Norfolk estate loses more than £200,000 in EU farm subsidies because gamekeeper poisoned birds of prey

Nine of the poisoned buzzards. Picture: RSPB

Nine of the poisoned buzzards. Picture: RSPB - Credit: RSPB

Allen Lambert, from Edgefield, was found guilty of killing 10 buzzards and a sparrowhawk on the Stody Estate, near Holt, last year.

Lambert, 65, was given a 10-week suspended prison sentence. The RSPB said it was the worst case of its kind it had even seen.

Now the Rural Payments Agency has confirmed that Stody has been told it has committed a 'cross compliance breach' as a result of Lambert's actions, which it is liable for.

Responding to a freedom of information request, the agency adds: 'The RPA has concluded that a breach of farmer requirement A1, of the pre-2015 statutory management requirement (wild birds) has occurred.

'The requirement reads: 'You must not intentionally kill, injure or take any wild bird.

'The financial amount has yet to be confirmed, however the penalty is 75pc of the single payment scheme payments made to the estate in 2014.'

Elsewhere, the RPA has disclosed the penalty is 263,000 Euros, or £204,429 at the rate of exchange it applied in 2014.

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We asked the Stody Estate if it had any comment on the penalty. Director Charles MacNichol confirmed the 75pc figure but said he did not wish to do so.

The RPA said: 'Cross compliance deductions are made from very many claimants in accordance with EU scheme rules.'