Reward of £1000 offered as more birds of prey are illegally killed in the Peak District National Park

Derbyshire Police and the RSPB are appealing for information following the illegal killing of two birds of prey near to Glossop, Derbyshire. A £1000 reward has been offered by the RSPB for information leading to a conviction.


After a 5 month period the Derbyshire police and RSPB are now asking the public to help  bring those responsible to justice for the killing of an Osprey and  2 Buzzards in the county. We would like to ask the obvious question, why has it taken so long to ask for the public’s assistance? Normally the best chance of identifying those involved in crimes like these is within the first twenty four hours when the crime scene is still viable, and not almost a half year later. 

On September 09, 2015, a dead osprey was found to the west of Derbyshire Level. A post mortem on the bird revealed that both its legs had been recently broken, injuries which were consistent with it being caught in a spring trap prior to its death. Ospreys are rare visitors to the Peak District and this one would have been on migration to West Africa.

Last year, the RSPB published its annual Bird Crime Report 2014, which revealed Derbyshire as one of the worst places in the UK for bird of prey persecution. In 2014, the RSPB received 16 reports of bird of prey incidents in the county including a shot buzzard, a shot sparrowhawk and an illegally trapped goshawk, read the story here.


Dead Buzzard with leg severed

On September 30, a buzzard was found shot dead close to Hurst Reservoir, only a short distance from where the osprey was found. This follows the shooting of another buzzard in the same area in March 2014.

(It should not be too difficult to trace anyone with permission to use a licenced firearm or approval to set traps in one location where protected birds of prey are being illegally targeted on a regular basis )

Sergeant Darren Belfield from Derbyshire police said: “I would appeal to anyone who might have any information as to who may be responsible for these cruel acts to contact the police on 101. The continued persecution of birds of prey in the Peak District is totally unacceptable. If you suspect someone of committing any crimes against wildlife, act now. Your call will be dealt with in confidence. If you don’t feel you can talk to the police, pass the information to us through Crimestoppers by ringing 0800 555 111.”

RSPB Investigations Officer Alan Firth said: “Yet again, we are seeing the senseless killing of fantastic birds of prey in the National Park.”


4 comments to Reward of £1000 offered as more birds of prey are illegally killed in the Peak District National Park

  • Alan arblaaster

    What’s the point of keeping this quiet for so long. anybody seeing anything suspicious would have forgot times dates by now. those responsible should lose firearm certificate or game keeping licence for good.

  • nirofo

    It’s becoming more and more obvious that the police, not just in Derbyshire but throughout the UK, wherever shooting estates or high profile land owners are involved, are deliberately sitting on these crimes until enough time has elapsed for any meaningfull evidence or witnesses to have disappeared. Even a 5 day time lapse would be too long in most cases, a 5 month time lapse is totally ridiculous and smacks of cover up.

  • Trapit

    The Osprey’s demise shows similarities to the Chatsworth Goshawk (see link above).It is strange that two large birds of prey have been possibly caught in spring traps,then escaped to fly on and die elsewhere.

    Editor’s Comment. Isn’t it just possible we are dealing with someone who knows more about how to trap raptors than the average individual? We also believe it is more likely both the Goshawk and osprey after being trapped were then released on purpose allowing them to fly off landing where they were then located?????

  • Julie Wright

    I read that a walker found the bird alive in the trap & posted online if anyone could identify it. The bird was reported 2 days later & was dead by then. Why don’t the RSPB make a Tv advert for BOP crime? Tell the general public what to do & who to call, what to look out for? Lots of people walk in these areas, lots of people walk their dogs. If the general public knew what to look out for, wildlife might stand a chance & there may be a possibility to actually catch these criminals in the act. I’m sickened every time I read that another bird of prey has been illegally killed. How many more have been disposed of without the body ever being found. I also think organisations like GWCT, MA etc should be educating their members about BOP. That all BOP are vermin ! I was told this by someone I was talking to in Scotland, who’s family history was you guessed it Game keeping. This is passed down through the family, so they know no different. There are people who shoot that respect the law & appreciate BOP, they are the minority. So if all of these shooting & land management organisations really do want to protect our BOP, then I want to see articles in your mags. that Osprey didn’t need to die and its ignorance that needs addressing as well as tougher laws for wildlife crime.