Peak is ‘no fly zone’ for persecuted birds of prey

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The Peak District has become a ‘no fly zone’ for birds of prey, according to experts.

Persecution of birds on upland grouse moors is affecting bird of prey populations, the RSPB said.

A new report issued by the charity has found wild birds are still being killed illegally, despite 60 years of legal protection.

The society said last year it received 208 reports of the shooting and destruction of birds of prey and more than 70 reports of birds being poisoned.

Martin Harper, the RSPB’s director of conservation, said: “There are few sights in nature as breathtaking as witnessing a peregrine stooping or hen harriers skydancing.

“These are sights we should all be able to enjoy when visiting our uplands.

“However, these magnificent birds are being removed from parts of our countryside where they should be flourishing.”

The charity is calling on the Government to introduce tougher legislation for those committing wildlife crimes.

Alan Charles, Derbyshire Police Crime Commissioner, said he’d made wildlife crime a priority.

“Derbyshire boasts some of the most spectacular uplands in the country but it is disgraceful and unacceptable birds of prey are systematically removed from parts of it,” he said.