The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) launched an investigation after gamekeeper Allen Lambert was found guilty of killing 10 buzzards and a sparrowhawk on the game shooting estate, near Holt in Norfolk.

Mr Lambert, 66, of Edgefield, was handed a 10-week suspended sentence last November and ordered to pay £930 costs and an £80 victim surcharge after being convicted of deliberately killing ten buzzards and a sparrowhawk and possessing items used to prepare poison baits. During Lambert’s trial last year the defence had argued stupidly that the Norfolk gamekeeper only wanted to protect the pheasants he was rearing.

See also: Farm gun licence warning over bird of prey deaths

Lambert had also pleaded guilty to five other charges, including the illegal use of pesticides.

Stody

Analysis found the birds had been poisoned with a pesticide. RSPB Image

In a statement read to the court, Stody Estate said it had considered Mr Lambert as a “valued and trusted member of staff”. However, he had “not been authorised, trained or asked to kill wildlife” and it had “no knowledge he possessed such items”.

The RSPB said Mr Lambert’s actions were “truly dreadful”, adding it was the “worst case of bird of prey poisoning” in England – and one of the worst ever in the UK.

Now a Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed the RPA has enforced a cross-compliance penalty on Stody Estate.

The RPA said the financial penalty had yet to be confirmed, but the penalty is 75% of the Single Payments Scheme (SPS) payment the agency made to the estate in 2014. It means the estate has lost tens of thousand of pounds in farm subsidies.

The penalty has been applied for a breach of farmer requirement A1, of the pre-2015 Statutory Management Requirement 1 (Wild birds), which states: “You must not intentionally kill, injure or take any wild bird”.

Stody Estate received an SPS payment of €345,027 (£241,597) in 2009, according to the website farmsubsidy.org.