A Wiltshire man is due in court in the largest raptor persecution case that England has seen.

The 21-year-old faces six charges under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, together with three firearms offences.

It is potentially the largest English raptor persecution case in terms of of the number of alleged victims.

The case has been brought after almost two years of detailed investigation and forensic analysis by the police, crown prosecution service, RSPB and other partners.

PC Marc Jackson of the Wiltshire Rural Crime Team said: "This is the first case in Wiltshire to be run under Operation Owl since Wiltshire Police joined in 2020.

"Operation Owl addresses the issue of raptor persecution across the UK.

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"Wiltshire is known for its wonderful countryside, which is home to many species of birds - including protected birds of prey (also known as raptors) - including buzzards and red kites.

"Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act it is an offence to intentionally kill. injure or take wild birds.

"Nevertheless, birds of prey are still shot, poisoned and trapped and the Rural Crime Team receives several reports each year regarding suspected illegal killings.

"Operation Owl might be primarily a policing operation but there are many ways that members of the public can get involved by helping to spread awareness of bird of prey persecution, understanding how to recognise the signs, how to record anything you do find and finally how to report this to the police so that we can investigate."

The man is due to appear at Swindon Magistrates Court on May 25 at 10am.