A Herefordshire game keeper has admitted 17 charges relating to killing protected species using poisoned bait. A second gamekeeper has been suspended by his employer after police charged the man with a number of firearm offences and one additional charge of killing a protected bird.
The first gamekeeper Mr Ben Walker was accused of killing two common buzzards, five ravens, and faced nine other charges of setting poisoned bait and one of possessing various items.
The 26-year-old was working on Sufton Estate in Mordiford last November when West Mercia Police, Natural England and the RSPB carried out a search.
Walker, of Westhide, was fined £1,000 at Hereford Magistrates’ Court.
The RSPB said a team monitored the gamekeeper for five weeks.
Walker told officers that he worked on a commercial shoot on the estate and killed the birds because they represented a threat to the game birds that would be shot, the RSPB said.
At the court he admitted nine charges of setting a poisoned bait, two of killing common buzzards, five charges relating to the ravens and one charge of possessing items capable of committing the offences.
Head Gamekeeper Charged and suspended by his employer.
A second man head gamekeeper Mr. Nicholas Parker, 41, of Main Road, Holkham, has been suspended from his job as head gamekeeper at the Holkham Estate after being charged with a string of offences after an investigation by police following the death of a wild bird.
Police said Mr. Parker has been charged with killing a protected Schedule 1 wild bird, taking game out of season, possessing ammunition for a firearm without a certificate, possessing a shotgun or rifle for committing an either way wildlife offence, possessing a shotgun without a certificate and a charge of contravening the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
Parker has been released on bail to appear before King’s Lynn magistrates on Wednesday February 9.