Birds of prey under attack in Peak

Sparrow Hawk sat on our garden hedge just a few feet away from the bird table'Ray Sykes
Sparrow Hawk sat on our garden hedge just a few feet away from the bird table'Ray Sykes

A REWARD of £1000 is on offer to information leading to the conviction of the person who destroyed a rare bird’s nest in the Peak District.

The money – offered by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds – comes after a gohawk nest and eggs, which were just days from hatching, were destroyed last week.

It is the latest in a long-running series of attacks on birds of prey in the Peak District. It leaves only one active goshawk nest in the entire Derwent Valley, which previously has held six pairs of these birds of prey.

Mark Thomas, investigations officer with the RSPB, said: “Once again we’re faced with the destruction of birds of prey in Britain’s most visited national park.

“The sight of goshawk eggs smashed, only days from hatching, lying on the forest floor is a heart-breaking sight and proves that this bird is being systematically wiped out in the north of the Peak District.”

Derbyshire Police have launched an investigation of this crime, which took place on land managed by Severn Trent Water.

Hazel Earnshaw, of Severn Trent Water, said: “We are sickened that this protected species has once again been subject to persecution, despite extensive efforts to protect it. The Goshawk should form a natural part of the ecosystem here in the Upper Derwent Valley. We are working closely with the RSPB to protect these birds and to identify the guilty parties.”

Darren Belfield, a sergeant with the Derbyshire Constabulary, said: “This is a further instance of senseless destruction and persecution of a protected species. The individuals responsible show no regard for the law or for the conservation of bird of prey species within the Peak District National Park.”

The Derbyshire Constabulary is encouraging anyone with any information relating to this incident to contact the Police immediately on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.