Fylde bird watchers are being urged to do their bit in a campaign to stop the illegal killing of birds of prey in the county.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has launched a confidential Raptor Crime Hotline (0300 999 0101) and is askingwitnesses and whistle-blowers within the shooting industry in Lancashire to come forward with information about bird killing.
The link between driven grouse shooting and the illegal killing of birds of prey, such as peregrines and hen harriers, has been widely documented. The RSPB’s latest Birdcrime report revealed over 80 confirmed raptor persecution incidents had taken place in 2016, with many more likely to have gone undetected.
Local incidents included a shot peregrine in St Annes, a shot kestrel and an illegally trapped peregrine.
RSPB Senior investigations officer Guy Shorrock, said: “Illegal killing is not only robbing people of the chance to enjoy watching birds of prey but has serious consequences for their populations.
"We are sure there are people within rural communities who know who is committing these crimes but are cautious about speaking out.
“This 24-hour hotline provides a safe and confidential way to pass on information - calls are not recorded and are treated in the utmost confidence.
“We would like to see shooting organisations showing their support by including the hotline on their websites and encouraging their members to come forward with information regarding crimes against birds of prey in the UK.”