Yet another buzzard shot in North York Moors National Park

Press release from North Yorkshire Police (13 July 2020)

Appeal for information after buzzard found shot in Ryedale

Bird found seriously injured near Appleton-le-Moors

North Yorkshire Police is appealing for information after a female buzzard was discovered shot near Appleton le Moors on Sunday 5 July. The bird was found suffering multiple injuries in woods just off Hamley Lane, Appleton le Moors by a member of the public.

Although the buzzard received immediate veterinary treatment, she sadly did not survive given the seriousness of her injuries. A post mortem examination revealed she had suffered shot damage to her tail and wing feathers but also had leg and head wounds which may have been caused by becoming stuck in a cage trap.

Prior to her death, the female buzzard had been seen feeding two juveniles in the area and it is believed she was shot at some point between 6 – 9pm on Saturday 4 July 2020.

If you have any information which may help with this investigation, please call 101 quoting reference: 12200115223 or if you wish to remain anonymous you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

North Yorkshire Police Wildlife Crime Officer, Jeremy Walmsley, said:

This is the latest in a very long line of raptor persecution incidents that have occurred in Ryedale over the last few months and it is completely unacceptable. Killing or injuring a bird of prey is not only illegal but cruel and callous.

We are doing everything we can to track down these offenders and I would urge anyone who can help with information about this incident or any other wildlife crime, to get in touch as soon as possible.”

Find out more about bird of prey persecution and how you can Recognise, Record and Report it.


The lawless untouchables of North Yorkshire strike again. New blog readers may well wonder, with such a high incident rate, how this is allowed to continue. Everybody knows North Yorkshire is consistently rated as having the worst record for illegal raptor persecution in England, year after year after year and yet there are no consequences and no deterrents – the criminals are assured they won’t be caught and even if they are, their employer will likely stump up large sums of money to pay for the best legal representation available. Meanwhile, representative bodies all enjoy a seat at the table of the so-called ‘partnerships’ that are meant to be tackling these crimes. Nobody bats an eyelid when these crimes are reported – they happen with such frequency that we’re all accustomed to the headlines and numbed to the reality.

This latest victim comes soon after a Channel 4 News special report that highlighted the extent of raptor persecution in North Yorkshire, and particularly on grouse moors in the two national parks (Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors) as well as in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (see here) where a senior police officer (Insp Matt Hagen) told news reporter Alex Thomson:

All the shooting investigations that we’ve got going on at the moment are involving gamekeepers on grouse moors“.

Alex Thomson: All of them?

Matt Hagen: All of them.

Alex Thomson: Every single one?

Matt Hagen: That’s right.

One of those recently highlighted incidents involved the discovery of five dead buzzards that had been hidden under a rock on a Bransdale grouse moor in the North York Moors National Park – post mortems revealed that four had been shot (see here). North Yorkshire Police interviewed eight people (presumably gamekeepers) under caution and enquiries continue.

This latest victim wasn’t found on a grouse moor and although the nearest one isn’t a million miles away it’s not known where she was shot, although the head injury is consistent with what you’d expect to see of a buzzard trying to escape from a trap. This injury looks remarkably similar to that suffered by another buzzard not too far away in 2017 (see here).

If you have any information about any of these incidents that could help North Yorkshire Police bring the armed and out of control criminals to court, please call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

18 thoughts on “Yet another buzzard shot in North York Moors National Park”

    1. They should be fledged but partly dependent so hopefully the male will cope, assuming they are all still alive. Folk who target raptors will want rid of them all unfortunately— bastards

  1. Not so much the odd rotten apple but more a whole putrid orchard with the purveyors of rancid fruit accorded a place at the top table not where they belong in the dock.

  2. Sadly the Buzzard has become the unremarkable and casual bread & butter of daily killing by keepers due to it’s healthy population in localities bordering big Estates. Conservatively, I would guess a dozen bite the dust each day on Estates in the north of England and the Borders alone. What I am curious about is the injuries on this one. It’s injuries are consistent with it having been in a clam trap or larsen trap or big Crow-type cage trap, but it must have been released (impossible to escape) or it would have just been stuffed down a hole out of sight. And clearly it has been (shotgun) pelleted at some point but I would guess 50% of all Buzzards probably have a couple of pellets in them. And then the injuries to it’s legs would suggest a pole trap. It’s as if this one has had the “full monty” – everything except poison. The other side are bound to declare “a plant”. Is there any more that can be revealed about it’s demise?

