- Red Kites have a special level of legal protection at all times
- It is an offence to intentionally kill or injure them; take or damage their eggs, or damage or destroy their nests whilst they are being built or in use.
- During the breeding season it is an offence to ‘intentionally or recklessly’ disturb adult or young kites at or near their nests. They are extremely sensitive to human activity at this time and any such disturbance could cause desertion of eggs or young.
- To attempt any of the above actions is an offence in itself, and is ‘punishable in like manner as for the said offence’.
- Special penalties (fines of up to £5000 for each bird or egg involved and/or imprisonment for up to six months) could be imposed on a person convicted of any of these offences.
Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Section 1(4) and (5), (as amended under Schedule 12(1) of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000), Section 18 and Schedule 1
- The progress of breeding Red Kites is monitored annually by people who are licensed and have the permission of the landowner to do so.
- Similarly, licences may be issued for ringing the young birds.
- The licensing system ensures that visits to breeding locations are controlled and co-ordinated, so as to avoid unnecessary disturbance.
- Anyone searching for Red Kite nests without a licence, and disturbing the birds in the process, is liable to prosecution and a penalty as described above.
Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, Section 16(1)(b) and (c)
- The taking of photographs at or near the nests of Red Kites requires a licence from Natural England.
- Anyone taking photographs in such a situation without a licence, and disturbing the birds in the process, is liable to prosecution and a penalty as described above.
Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, Section 16(1)(h)
- The level of protection provided by the legislation referred to above also applies to the other species listed on Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
- More information about the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 can be found at: http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-3614