Notts TV’s gardening expert says he witnessed a heron being shot this morning when walking his dog.
John Stirland was walking on a main road in Muston, on the Nottinghamshire-Leicestershire border, when he then heard ‘a crack from what sounded like an air gun’.
He carried on his walk before noticing something falling into a tree at the side of a river.
John said: “The next thing I saw when I next looked up was a heron in the river.
“It was either a hell of a shot as it died very quickly or it was a high powered gun.
“I got the bird out of the water when a man came round the corner looking for the bird; he asked for it, I refused and have called the police and informed the RSPB.”
In Great Britain, the heron is protected at all times by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, with fines or even prison sentences possible for anyone killing or attempting to kill one.
John said: “I was shocked when it happened as there’s no need for it.
“These are wild birds; if everyone did this we wouldn’t have any birds left if they shoot what ones they felt like.”
— john stirland (@johnstirland) January 10, 2017
Leicestershire Police confirmed that the incident has been reported to them.
A spokesman said: “We can confirm that we have received a report this morning of a bird being injured which is believed to have happened between 7.30am and 8am.
“We are making relevant enquiries.”