Farmer denies setting trap to injure wild birds

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A Ryedale farmer today denied setting a trap to injure wild birds following a surveillance operation by the RSPB on the land.

Michael Thomas Wood, 68, is accused of knowingly permitting the trap to be set at Westfield Farm, Cropton, near Pickering.

It was alleged in the charge the trap “was‎ of such a nature and so placed as to be calculated to cause bodily injury to any wild bird coming into contact with it”.

Wood, of. Manor House, Sinnington, denied the allegation‎ under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the case was adjourned for trial at Scarborough on February 16 and 17.

‎The court heard the prosecution by North Yorkshire Police followed a two-day stake-out of the farm by RSPB investigators in June.

‎Wood was not required to appear in court for the initial hearing but was represented by his solicitor Richard Atkins who entered a not guilty plea on his client’s behalf.

According to the charge, Wood faces a maximum of six months in jail if convicted.