An appeal for information by Derbyshire Police’s Rural Crime Team (21st August 2022):
‘Back in June this year a larch tree at Westend in the Upper Derwent Valley which was home to a pair of goshawks was found to have been interfered with. Sadly, the birds abandoned the site and it was discovered that the tree had drilled holes and bolts all the way up it which we believe to be evidence of how the nest had been accessed. A local ornithologist had confirmed the presence of eggs in the nest prior to all this but had then found the be no longer there.
[A goshawk nest, photo by Archant]
With help from Forestry England staff a forensic examination was carried out on the tree and items were submitted to the lab.
We are appealing to anyone who may be able to provide information to help with this enquiry.
[Photo of the forensic examination of the goshawk’s nest tree. Photo by Derbyshire Police]
Goshawks in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District National Park have been the target of relentless illegal persecution for decades, along with a number of other raptor species including peregrine and hen harrier (the most recent incident reported earlier this summer – here).
The majority of these crimes have been linked to driven grouse shooting. For new blog readers, the following reports and scientific papers provide good background evidence: