By Nathan Findlay –
A man who has stolen almost 200 wild birds’ eggs has been given a suspended jail sentence.
The eggs were found at Terence Potter’s home near Huddersfield, along with a tree-climbing and egg blowing kit.
Amongst the eggs, there was also several golden plover and curlew eggs found in an incubator, four of which were later hatched.
Potter has been given a 12-week sentence and has been suspended for 12 months after pleading guilty to eight charges related to the stolen eggs.
Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard Potter had been spotted by the gamekeepers in the Peak District National Park near Woodhead in April 2020 as he was searching through heather bushes where birds are known to be nesting.
When the police searched his home in Upper Cumberworth, they found 179 black-headed gull eggs as well as those of curlew, golden plover, and some overseas species.
The RSPB found seven eggs in the incubator, which were then taken to the nursery in Thorgumbald, East Yorkshire; four chicks hatched and were subsequently released into the wild.
It is illegal to intentionally take or possess the eggs of any wild bird under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Tom Grose, RSPB investigations officer, said he hoped the sentence would send a “strong signal such thoughtless destruction of wildlife, for personal gain, will not be tolerated”.