Wildlife Crime on the Marsh
The recent post about Shrimps although quite funny does show the importance of birders (and non birders ) being aware of our duty to report such matters to the police. Frodsham Marsh is an under watched special place that attracts illegal dumping and vandalism. As Frodsham birders we must report these sort of crimes ASAP. Any live alien species with the potential to establish itself in an environment can have a catastrophic effect in that environment. Below a copy of the Cheshire Wildlife Crime units main points with phone numbers and what to do if we see anything. The more reports we put in maybe they will take the issues of crime at Frodsham Marsh more seriously.
In an emergency always dial 999
Non emergencies – 0845 458 0000
Crimestoppers – 0800 555 111
The responsibility for the enforcement of the laws protecting our wildlife rests with the police service. Wildlife crime takes many forms, some of which involve extreme cruelty.
The main wildlife issues we are actively involved in combating include:
• Destruction of wildlife habitats (shrimps in outflows!!)
• Illegal trapping, shooting, snaring or poisoning of birds or animals (eg Buzzards deaths).
• Badger digging/baiting
• Poaching of deer, game or fish
• Collecting wild birds’ eggs
• Theft of wild plants
• Illegal international trade in wildlife
Cheshire Police sends officers on Wildlife Foundation courses to train them to become Police Wildlife Crime Officers. The officers who complete the course continue to work as regular PCs, but are also specialists in their field who can advise colleagues on wildlife policing.
As a matter of course, all calls received by Cheshire Police’s call handlers on rural issues are passed directly to the trained Police Wildlife Crime Officers.
Cheshire’s specialist wildlife officers also work in conjunction with the National Wildlife Crime Unit to share intelligence with other police forces and agencies. The NWCU provides support for wildlife officers and investigations into wildlife crime around the country.
If you suspect a crime has occurred:
• Do not disturb the scene by moving items or by walking about unnecessarily.
• Do not touch dead animals or birds if you suspect they may be poisoned baits or victims – most of the substances used are extremely dangerous and you may put yourself at risk.
• If possible, video or photograph the scene, or make a rough sketch.
• Write down any vehicle registration numbers – don’t trust them to memory.
• Contact the police as soon as possible.
• Remember that some animals and birds can be legally shot or controlled. Do not interfere with legally set traps or snares or damage hides, high seats or shooting butts.
• Do not put yourself at risk: contact the police.
This reply relates to ALL areas we bird, but more importantly no criticism is implied to anyone, only a reminder to every one of what we should do. Keep this number in your mobile, Crimestoppers – 0800 555 111.
This also includes disturbance by trail motor bikes.
Bird Ringing on the Marsh
Perhaps I could remind readers of this blog that members of Merseyside Ringing Group have a long-running programme (since 1954) of ringing birds and nest-recording, including all over Frodsham Marsh (apart from the operational no.6 bed). To those unfamiliar with our activities, sometimes they could appear to be suspicious; but please don’t automatically assume the worst, and particularly please don’t interfere with any nets, traps or nest-recording.
Of course we have all the necessary licences and our work goes to support conservation. Thankfully nowadays in Britain there are far more (legal) ringers and nest-recorders than (illegal) bird-trappers and egg-collectors.
Chairman, Merseyside Ringing Group