The RSPB Investigations team assists the statutory agencies to investigate crimes against wild birds in the UK.
Staff are based at the UK headquarters, Scottish headquarters and the Northern England Regional Office.
This blog will be used to keep you informed on key issues and court case results on a regular basis, but for legal reasons, we may only be able to report on certain aspects of our work.
If you witness a crime against a wild bird and wish to report this to the RSPB, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or use the online form at: http://www.rspb.org.uk/reportacrime
I was called yesterday to a lake at Radwell, Bedfordshire, where workmen had discovered the bodies of 29 freshly dead mute swans buried in a pit. Preliminary examination suggests the birds have injuries consistent with having been shot. The bodies of a grey heron and an as-yet unidentified bird of prey (probably a harrier) were also found in the pit. A number of birds were collected from the site and are currently being examined by the RSPCA to ascertain certain cause of death. This is by far the worst incident I have dealt with in the last 10 years. Someone has attempted to hide the killing of these birds but the body of at least one swan was visible and on excavation with a machine it soon became apparent this was a mass grave containing numerous swan bodies. This is not the work of youths. We are dealing with an organised and deliberate act to eradicate swans from this particular lake. We are now appealing for the public's help as we believe this incident took place over the past weekend. The case has received good TV coverage and will feature as the main news item on regional ITV Anglia news this evening.
Someone must have seen what happened - we urge these people to come forward with information. Bedfordshire Police are assisting with the enquiry and can be contacted on 01234 841212.