Marsh harrier found shot on East Yorkshire sporting estate

On 7th September 2016 an adult female Marsh harrier was found with shotgun injuries next to a partridge release pen on an East Yorkshire sporting estate.

The bird was rescued and underwent surgery at Battle Flatts vets in North Yorkshire.



After surgery the bird was sent to Jean Thorpe in Ryedale for a period of rehabilitation.

On 31 October 2016, Jean was able to release this bird back to the wild.




A couple of things to mention here. This wildlife crime was uncovered nearly two months ago. We don’t know the circumstances of the bird’s discovery (e.g. Who found it? Who reported it?). We don’t know where or when it was shot, although looking at that x-ray it would be fair to assume the bird wouldn’t have been able to fly far from the location it was shot. We haven’t seen a Police press statement about this crime. Have they charged a suspect? If not, where’s the Police appeal for information? Are they still investigating? Isn’t wildlife crime supposed to be a police national priority? Pathetic.

On a more positive note, the work of Jean Thorpe at Ryedale Wildlife Rehabilitation continues to amaze us (and not forgetting the skill of vet Mark Naguib at Battle Flatts Veterinary Clinic). Jean’s efforts are the perfect antidote to watching those disgraceful braying Tory MPs on Monday evening. They’d do well to visit her for an hour and learn about decency and compassion. Of course, Jean is not the only raptor rehabber in the UK but, living in North Yorkshire, she sees more than her fair share of raptor persecution victims. We’ve said this before but we’ll say it again – Jean’s work is entirely voluntary. If you want to support her work, please consider making a donation here.

UPDATE 4 Nov 2016: North Yorkshire Police have finally issued an appeal for information here. They’ve carefully avoided naming the estate where this bird was found.

19 thoughts on “Marsh harrier found shot on East Yorkshire sporting estate”

    1. government not at all interested in wildlife crime due to the fact that its the big landowners, the Countryside Alliance with its huge Tory vote that support them.

  1. Think it’s well past time there was a documentary on this remarkable lady, her work and colleagues. The tragedy of injured BOPs and their rehabilitation, if possible, would utterly undermine all ‘vital for conservation, tradition, heritage’ shite we were subjected to on Monday. If BASC, GWCT, MA, CA etc are all so genuine in their contempt of raptor persecution why don’t they do some fundraising for Jean?

  2. I am sending this link, and every link, to my MP, the right execrable James Gray, with the point that this is what his Party is allowing to happen. Putting the elites and establishment above the law.

  3. Amazing bird. Amazing lady. I may one day see one of these birds flying free if the Tories and their ilk haven’t shot them all. What cruel insensitive destructive bastards.

  4. It would seem sensible to have a central data base for wildlife crime, one that could inform the public, and appeal for information….. Wildlife Crime Stoppers. Releasing information months later, is calculated to fail.

    But then do they want us to know ?

  5. Clearly the powers that be are able to be convinced that raptor persecution is not important enough, or over emphasized by groups of “animal extremists/protectionists”. But they can’t deny each case when there is sufficient evidence of criminality.

    I plan to keep sending links of your blog to my MP every time there is a case such as this when it will be hard for any reasonably clear thinking person to draw any other conclusion. Perhaps if all subscribers do the same, regardless as to whether they know the MP is hostile or just not interested. Will it be effective? Will it make a difference? I don’t know, but at least it will be doing something.

    1. I have been e-mailing the Scottish Minister every time there is a new crime. It bugs the hell out of the civil servant and probably has no effect but for my sanity i have to keep trying and remind them i’m not going away (i am pretty sure neither are thousands of others). Scotland is moving in the right direction but it will take 50 years at least at the pace they are moving. I call them ‘Zero Tolerance #20’ etc.

      1. Seems to be no mention of this on their twitter account – just stolen land rovers, poaching, hare coursing, stolen trailers and fish etc and drive slower on bends. One mention of the man keeping a golden eagle in the kitchen. Seems to mainly concentrate on rural crime not wildlife crime.

  6. Looks a great wetland where the bird was released!! Amateurs.

    [Ed: Actually, John, this bird was released at a National Nature Reserve that has Ramsar status (i.e. plenty of good wetland habitat). Instead of trying to knock the superb voluntary efforts of this lady and her team you’d do well to show some respect and gratitude for the work she does to help raptors]

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