This is an archived press release
Wednesday 8 November 2017
Updated: 13 December 2017
The Peak District National Park has updated the response to the recent RSPB Birdcrime Report and the Birds of Prey Initiative Report.
Sarah Fowler, chief executive of the Peak District National Park, said: "Killing birds of prey is illegal. I am appalled by the persecution of any protected species, no matter what the circumstances.
"The RSPB’s latest Birdcrime report brings the plight of birds of prey to the fore. It shows what we are up against in trying to reverse the fortunes of birds of prey. I welcome the recent acknowledgement from shooting organisations that the killing of raptors to protect game birds is part of the problem. It is – and it is damaging to their interests. I welcome and wholeheartedly support their condemnation of such activity.
"Being able to watch birds of prey in the Peak District National Park should be part of everyone’s experience.
"We have been working with landowners, gamekeepers and partners since 2011 to remedy the situation locally but it is clear from the result that much more needs to be done.
"This year peregrines have failed to breed in the Dark Peak for the first time since they recolonised in 1984 and persecution of these incredible birds has been a factor in this. This has to change.
"It is incredibly difficult to catch someone in the act or to collect evidence and make a case for prosecution. I appeal to all users of the countryside to help us bring persecution to an end by reporting anything you feel is suspicious to the police. The best hope we have is for law-abiding people within the game bird industry calling out those who operate outside the law.
"The Peak District Birds of Prey Initiative has recently published a report documenting the fortunes of key birds of prey alongside confirmed or suspected incidents of persecution in the moorland areas of the Peak District during 2016 and 2017.
"On the back of this report, I am looking for a renewed commitment from moorland owners and managers in the Peak District to work with us to reverse the fortunes of birds of prey – and a strengthening of this commitment. We cannot achieve this on our own. We start by asking all parties who care for and manage the moorlands of the Peak District National Park to confirm their support for an increase in the number of birds of prey on these moorlands and to take action to help deliver this."
You can view the recent 2016-2017 and previous 2012-2015 Bird of Prey Initiative reports in our biodiversity news section.
Anyone with information to report about wildlife crime should contact Derbyshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.