North Yorkshire | Yet another Buzzard found shot

Another day, another dead Buzzard. Hard to believe that all birds of prey in the UK have been protected for more than sixty years…

This bird, a female, was found alive near Askham Richard, which is described as a “pretty and tranquil village…a conservation area since 1975…a quintessential English village”. Images online look lovely, but unfortunately Askham Richard is in North Yorkshire – one of the unsafest regions in the entire UK for birds of prey (see – North Yorkshire ‘black hole for raptors’ says Yorkshire Post): Buzzards, Peregrines, Hen Harriers, Goshawks – the list of raptors exterminated in a part of the world that is dominated by grouse moors is as sickening as it is comprehensive.

At first sight this poor bird looks ‘different’ in that it wasn’t killed on a grouse moor, but died just a few miles outside York in a “pretty and tranquil village”. Idiots with guns aren’t confined to shooting estates of course, and even shot birds can fly short distances before keeling over, but the location is almost unimportant: the fact is that there is so much raptor persecution going on in North Yorkshire that the killing of Buzzards must seem absolutely ‘normal’ to some people.

How have we come to that? We actually live in a denuded country with such small wildlife populations they should be a national embarrassment but where killing wildlife is still an everyday event. Law enforcement is spotty and convictions are extremely rare. On the huge grouse farms in our so-called ‘national parks’ wildlife crime underpins driven grouse shooting (it’s unprofitable if birds of prey aren’t illegally stopped from taking Red Grouse). Pheasant shoots routinely complain about the ‘explosion’ in raptor numbers. Even our major nature charities won’t condemn the very same shooting industry that wants licences to remove ‘nuisance’ Buzzards…

Is it any wonder that armed degenerates feel it is acceptable – with littledanger of any personal consequences – to shoot a Buzzard here, and a Buzzard there…


On 12 December 2020, a  member of the public located a buzzard close to Askham Park near Askham Richard.

The female bird appeared to be injured and was unable to fly so an RSPCA Inspector attended and transported the bird to a local vet. Unfortunately the buzzard subsequently died.

X-rays revealed that the bird had two pieces of lead shot within its body. (see images)

Enquiries are ongoing but if you have any information which could help the investigation, please get in touch with North Yorkshire Police by calling 101 and quoting reference number: 12200227625.

Noth Yorks Police, Appeal for information after buzzard found containing shot at Askham Richard, 19 Jan 21