Bird of prey found dead near Ripon - appeal for information

The Hen Harrier was found dead on April 5
The Hen Harrier was found dead on April 5

The Moorland Association has issued an appeal for information concerning a recent incident involving a bird of prey on the Swinton Estate near Ripon.

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The estate was informed on April 5 of a dead Hen Harrier on the estate which was removed for a post-mortem. The bird had been dead for some time and had been located by a signal from its tag.

On July 9, the estate was updated by police that two metallic objects were found in the bird through X-ray but the bird was too decomposed to perform a post-mortem, so a cause of death could not be ascertained.

The police said they are taking the matter no further due to lack of evidence and stressed there was no suspicion of any wrongdoing by the Swinton Estate or its staff.

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The Moorland Association will write to the Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group to raise the case and has highlighted that the Swinton Estate is steadfast in its condemnation of wildlife crime.

Amanda Anderson, Director of the Moorland Association said: “The disappearance of a Hen Harrier called ‘River’ late last year and the discovery of a dead Hen Harrier has greatly distressed the estate’s staff and management. The estate has taken great pride in the work it has been doing to encourage and help Hen Harriers and this has resulted in successful winter roosting for several harriers and breeding success this spring.

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“Our members, across all these incidents, wish to reiterate their condemnation of all forms of wildlife crime. The estate has asked us to contact the Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group to ensure there is as much transparency as possible and to inform them that they are ready to help with any further inquiries that may be made around these events.”