The RSPB’s 2016 Birdcrime report published this week focuses on illegal persecution of birds of prey in the uplands, with North Yorkshire at the top of the list. Many cases have been reported in Nidderdale AONB in recent years - Councillor Nigel Simms, Chair of the AONB’s Joint Advisory Committee said ‘The continuing persecution of birds of prey in the AONB is outrageous. It is a stain on our reputation as a nationally-protected landscape in which wildlife – including birds of prey like buzzards, red kites, hen harriers and peregrine falcons - is part and parcel of what makes Nidderdale such an amazing place to be. We unreservedly condemn illegal persecution of birds of prey. It is starting to have a damaging effect on tourism businesses and it undermines the work of law-abiding landowners and gamekeepers who are actively working alongside us to improve prospects for all forms of wildlife in the AONB. We would urge anyone with evidence of persecution to contact the police.'