Two birds of prey killed in the Peak District

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Two birds of prey have been illegally killed in the Peak District.

A £1,000 reward has now been offered by the RSPB for information leading to a conviction.

A dead Osprey was found to the west of Derbyshire Level, near Glossop, on September 9. 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.

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

Police Sergeant Darren Belfield 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.

“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 either by telephone or the internet.”

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

Last year, the RSPB published its annual Birdcrime 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.

Call Derbyshire police with any information.