekeeper to be convicted of raptor persecution offences in Scotland since 1990. As their name suggests, Sparrowhawks are one of the UK’s smallest birds of prey and […]

Co Durham: Red Kite found ‘peppered with shot’ on grouse moor

The RSPB has said that a Red Kite found this month peppered with lead shot in Edmundbyers, County Durham is currently fighting for their life in a bird hospital. This is the second report of a shot Red Kite in just a few days, following news that a witness saw a Red Kite being shot […]

Scotland: Red Kite shot on Lochindorb Estate

Police Scotland have appealed for information after a witness reported the shooting of a Red Kite on a grouse shooting estate near Grantown-on-Spey. The Kite was recovered by the Scottish SPCA but the gunshot injuries were so severe the bird had to be euthanised. Red Kites have full legal protection under the Wildlife and Countryside […]

Anu: yet another Hen Harrier ‘disappears’

To quote the RSPB, “Hopes dashed for vanished Hen Harrier Anu, whose tag was found cut off after roosting on grouse moor”. Anu, a satellite tagged Hen Harrier, vanished after roosting near Upper Midhope in the Peak District National Park – on land managed for driven grouse shooting. RSPB Investigations Officers located the bird’s tag […]

Raptor persecution: if we think ‘shooting’ first who can blame us?

The recent discovery of the bodies of five dead young Goshawks dumped in a wood in Suffolk drew an instant response that shooting estates and their gamekeeper employees were likely to be involved. That feeling was compounded by x-rays that showed shotgun pellets in all five birds. Shooting lobbyists like BASC (the British Association of […]

Five shot Goshawks dumped in Suffolk wood

On 17th January Suffolk Police’s Rural, Wildlife & Heritage Unit posted a request on their Twitter feed for information after the discovery of the bodies of five young (Northern) Goshawks dumped in Forestry England’s King’s Forest near Thetford in Suffolk. The large and powerful birds – fully grown juveniles likely to have hatched just last […]

Bird of prey poisonings: public at risk, says Lincolnshire Police

Aaron Flint, a wildlife crime officer from Lincolnshire Police, has warned of the risk to humans, dogs and cats from poisons used to illegally kill birds of prey. Detective Constable Aaron Flint, from the Lincolnshire Police Rural Crime Action Team, has featured in an article published on the BBC News website. The article makes clear […]

Yet more dead buzzards and yet another gamekeeper in court

Dorset gamekeeper Paul Scott Allen appeared before Weymouth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, January 4 where he pleaded guilty to seven offences including possession of a live or dead bird (or parts thereof) and misuse of a regulated poison. Allen appeared in court after an extensive investigation by police which began in November 2020 when a […]

Hen Harrier nest attacked and chicks stamped to death

Hen Harrier and chick

North Yorkshire Hen Harrier chicks found dead with broken bones after ‘deliberate’ attack The raptor persecution hot spot of North Yorkshire (a ‘black hole for raptors‘ according to the Yorkshire Post) is in the news again following a (belated) press release from the local police. In an area dominated by grouse moors and frequent reports […]

Nidderdale: Raptor Poisoning Capital of UK

Poisoned Red Kite Nidderdale RSPB

Nidderdale AONB in the Yorkshire Dales slammed by RSPB as the ‘bird of prey poisoning capital of Britain’. ‍Is the message (belatedly) getting through that the shooting industry is responsible for trying to dictate to the rest of us how many birds of prey we should be seeing and where we should be seeing them? […]

Poisoned buzzard hung from tree in Co Down

poisoned buzzard hung from tree in county down

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) are carrying out inquiries after a dead Common Buzzard was found strung up off the Ulster Way in Co Down. Member of the Legislative Assembly for North Down independent unionist Alex Easton has spoken of his disgust at finding the bird of prey hanging by the neck in […]

The Killing Continues: Shooting industry driving raptor persecution

RSPB 2021 Birdcrime Report

The latest RSPB Birdcrime Report confirms that the shooting industry continues to drive the illegal persecution of birds of prey, listing 108 confirmed incidents across Britain in 2021. The tally of dead birds includes 50 Common Buzzards, 16 Red Kites, seven Peregrines and three Goshawks. Birdcrime is the UK’s only annual and comprehensive report of […]

Gamekeeper escapes jail after admitting intentionally killing birds of prey

Gamekeeper escapes jail after admitting intentionally killing birds of prey. Matthew Stroud, 46, of Weeting, appeared at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on 5th October 2022 and admitted to the intentional killing of six Common Buzzards and a single Northern Goshawk. Police found photos of the dead raptors, which he confessed later to killing, on his mobile […]

West Sussex eagle poisoned with bendiocarb

West Sussex eagle poisoned with bendiocarb…the poisoner’s weapon of choice A few months ago news broke that two young White-tailed Eagles from the Isle of Wight reintroduction project (a five-year project bringing young eagles from Scotland and releasing them on the Isle of Wight to re-establish the species in part of its former range) had […]