North Yorkshire Police appeal for info after Marsh Harrier found shot nr Scarborough

North Yorkshire Police have issued the following appeal for information:

Police appeal after an injured marsh harrier was found near Scarborough

8 October 2019

Police are appealing for information after an injured marsh harrier was found near Scarborough.

The bird was found at 4pm on Sunday 18 August 2019 by a member of the public in a stubble field close to the village of Hutton Buscel near Scarborough.

It was taken to local wildlife rehabilitator Jean Thorpe for care, and was subsequently taken to a veterinary practice for examination. The marsh harrier was found to have a broken left wing with a shotgun pellet lodged next to the fracture, which shows the bird had been subjected to persecution.

[Photo from Lower Derwent Valley National Nature Reserve, where it was subsequently released after being helped by Jean Thorpe and veterinary specialists at Battle Flatts Veterinary Clinic]

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said: “Sadly, North Yorkshire is the UK’s worst hotspot for confirmed cases of bird of prey persecution. This magnificent bird has been very fortunate to survive, largely thanks to the dedication and care given by Jean Thorpe, but is yet another example of a wildlife crime having taken place against our birds of prey.”

North Yorkshire Police have carried out extensive enquiries in the Hutton Buscel area. Officers are appealing for anyone with any information, or who may have witnessed anything taking place in relation to this bird, to contact PC Mark Atkinson at Malton Police Station by dialling 101, quoting reference number 12190155625.


We believe this Marsh harrier is the one we blogged about on 18 September 2019 (here), having been found injured on a game-shooting estate near Scarborough in August, rescued, rehabbed and then released.

It’s not the first time a Marsh harrier has been found targeted on a game-shooting estate in Yorkshire. This one was found with shotgun injuries next to a partridge release pen on an East Yorkshire sporting estate in 2016 and this breeding pair was shot at and had their eggs removed by men dressed as gamekeepers on a grouse moor in North Yorkshire in 2017.

In 2017/2018 Amanda Anderson (Moorland Association) denied that her members were interested in obtaining licences permitting them to kill Marsh harriers but several witnesses said otherwise.

5 thoughts on “North Yorkshire Police appeal for info after Marsh Harrier found shot nr Scarborough”

  1. 18 August – shot bird found

    8 Oct – police appeal for information

    What can one say. “What we are dealing with here is a failure to communicate”.

  2. Here we go again. Another appeal for information following raptor crime in North Yorkshire. To what effect I wonder.

    Would it be possible to ask North Yorkshire police for an update on all the appeals they have made to the public since they launched “Operation Owl” back in February 2018. It seems to me that criminals only get caught in this area if the RSPB investigations team get involved at an early stage.

    1. Postscript

      In support of the RSPB investigations team and their involvement and initiative, I was thinking of:-

      1. Widdale – Van Cutsem estate -pole trap
      2. East Arkengarthdale – hidden poisons
      3. Denton Moor – Marsh Harriers and their eggs destroyed
      4. Whernside Manor – 2 short eared owls shot.

      I wonder if the North Yorkshire police can rival these field based achievements now that they have increased focus and resources? Wildlife crime is a national priority or so we are told.

  3. These barbaric morons need to be eliminated. They are Not your birds to kill !! The human race cannot advance all the time we have these pathetic simple small brained idiots with guns controlling our moors. Make no mistake, their days are numbered, larger brained humans will drive them to extinction.

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