Cumbria

Farmer denies disturbing Bassenthwaite ospreys

Osprey Image copyright Lake District Osprey Project
Image caption Ospreys returned to the Lake District in 2001 after an absence of 150 years

A farmer has pleaded not guilty to intentionally disturbing the nest of breeding ospreys in the Lake District.

Paul Barnes is alleged to have driven his tractor and trailer with a group of children close to the Bassenthwaite site in June 2017, scaring the birds of prey from their nest.

The 58-year-old, from Braithwaite, near Keswick, is on trial at Workington Magistrates' Court.

The charges have been brought under the Country and Wildlife Act 1981.

Ospreys are a schedule one species under the act which means it is an offence to intentionally or recklessly cause disturbance at, on or near an active nest.

The birds returned to the Lake District in 2001 after an absence of 150 years.

Since then they have become a major tourist attraction and can be observed from the outdoor viewpoints, or via a webcam.

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