All wild UK birds, from the iconic robin to the beautiful puffin, are protected by the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act. This means that it is an offence (with certain exceptions) to:
- Intentionally kill, injure or take any wild bird
- Intentionally take, damage or destroy an active nest of any wild bird (in use or being built)
- Intentionally take or destroy the egg of any wild bird
- Use traps or similar items to kill, injure or take wild birds
Peregrine falcons are a schedule 1 bird in the UK. This means that they have the highest level of protection. Schedule 1 means that in addition to the above legislation it is also “an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb at, on or near an ‘active’ nest” without a special license. This ensures that the right people conserve peregrines the right way.
In England and Scotland, permits for ringing and nest recording are issued by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). Licences for other activities are issued directly from Natural England in England and NatureScot in Scotland. In Wales, all licences are issued directly by Natural Resources Wales.
Unfortunately, peregrines like other raptor species, still suffer from threats and disturbances despite it being illegal activity. If you witness a wildlife crime taking place, call the police immediately on 999 with the following information, if possible:
- Date, time and location
- Descriptions of people you saw or vehicles they were driving
- If there is anyone else in the area that witnessed the incident / individuals.
For a non-emergency, you can call the police on 101 or alternatively, If you would like to give information regarding a crime anonymously, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.