MORE birds of prey have been shot, trapped and poisoned in North Yorkshire than anywhere else in England, new figures have revealed.

Research by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has shown there were 264 confirmed, probable and unconfirmed cases of birds being persecuted in the region between 2002 and 2011, with offences also including destruction of nests.

At least 20 birds were illegally poisoned, shot or trapped in the Yorkshire Dales alone during this period. The total far outstrips the area with the next highest number of cases, Devon and Cornwall, which saw 91 incidents.