RSPB appeal for information about Goshawk disappearance in Peak District

The RSPB has just released this to local media (links added by me):

The RSPB is appealing for information after a Goshawk nest failed in suspicious circumstances at Dove Stone in the Peak District.

On 10 May, a local raptor worker discovered the freshly abandoned Goshawk nest in conifer woodland in the Longendale Valley, which the RSPB co-manages with landowner United Utilities. There were three cold eggs in the nest, one of which was broken.  Damaged Goshawk body feathers and a spent plastic shotgun cartridge were found in the immediate vicinity.

Both Derbyshire Police and the Peak District Bird of Prey Initiative were informed.

A local birdwatcher observed the female Goshawk near to the nest on 8 May so it’s thought that the nest failed sometime between the afternoon of 8 May and the morning of 10 May.

Goshawks have been subjected to a high level of illegal persecution in the northern Peak District where they are now teetering on the brink of extinction. In 2015, there were only three known nests in the Dark Peak, one of which successfully fledged young.

Dave O’Hara, RSPB Site Manager at Dove Stone, said: ‘Due to illegal persecution goshawks are really struggling in the Dark Peak so we are deeply concerned that this nest has failed in suspicious circumstances on land that we manage. We would urge anyone with information to report it to the Police immediately by calling 101.‘.

Sounds suspicious but could be due to natural causes?

Just to refresh your memory have a look at these two reports published by the RSPB:

Peak Malpractice (2006)

Peak Malpractice update (2007)

Young Goshawks – not often seen in the Peak District.  Photo: CC BY-SA 3.0,

7 Replies to “RSPB appeal for information about Goshawk disappearance in Peak District”

  1. It feels like a competition between North Yorkshire and Peak District for the accolade of worst wildlife criminals.
    Serious questions, can shotgun shells be traced to purchaser?

  2. The moronic people engaged in this persecution don’t grasp the wonder of creatures evolving over thousands/millions of years. The idea of extinction caused by the pursuit of a bloodthirsty pastime is too much to bear. With the growing fear for a sustainable future for all life, surely the animal rights movement (including the ‘unlawful’ part) is set for a massive increase in recruitment and activity. We moderates have a role in spreading information to all sectors and pursuing legal actions. Merely walking the moors and reporting suspicions important also. We should not have to spend our whole lives fearing for the beauty of this planet; the greedy and moronic must be controlled and be seen to conform to a certain civilised standard. Irresponsible, barbaric behavior must lead to loss of privileges that are abused on a daily basis. Ultimately I hope that the true country people in positions of influence will take decisive action to stop the breakdown of decency, possibly before this ends in all out war.

    1. I think part of the next stage in going up a gear in fighting the bad estates will be the regular presence of some form of protest on grouse shooting days. Obviously this has to be within the law and safe given that firearms are discharged as part of the activity. This is what happened with fox hunting and there may be a significant point to be taken from that. Whether or not you’re one of its more conscientious practitioners you can’t go grouse shooting without being forcibly reminded that illegal persecution of willdife is absolutely rife by protesters carrying banners, displaying photo boards etc. That would certainly help take the shine off the day and the estate isn’t going to be too chuffed. I very much like the idea of people flying big, bird of prey shaped kites from public footpaths. Would that be construed as unlawful interference if the estates can prove or suggest it disrupts driving grouse? It would certainly make a highly visual statement, at present the statement being made is two fingers to genuine conservationists by the huntin, fishin, shootin set who are so rabidly anti raptor and full of spite they don’t even have the sense to pull back just for their own PR benefit, glad to see the petition is going through another quite big jump in signatures just now.

  3. Mick, there are areas in the Northern Pennines, the Southern Uplands & the Eastern Highlands that could compete for that accolade. The common denominator being driven grouse moors.

  4. You sure about breeding pairs !!
    Think your find a few more there.

  5. Apparently this isn’t the first time Goshawks have failed to breed close to Dovestone RSPB, in fact I’m led to believe they’ve never ever had a successful breeding pair !!. Presumably this land is managed by The RSPB, so my question is why aren’t The RSPB doing more to protect them ? e.g. cameras a 24 hour watch etc. as I’m sure they wouldn’t be short of volunteers. I’m an RSPB member, and would never give up my membership as I think they do a sterling job, but the fact remains our raptors need more protection, and this Government will never sign up to vicarious responsibility. The first step for me is to back Mark Avery’s ban on driven grouse shooting, and I urge everybody to do the same.

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