Police launch investigation into illegal killing of male bird of prey that was nesting in a mill tower at the Trust’s offices in Belper
Tuesday 3 March 2015 13.32 GMTLast modified on Tuesday 3 March 201514.51 GMT
A peregrine falcon which was nesting on Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s office roof has been discovered shot dead outside the building in Belper.
Police have launched an investigation into the illegal killing after the corpse of the male bird was found by a local photographer and x-rays revealed it had been recently killed by a shot lodged in its shoulder.
“Everybody is devastated,” said Kaite Helps of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. “The nest is in one of the towers of the old mill and it was well-known in Belper. Photographers would come daily to take pictures of the birds.”
It is not known if the killing was a provocation by someone opposed to raptor conservation but Derbyshire Wildlife Trust said it was a deliberate act and there was a “possibility” that the peregrine had been shot on their grounds.
The male was part of a pair which produced four chicks last year and three in 2013 after discovering one of the Victorian mill’s towers was a suitable nesting site the previous year.