North Yorkshire has the dubious distinction of being the UK’s worst known raptor persecution blackspot – a title it has held for several years (see here). With driven grouse moors the dominant land-use in this region, this rating shouldn’t come as any surprise.
At the heart of this blackspot is a remarkable lady called Jean Thorpe, who runs Ryedale Wildlife Rehabilitation, a facility that is wholly dependent on donations to keep going.
Jean works closely with the RSPB and the local Police Wildlife Crime Officers and last year was awarded an MBE for her tireless (voluntary) work.
When she’s not caring for injured raptors, mammals and any other creature that needs some expert help, Jean writes a blog (see here). Her latest entry is a review of the raptors she rehabilitated during 2014: a total of 99 injured birds, including 43 tawny owls, 19 barn owls, 11 buzzards, 9 sparrowhawks, 8 little owls, 7 kestrels, 1 peregrine and 1 red kite. She managed to release 53 back to the wild – an incredible achievement.
Not all were victims of persecution – many were road traffic casualties – but some had most definitely been targeted by the raptor-killing criminals. There’s a photo of a kestrel that she’s currently caring for – someone had blasted it with a shotgun.
Jean is fund-raising to buy/build a new aviary – her target is a modest £500. Let’s try and help her: donations can be made HERE.