Cash reward offered in hunt for nest destroyer

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A REWARD of £1,000 is being offered for information about the destruction of the nest of one of Britain’s rarest birds of prey.

The RSPB has put up the reward for details leading to the conviction of the culprit responsible for damaging a goshawk nest in the Peak District.

The cash was offered after goshawk eggs, only days away from hatching, were found smashed on the ground in the latest of a series of attacks on bird of prey in the region.

The RSPB said there is now only one active goshawk nest in the entire Derwent Valley, which previously had six pairs of the birds of prey.

Mark Thomas, investigations officer with the RSPB, said: “Once again, we’re faced with the destruction of birds of prey in Britain’s most visited national park.

“The sight of goshawk eggs smashed, only days from hatching, lying on the forest floor, is a heartbreaking sight and proves that this bird is being systematically wiped out in the north of the Peak District.”

An investigation into the incident has been launched by Derbyshire Police.

Sergeant Darren Belfield, from the force, said: “This is a further instance of senseless destruction and persecution of a protected species.

“The individuals responsible show no regard for the law or for the conservation of bird of prey species within the Peak District National Park.”

The destruction has been condemned by Severn Trent Water, on whose land the damaged nest was.

Hazel Earnshaw, of Severn Trent Water, said: “We are sickened that this protected species has once again been subject to persecution, despite extensive efforts to protect it.

“The goshawk should form a natural part of the ecosystem here in the Upper Derwent Valley.

“We are working closely with the RSPB to protect these birds and to identify the guilty parties.”

n Anyone with information about the nest destruction is asked to call Derbyshire Police on 101.