Beds, Herts & Bucks

Reward offered after red kites poisoned in Chilterns

A reward of £1,000 is being offered after two rare red kites were poisoned less than a mile apart around the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire border.

A dead red kite was found just south of Hexton, near Hitchin, in January.

In March, a second was discovered hanging in a bush on the Pegsdon Hills Nature Reserve which is run by the Bedfordshire Wildlife Trust.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is offering the reward for information leading to a conviction.

'Tragic incidents'

Tests confirmed that both birds had been poisoned with a highly toxic banned pesticide.

It is suspected both birds had been feeding on carrion placed in the countryside and illegally laced with the chemical.

Samples taken from outbuildings in the area have been sent off for toxicological tests.

Guy Shorrock from the RSPB urged anyone with information about this or any other wildlife crime to contact the police.

"Unfortunately, every year we get tragic incidents like this," he said.

"Illegally placing poison in the countryside puts wildlife, domestic animals and potentially members of the public at risk."

Sergeant Jamie Bartlett, from Hertfordshire Police's Rural Operational Support Team said: "We take matters such as this very seriously and urge people to come forward with any information that could assist us to progress this matter."

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