Cumbria Crack

Support for inspirational wildlife rescuer

Jean Thorpe with a rescued buzzard

[B]irds of prey specialist Jean Thorpe has become an official volunteer for the two National Park Authorities in North Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors, meaning that they can cover her travel expenses while she helps rescue and rehabilitate injured birds.

The Malton-based ‘Raptor Rescue Rehabilitator’ provides specialist care for injured raptors and owls.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund has also awarded Mrs Thorpe £150 for a first response kit.  This ‘first aid kit for birds’ will help her provide initial on scene care.

The birds that come to Mrs Thorpe’s attention are from a variety of sources, including road traffic collisions, overhead wire collisions, as well as birds displaying signs of being illegally shot, trapped or poisoned.

A successful example of her work can viewed here.

Jean Thorpe, who was appointed an MBE in 2014, said: “It is excellent to get support from the two National Parks in North Yorkshire.  I am very grateful. They offer some of the best habitats in the English uplands for raptors but unfortunately I do see some horrendous injuries from illegally trapped or shot birds.  Some, but by no means all, make a recovery and get released back into their natural environment ‘’

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Area Manager Matt Neale, who works with partner organisations through Operation Owl to tackle illegal bird of prey persecution in the National Park, said:  “Jean has a great deal of knowledge built up over many years when it comes to the rehab of injured birds. This is very specialized work.   I would also like to pay tribute to a number of other individual businesses who support Jean with her work.  This has not gone unnoticed.  Jean x-rays every raptor to help diagnose injuries and to identify the possible cause.

“Her biggest expense is mileage, as Yorkshire is a big place, so by signing Jean up as a volunteer we can help.  North York Moors National Park Authority have joined us and done the same.  We are all so grateful for her unstinting support for wildlife in both National Parks.”

Debbie Trafford, Head of Recreation and Ranger Services at the North York Moors National Park Authority, added: “Either through illegal persecution or accidents, injured birds of prey sometimes with appalling injuries are discovered requiring help, and that is where Jean excels.  National Parks are important areas for raptors and we are committed to improving the situation.”

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