Kestrel found shot on Yorkshire Nature Reserve

Police officers have condemned the “senseless” shooting of a Kestrel – the latest in a number of birds shot at a Yorkshire wildlife haven. The injured kestrel was discovered by a member of the public at High Batts Nature Reserve at North Stainley, near Ripon, on Monday, July 15. The bird’s wing had been shattered by shotgun pellets and it had to be put down by a vet in Harrogate.

In April, a number of dead or dying geese and a swan were discovered by an ecological survey team at Norton Mills Lake – within the same nature reserve. The Canada and Greylag geese and a mute swan had all been shot with a large calibre rifle.

Police believe separate people were behind the two incidents, as different guns were used, but the findings are still a cause of concern. The lake is one of the most important wildlife sites in the north of England.

North Yorkshire Police Wildlife Officer, PC Gareth Jones appealed for anyone who was in the area over the weekend prior to the bird being found to get in contact with police.

He said: “It beggars belief; kestrels are lovely little birds, they eat small rodents and insects. They’re not a threat to game crops or pigeon fanciers. I can’t understand why anybody would want to take a pot shot.”

“This is a senseless act and we would ask anyone with any information to contact North Yorkshire Police.”

North Yorkshire is one of the UK’s worst areas for crimes against birds of prey. The RSPB said in 2010 there were more incidents recorded in the region than in Scotland, Wales and southern England combined.

According to the charity, nearly 75 per cent of those convicted of bird of prey crimes had ties to game shooting and an interest in removing predators from grouse moors.

It has submitted written evidence to the Commons Environment Audit Committee stating there was a “strong body of scientific evidence” linking raptor persecution with upland moors managed for grouse shooting.

Anyone with information about the shooting of the kestrel should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 and ask for Gareth Jones or email;

5 comments to Kestrel found shot on Yorkshire Nature Reserve

  • paul williams

    North Yorkshire Moors twinned with the Forest of Bowland…Nuff said!

  • PC Gareth Jones

    Please help us try to stop these senseless killings. Let me know if you have seen or heard anything about this incident.

    Editor’s Comment. We will do all we can to assist stop these killings, please contact us if we are able to provide any additional help. Please also keep us updated with any of your Press Releases in the future, Editor.

  • PC Gareth Jones

    Thanks I will

  • che

    I have just been shown official papers from United Utilities in which I have learned the Company are in serious talks with Quadrilla, a shale gas exploration company about Fracking on company property, possibly within the Forest of Bowland. Is this the underlying reason estates have got rid of raptors? These landowners can make extra millions for this lucrative exploitation, to hell with protected wildlife.

  • Paul Tresto

    Che – regarding shale gas. There is a lot of information including maps on the following website:

    The areas where the Bowland shale outcrops at surface are of no interest to shale gas companies such as Cuadrilla. The shale needs to be deeply buried. Most of the Forest of Bowland appears to be outcrop area therefore will not be of interest for shale gas exploration.

    The lower lying areas to the west such as the Fylde are more likely candidates (where Cuadrilla currently are working).

    Interestingly the RSPB is objecting to small 2 acre shale gas drill sites due to possible bird disturbance with a 30m static mast whilst they are supporting many large wind farms with their associated 130m high bird choppers spread over hundreds of acres!

    Grouse (and to a lesser extent pheasant) shooting is the single issue leading to raptor persecution in Bowland.