I reported the destruction of the nesting site to the Police, who were very helpful, but it’s only an offence if the nesting site is occupied and, since I don’t know when the site was destroyed, I can’t prove that. However, SNH also responded and they are going to contact the ecologist for the site and see if a compensatory nesting site can be constructed. If that happens it would be a bit of a victory.
The Police sent me this link to a mobile phone app for reporting wild life crime, they are keen to hear about stuff like this. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/paws-crime-app/id728400887?ls=1&mt=8 So if you see something REPORT IT
I suspect what may have happened here is that the passage of heavy earth moving plant very close to the bank may have weakened the nesting site and subsequent heavy rain washed it away. Despite that I think more care could have been taken. I know that there are lots of Sand Martin nesting sites around, so they are not exactly rare, but anything that helps to protect our wildlife from the incredible pressure they are under is good. I was impressed by SNHs response, they were more than willing to look into it.
This incident has brought home to me that it’s us hill walkers and mountaineers who are out in these remote places and see these things so we have a responsibility to be more active in reporting things than we are. When I first saw what had happened it never occurred to me that I could do something about it or it might even be an offence. Now I think I’d be much more likely to do something about it. Especially if there is a positive outcome and the nesting site gets replace. I’ve come over all eco-warrior.
If the nesting site is re-built I have this image of my and the head Sand Martin cutting the ribbon and going back with the mayor for sherry afterwards.