Eyes on church after tragic falcon death

Regional coordinator for the North West Raptor Protection Group, Terry Pickford, with the peregrine falcon that was shot in St Annes.
Regional coordinator for the North West Raptor Protection Group, Terry Pickford, with the peregrine falcon that was shot in St Annes.
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Bird lovers are remaining vigilant at a St Annes church after a peregrine falcon died in a suspected shooting last week.

CCTV cameras are set to be installed at St Thomas’ Church in St Annes after the death of the female falcon, which for seven years had nested and raised chicks in the area, caused outrage.

Regional coordinator for the North West Raptor Protection Group, Terry Pickford, with the peregrine falcon that was shot in St Annes.

Regional coordinator for the North West Raptor Protection Group, Terry Pickford, with the peregrine falcon that was shot in St Annes.

Daryl French, owner of MD Security Ltd in Poulton, agreed to install the cameras for free as a favour to his friend Terry Pickford, of the North West Raptor Protection Group.

He said: “We have done work for the church in the past and when I got a call from Terry telling me that the bird had been shot and was there anything I could do, we decided to install the cameras to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“It’s a way of helping the birds and everyone who is concerned about their welfare.

“At the end of the day we don’t want people shooting our wildlife. It did upset me when I heard what had 
happened. Why would somebody go out and shoot a falcon?

“CCTV is always a deterrent. It’s my hope that it might catch somebody on camera that could lead to an arrest.”

The falcon was found dead with a firearm pellet in its body on the roof of St Thomas’ Church last week.

Peregrine falcons, along with other birds of prey, are a protected species, and killing one can result in a possible penalty of a £5,000 fine or six months in prison.

Terry Pickford said: “It is a big concern to the raptor group that peregrine falcons are being targeted.”

Read more about the falcon here