  3. Sadly, North Yorkshire has hit the headlines again, for the wrong reasons, with yet another raptor shot by someone who really couldn’t care less and certainly doesn’t fear prosecution! This time it was a female buzzard, which had recently been seen feeding a family … and just a few miles from here at Appleton le Moors. It’s suspected that she might also have been stuck in a cage trap, judging from the ‘scrape’ damage to her forehead and legs. It makes us so, so angry. Even if local farmers and keepers were not ‘directly responsible’ for the dirty deed, it’s hard to believe that they don’t know who was! It’s hard to understand why the families of those responsible, and the communities they live in, still seem to ‘close ranks’, thus condoning, such appalling actions! It is wilful blindness in the very least! Welcome to North Yorkshire, home to some outrageous boors, offensive bigots and opportunistic bastards … but, thankfully, some long-suffering nice people too! Our poor mate slogs himself silly with the RSPB Investigations Team, and must surely despair when these things continue to happen.

  4. It makes me want to cry too . The horrors that this poor bird has obviously undergone are too awful for words . God , I hate the vast majority of human beings . This bird has been tortured . I pray that her chicks were old enough to survive . X X X

    Sent from my iPad


  5. Perhaps the police need to start appealing for a ban on shooting estates, riddled in crime, bad for the environment, bad for ecology and totally unnecessary and don’t tell me peoples jobs are at stake because the miners had good jobs and mortgages but the government didn’t bother about them and they weren’t breaking the law

    1. Well said Barney,trouble is the miners had no wealthy backers like these people do(I use the word people lightly).Time to ban shooting full stop and also the use of barbaric ,outdated traps.

  6. ‘This is the latest in a very long line of raptor persecution incidents that have occurred in Ryedale over the last few months’.
    Clearm strong statement.

  7. The pictures, like many others, are truly nauseating.
    The injuries and killing are undeniably the work of one or more of barbaric and soulless cretins who pervade parts of this country.
    It is a fruitless search to discover an explanation as to what sort of deviant develops a passion that involves indulging in violence for entertainment.

  8. Sad to hear of another raptor going down in a lovely part of the countryside. I feel for the Yorkshire people who have to live with this death and destruction on their doorstep. It also gives them the opportunity to make more noise to ensure that the government is aware of peoples wrath at the continuing persecution in this area.

    1. I would love to see a sociological study of the public’s view on raptor persecution across the country with a particular emphasis on Yorkshire and a comparison with one of the low crime areas of the UK.
      One of the questions i would like to see answered would be:
      ‘if you knew of a raptor crime by someone you knew would you report it.’
      ‘if you knew of a raptor crime by someone living in your area who you did not know, would you report it.’

      There could be many other questions that would reveal the level of the the public’s tolerance or non-acceptance of raptor crime. I doubt the RSPB consultancy will be representative of the whole population.

  9. I could offer a potential solution to this continuous killing of raptors in our countryside, and the wall of silence the police so frequently face from the local community when trying to investigate these crimes.

    The solution is simple, but would be immensely unpopular!

    From the point where the illegally killed bird is found -a circle with a 10 mile radius is drawn. Every farm, every landowner, every estate that falls within that radius has all public funding and subsidies stopped (whether those are rural farm payments, stewardship payments or whatever. ) The payments would then ceases until the criminal responsible is identified to the police, along with the evidence to secure a conviction.

    Why should public money be available to those criminals who kill raptors or those who withhold information which would identify those responsible for the killing of raptors?

    Surely, those who know the individuals who are responsible for these crimes, yet say nothing are as complicit in these crimes, as those that actually pull the trigger, set the trap or spread the poison?

    I am sure the threat of loss of money would set many tongues wagging?

    Lets not forget, in many of these areas many farmers are part of farm watch, so I am sure if a potential loss of public subsidies was threatened, then the local farm watch would have every motivation to focus some of its attention on those committing raptor persecution?

    Of course this will never happen, and it would be wholly unfair to those law abiding people who just happen to live in the neighborhood where raptor persecution is taking place, and abhor what is taking place as much as readers to this website.

    But we have to find a way so that the local community will no longer tolerate those responsible for raptor persecution – and sadly until that raptor persecution actually has a detrimental impact on the local community, then it is all too easy “not to see” what is actually happening .

  10. And now … a goshawk is reported to have been killed on Howl Dale Moor, Goathland on 2nd July. NYPolice appealing for information. Why are we still putting up with this wanton destruction?

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