Appeal for information after red kite found dead at Bolton Abbey


Police are appealing for information after a red kite was found dead in the Yorkshire Dales.

The bird was found on Thursday 12 July 2018, at Barden, near to the popular area known as the Strid. Enquiries are ongoing to establish the cause of death.

Sergeant Kevin Kelly, wildlife crime lead for North Yorkshire Police, said: “We have commenced an investigation and aim to establish the circumstances leading to the bird’s death.

“It is key to examine whether the bird has flown to the location injured and subsequently died or whether it has been shot near to where it was found. A detailed pathology report will assist us in establishing this.

“What we know at this time is that a triage x-ray shows a small piece of shot inside the bird. This will be recovered and forensically tested. We will be working with partner agencies and the Bolton Abbey Estate to establish the facts that will assist an effective investigation.”

Doug Simpson, Yorkshire Red Kite Co-ordinator, said: “This latest incident brings the total confirmed Yorkshire red kite illegal persecution victims up to 42 since releases began in 1999, thirteen of these birds having been shot.

“It is sickening that a small minority of people appear intent on breaking the law by targeting these birds, which have become an integral part of our beautiful North Yorkshire countryside.”

Benedict Heyes, from the Bolton Abbey Estate, said: “We were disappointed to be notified by a member of the public that they had found a dead red kite on the Bolton Abbey Estate.

“Red kites and other birds of prey are often seen at Bolton Abbey and are enjoyed by many visitors to the Estate. The Estate alerted the authorities and would ask that anyone who has any knowledge or information in relation to the death of this bird to contact North Yorkshire Police, so as to assist them in their investigation.”

Sonya Wiggins, who coordinates Yorkshire Dales Moorland Group, said: “We have been made aware of this incident and fully support a police investigation. At Yorkshire Dales Moorland Group we believe in good practice and accountability, we work closely with the local police and other agencies to tackle wildlife crime.

“Killing wild birds is unacceptable and we would ask for anyone with any information to contact the police.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for Sgt Kevin Kelly, or email

Please quote reference number 12180131874 when passing information.

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