Red kite shot in Ashwell, Hertfordshire

Press statement from Hertfordshire Constabulary (25 Oct 2018):

Red kite shot in Ashwell

Officers from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Rural Support Team are currently investigating the shooting of a Red Kite.

The injured bird was spotted by a local gamekeeper on a bridleway called Green Lane, just off Northfields Road in Ashwell, on Saturday September 29. However he was unable to catch it until October 3. He then took the bird to a local vet where x-rays indicated that it had been shot and had also sustained broken wings. Sadly, it was therefore put to sleep.

Officers are appealing for anyone who has any information about the bird and its injuries to contact them as soon as possible.

Detective Constable Amanda Matthews said: “The reintroduction of Red Kites has been a fantastic success story and the expansion of the population into Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire has allowed more people to see these amazing birds.

The persecution of birds of prey is a National Wildlife Crime Priority and we treat all incidents of this nature very seriously. We are therefore urging people to come forward with any information that could assist us to progress this matter.

Anyone who has any information about the incident is asked to contact DC Amanda Matthews via the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 41/47461/18. You can also report information online.

Alternatively, you can contact the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their anonymous online form. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will never need to go to court.


Full credit to the gamekeeper whose persistence enabled this critically-injured kite to be put out of its misery.


3 thoughts on “Red kite shot in Ashwell, Hertfordshire”

  1. Yes, good on that gamekeeper for his efforts – well done.
    Whilst getting the info into the public domain faster would, ideally, have been better it was very much faster than usually happens.
    Also, the police efforts deserve recognition for the way in which they have presented their announcement/appeal with the use of an incident reference and weblinks plus a contact officer’s name.
    Anyone who has tried to speak to the police about a past incident will know how difficult it can be to find someone who knows what you are referring to . A published incident reference should avoid that problem.

  2. I recall seeing a red kite dead by the side of Northfields Road (I think) but definitely just North of Ashwell around 10 years ago. At the time I assumed it had been hit by a car. They were becoming regular in the area. I did not imagine anyone wanting to shoot a kite, and I was unaware of the scale of raptor persecution away from the uplands. Now, reading this case, I wonder if that bird had been shot too. Next time I see any dead raptor, I’ll know to report it.

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