A very bad day for raptors

09th May 2012
Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Police are appealing for information following the illegal poisoning of two rare red kites less than a mile apart in the Chilterns. The RSPB is offering a reward of £1000 for information leading to a conviction.
In January 2012, Hertfordshire Police assisted by officers from the RSPB recovered a dead red kite just south of the village of Hexton. The bird had been found by a member of the public out with her young daughter close to a public footpath. In March, following a second report from the public, officers from the RSPB recovered a second dead red kite hanging in a bush less than a mile away on the Pegsdon Hills Nature Reserve run by the Bedfordshire Wildlife Trust. Subsequent toxicological tests confirmed both birds had been poisoned with a highly toxic banned pesticide. It is suspected both birds had been feeding on carrion placed in the countryside and illegally laced with the chemical.
On May 2, 2012, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Police, in conjunction with officers from Natural England, the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) and RSPB, undertook a search in the area including a number of outbuildings. A number of samples were taken and will be submitted for further toxicological tests. Sergeant Jamie Bartlett the Rural Wildlife and Environmental Crimes Officer for Hertfordshire Police said: We are appealing to anybody who may have more information about the deaths of these birds. The use of poison in these circumstances is highly irresponsible and indiscriminate. The pesticide used is highly toxic and the potential for injury to members of the public or their pets could have been high."

Outrage at Peak District bird of prey persecution
Illegal persecution is making the goshawk a rare sight in parts of the Peak District
Image: Guy Monty
The RSPB and Severn Trent Water have today expressed their outrage at the wanton destruction of the nest of one of Britain’s most persecuted and rare birds of prey over the last few days. The RSPB is offering a reward of £1000 for information leading to a conviction.
The crime is the latest in a long-running series of attacks on birds of prey in the Peak District. It leaves only one active goshawk nest in the entire Derwent Valley, which previously has held six pairs of these birds of prey.
Mark Thomas, investigations officer with the RSPB, said: “Once again we’re faced with the destruction of birds of prey in Britain’s most visited national park. The sight of goshawk eggs smashed, only days from hatching, lying on the forest floor is a heart-breaking sight and proves that this bird is being systematically wiped out in the north of the Peak District.”
Derbyshire Police have launched an investigation of this crime, which took place on land managed by Severn Trent Water.