Two 'truly special' birds of prey found dead by bus stop in the Forest of Dean

The male goshawk was found to have been shot Credit: Gloucestershire Police

Two 'truly special' birds of prey have been found dead next to a bus stop in the Forest of Dean, sparking a police investigation.

The bodies of a male goshawk and a sparrowhawk were discovered just south of Aylburton near Lydney on the A48 by a member of the public on Monday 25 April.

Gloucestershire Police has today (June 13) issued an appeal for information, saying the 17-year-old goshawk died after being shot by a shotgun.

The cause of the sparrowhawk's death has not yet been established.

PC Cath McDay said: "This is an awful crime under the Countryside and Wildlife Act 1981, to truly special birds. 

"The goshawk had managed to live to an exceptional age only for his life to be ended like this."

Both birds will undergo a post-mortem examination to confirm their cause of death Credit: Gloucestershire Police

Police say there will be a post-mortem examination of both birds, while enquiries continue.

Anyone with any information can contact the force by completing a form online or by calling 101 and quoting incident number 130 of 25 April.

Information can also be passed on anonymously to the independent charity CrimeStoppers, who can be called on 0800 555 111.