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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 […]

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 […]

White-tailed Eagle shot in Ireland

Young White-tailed Eagle found shot dead in Ireland March 2024.NPWS

A young female White-tailed Eagle was found shot dead in Ireland last week. Part of a long-running national reintroduction programme run by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) she had been released at Lough Derg, Co Donegal two years ago, and was found by Cranberry Lough 180km to the south.

Another Red Kite poisoned with bendiocarb

Police in Norfolk are appealing for information after tests revealed a Red Kite discovered dead in North Creake had died from suspected insecticide poisoning. Officers from Norfolk Police’s Operation Randall team have been investigating the death of the protected bird of prey, which was found by a member of the public in a field in […]

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 […]

Why Protect the Wild doesn’t support licencing of the shooting industry.

Staggering levels of raptor persecution (the illegal persecution of birds of prey) have been in the news again following both the release of the RSPB’s Birdcrime report for 2022 and the Scottish Parliament voting on November 30th to support the general principles of the Wildlife Management & Muirburn Bill. The Bill includes measures to introduce […]

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 […]

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 […]

Hen Harrier ‘brood meddling’ slammed by Wild Justice

The campaign group Wild Justice (run by Dr Mark Avery, a former Director of Conservation at the RSPB, Dr Ruth Tingay, who set up and runs the highly-influential Raptor Persecution UK (RPUK) blog, and Chris Packham, the most popular conservationist in the whole of the UK) has just published Meddling on the Moors, a new […]

OPINION: The grouse shooting industry must be shut down

Red Grouse

Over the last two days we’ve laid out some of the less than ‘glorious’ facts about the grouse shooting industry. In our first post, ‘There’s nothing ‘glorious’ about killing grouse‘, we outlined how the 12th of August (the ‘Inglorious 12th’) marks the start of a key ‘season’ for the shooting industry, and that over the […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

RSPB Investigations Officer: Reflections on a poisoning

Styrchine baited pheasant weeting norfolk

RSPB Investigations Officer: Reflections on a poisoning “Another issue that keeps rearing its head is the lack of any consequences for Stroud’s employers.” On 5 October 2022 gamekeeper Matthew Stroud was convicted of a long list of offences at Norwich Magistrates Court including killing protected birds – yet he escaped a prison sentence. Now Tom […]

RSPB’s review of lowland ‘gamebird’ shooting: “Bleak picture”

shooter with dead pheasants

Has the RSPB finally run out of patience with the shooting industry? The country’s largest bird charity speaks out – but in an oddly low-key way. Tied for over a century to a Constitution enshrined in 1904 which insists it should be ‘neutral’ on shooting, the RSPB (by far the most important and most effective […]

Gamekeeper Archie Watson charged with raptor persecution

Archie Watson copyright Guy Shorrock RSPB

Archie Watson: yet another gamekeeper charged with raptor persecution. Yet another gamekeeper has been charged with being a prolific raptor serial killer. Archie James Watson from Manningford Bruce in Pewsey (Wiltshire) faces six charges under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and three firearms offences and will be appearing before Swindon Magistrates Court on Wednesday, May […]