Above: On October 12, Daniel Lingham appeared at Norwich Magistrates’ Court where he pleaded guilty to five charges relating to the taking and possession of wild bird eggs, including Schedule 1-listed wild bird eggs. Photo: RSPB


ONE OF THE most prolific egg collectors in recent times has pleaded guilty to five charges relating to the taking and possession of almost 5,000 wild bird eggs in Norfolk.

And in Kent, a man has been sentenced for trapping and keeping wild birds at his home. The RSPB and RSPCA, working in conjunction with local police forces, have been instrumental in bringing both cases to court.

As reported in the June 6 issue, Daniel Lingham of Newton St Faith in Norfolk, was arrested by Norfolk Constabulary following the discovery of nine linnet eggs on his person. A police search of Mr Lingham’s home led to the discovery of nearly 5,000 eggs, stored and catalogued in wooden trays. 

The RSPB has recently confirmed that the haul, which had been taken from a number of nature reserves in Norfolk, included the eggs of marsh harriers, nightjars, turtle doves and little ringed plovers.

Mr Lingham appeared at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on October 12 and will be sentenced on November 27.

Mark Thomas, RSPB senior investigator said: “[Mr] Lingham has taken significant numbers of eggs from some of our rarest and most threatened birds. This will have a huge impact on their local, regional and national population. These are species that conservationists are working tirelessly to save, for the benefit of future generations.”

In Kent, 50-year-old Scott Henderson of Swanley, was sentenced at Medway Magistrates’ Court on October 8, to a three-month community order and fine following the discovery of illegally trapped wild birds at his home in June 2018. 

Following a tip-off, police and RSPCA officers searched Mr Henderson’s home and found banks of cages in a back bedroom containing illegally trapped birds: a bullfinch, a greenfinch and five goldfinches, as well as bird-trapping equipment such as cage traps in the garden, a funnel trap and clap nets.

Sgt Darren Walshaw of Kent Police’s Rural Task Force said: “The RSPCA put together a strong case which resulted in a guilty plea at court.”

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