Police arresting gamekeeper Tim Cowin on Whernside Moor

Yesterday we blogged about a buzzard that was shot in Northamptonshire – a sad end to another rollercoaster year in the fight against raptor persecution. We never know what each year will bring; what crimes might be suddenly uncovered or what events may occur. Here, we reflect on 2018, including the losses but also the determination and the action being taken by the RSPB, police and other partner organisations to change the future for our birds of prey.


Abroad, the year stared well, with heavy sentences issued to bird trappers on Cyprus thanks to the involvement of RSPB, BirdLife Cyprus and the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS). 

But at home, it wasn’t long before the first tragedy of the year struck. In January 2018, a young golden eagle named Fred disappeared suspiciously from the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh. Chris Packham made a powerful short film about Fred: Watch part one below, and the story continues here.