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 too! Which is why we have developed ‘Protectors of the Wild’ a free resource to help us all become ‘eyes in the field’ by learning how to recognise, record, and report wildlife crime and wildlife persecution.

After all, the more we know, the more any potential criminal will have to be looking over their shoulder wondering if we know enough to Recognise, Record, and Report what they’re up to.

And the more we can do to help protect the wild!


Almost 300 FAQs answered – with more to come!

Imagine the scene. We’re out and about (probably in the countryside, but wildlife crime and persecution can take place anywhere of course) and we come across a scenario that rings alarm bells…but we’re just not sure if the law is being broken or not. Is it legal to shoot by a footpath? Is it ever legal to block a badger sett? Are we seeing hare coursing? Should a bird of prey ever be trapped in a crow cage trap? Shouldn’t that quad bike have lights and a clean registration plate?

Using every current resource we could find, we’ve set out to answer as many of these questions as we can – and put all those answers in one place. So far about 300 of them! This is what we mean by ‘Recognise’.

We’ve laid out all the information we’ve collected as FAQs on simple, responsive (mobile-friendly) pages. They should be easy to read even in poor reception areas.

It’s likely there are hundreds more questions we haven’t even thought about yet – if you have one, email us.

What is ‘Record’ and ‘Report’?

A generation ago you’d have needed dedicated or expensive equipment to record or report a wildlife crime scene. Now of course the vast majority of us carry everything we need in our pockets: a mobile phone.

We routinely check the internet with them, we take photos or videos with them – we can even use them to call for support or help (we’re joking but it’s easy to forget sometimes!).

The fact is that most of us have exactly what we need to ‘Record’ and ‘Report’ right with us (and, yes, we’ve written a page on what the law says about taking photos or video and whether anyone can actually tell us to stop).

On every Protectors page you’ll find detailed information on what we need to record at a possible wildlife crime scene (and what to avoid doing too) – and it’s almost all geared around a mobile phone.

And we’re building a county-based, clickable map with tip-off lines and numbers for rescues so that we can quickly find – wherever we are in the UK –  who to  ‘Report’ our information to. Again, using our phones.

We think our map will be very useful, but right now it’s not very populated. So if you are a monitor or sab group, or a wildlife rescue perhaps, that would like your number added to our map, again please email us.



One last thing, We’ve added a disclaimer to every page. It’s taken us months to compile and recheck this information, but we’re not lawyers, and even if we were it’s difficult to keep up with every legal decision and every legislative change no matter how much time you spend on government websites and following the news.

And when you take into account that the law in Scotland covering, for example, hunting with dogs is quite different to the law in England and Wales, it would be remiss not to point out that we may have overlooked something or missed an update.

We’re confident that what we post on our Protectors pages is accurate, but just so we’re clear, “the information provided by Protect the Wild should not be considered or relied on as legal advice and is for general informational purposes only”.


Protecting the Wild

When we set up Protect the Wild we knew we would need as many different way to tackle wildlife crime and persecution as we could come up with to make the difference we all want.

We’ve developed a new website with pages detailing how we plan to end hunting and shooting for good. Commissioned Advocates for Animals to help us with a completely new Bill to end hunting with dogs. Funded the Hunt Investigation Team to expose the truth about hunting and shooting. We’ve given grants for equipment that monitors need in the field to record wildlife crime, worked with skilled journalists and one of the country’s best young animators.

And now we’ve developed a resource to make it far easier for anyone – absolutely anyone – to recognise, record, and report wildlife crime and persecution.