Another red kite shot dead in Nidderdale, North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire Police are appealing for information after the discovery of a yet another shot red kite.

The latest victim was found near Greenhow, in Nidderdale, on the afternoon of Saturday 11 March 2017.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Wildlife Crime Officer David MacKay: and quote reference number 12170047155.

Last year North Yorkshire Police investigated the deaths of 10 red kites that had been shot or poisoned in the county. The Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the neighbouring Yorkshire Dales National Park are notorious black spots for raptor persecution, particularly for red kites and hen harriers. This region is dominated by land managed for driven grouse shooting.

Photo of red kite by Claire Marshall

18 thoughts on “Another red kite shot dead in Nidderdale, North Yorkshire”

  1. Ban ‘Driven Grouse Shooting’ is, obviously, the only path to take. These Gamekeeping wildlife killers are never going change and start obeying the law. Surely even their biggest appeasers can see that.

  2. Hi, it is very disappointing to hear of another death. The group are working towards publication of a National map showing such incidents with the aim of triggering activity from the local police force and community who can assist with information and intelligence to capture those responsible. I do know North Yorkshire Police take such incidents very seriously and have invested additional police officers into a Wildlife Crime Unit.

    1. Chris,

      Thank you for responding – much appreciated.

      To be honest, we don’t share your view that a national map is needed to identify persecution hotspots and thus trigger police activity. Nidderdale and the Yorkshire Dales National Park are well known persecution hotspots and have been for a very, very, very long time. We know where these crimes are taking place over and over and over again, and we know which sector of the community is responsible. Can you explain for us how having a national map will increase intelligence?

      And could you please explain what will happen once you’ve got that map? What will the police do differently, that they can’t already do now, to tackle these crimes?

      It sounds a lot like a delaying tactic devised to make the public think something is being done.

      We do agree that North Yorks Police take these crimes seriously – their approach has vastly improved in recent years and that’s good to see. We fully support those front line officers who are responding quickly and diligently to reported incidents, and then putting out timely appeals for information. Good for them. But what additional, proactive support can senior police officers provide to help those officers with their work?

      For those who don’t know, Supt Chris Hankinson is the police national lead on raptor persecution.

      1. Having a national map will help publicise the problem beyond the birder and rewilding communities, and will shame the landlords involved. I think it is an excellent means of increasing social and reputational pressure. And if it doesn’t do that, it will help greatly in illustrating the correspondence between areas of grouse shooting and areas of raptor persecution, when we go to parliament to get grouse shooting banned.

        1. Hi Simon,

          Agreed, a national map will help publicise the issue to a wider audience (assuming the Police don’t withhold data from the map) but the point Supt Hankinson is making is that the national map will help trigger police activity. We’re arguing that the police shouldn’t need to wait for a national map to increase intelligence about where these crimes are occurring, they should already know. The RSPB has been publishing raptor crime maps for years – the information is already available and should have triggered a proactive police response long ago.

      2. I understand the frustration, but don’t underestimate the work and commitment of the group. The mapping of such incidents if agreed may not be the answer in it’s self, but I feel it’s a significant step forward in highlighting and acknowledging such incidents. As chair I am committed to making a difference and will continue to push and challenge all the groups memebership.

        1. Thanks Chris. When you say ‘the group’, are you referring to the Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group in England & Wales? Is this the group that has only ever published one raptor persecution map (in 2013), detailing crimes that occurred between 2007-2011? Where are the maps from 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016?

          It’s good that you say you are committed to making a difference and we look forward to seeing you ‘push and challenge’ all the [RPPDG] group’s membership, especially the Moorland Association, National Gamekeepers’ Organisation and the Countryside Alliance, none of whom are known for throwing their weight and influence behind the fight against illegal raptor persecution.

        2. Chris, it is extremely frustrating, as is the continued efforts to dilute the data showing just how big the problem of illegal persecution in some areas is.
          It is easy to see why some parties would want this, it is in their interests to pretend all is well and if they can reduce the use of some evidence it could reduce the impact of the data.
          So, will the group allow this dilution of evidence or will they stand on the side of justice and report the data effectively? Will consideration be given to the vast amount of research that shows that known persecution instances must be a fraction of the actual illegal acts taking place?
          Where else in law do you ask those representing the criminals which crimes can we include in the national figures?

  3. National parks in the UK appear to be by far the biggest centres of wildlife crime compared to the rest of the country

    1. That’s not the fault of the National Parks Jimmy, more that those areas happen to have large tracts of grouse moors.
      It is the grouse moors that are the biggest centres of wildlife crime.

      1. Perhaps worth reminding people that most if not all grouse moors in National Parks are under private ownership, so the Park Authorities have no direct control over the illegal activities. However they could speak out more and work towards ending the barbarity and atrocities associated with grouse shooting within their boundaries. The only ultimately effective way to do this is to ban grouse shooting, driven or otherwise. Introduce civilisation and remove the guns from the moors!

        1. Do businesses enjoy greater access to grants in National Parks? If so, this might be worth looking into

    2. The national parks and the crime situation may be down to more public access seeing what is going on. The criminals in their private enclaves can do as they like with little chance of being convicted.

      To stop the crime we need to rid the country of the criminals and all those that help to hide the problem.


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