A platform hosting an incredibly rare osprey nest has been cut down with a chainsaw in an “horrific act of vandalism”.
North Wales Police Rural Crime Team said the protected bird of prey had laid its first egg just one day before the nest was felled at Brenig, which borders Conwy and Denbighshire.
North Wales Wildlife trust tweeted: “Brenig Osprey Project partners woke up this morning to the worst possible news.
“Last night, at 21.42, someone took a chainsaw to the osprey nest and felled it – please, please be kind to staff this weekend as we work out how to respond to this horrific act of vandalism.
“If you have any information that can help us in identifying the individuals responsible, please let us know or contact the police with crime reference 2059734.”
Many took to social media to criticise the vandalism.
One wrote: “Unbelievable! What kind of moron destroys an #osprey nest? One of our rarest & most beautiful birds. Really sorry to read this :(“
Another tweeted: “This is beyond words. Utterly abhorrent & has made me cry that anyone could do such a terrible thing.”
Police said officers were sent to the scene on Saturday morning and an investigation is under way.
Ospreys are some of Wales’ rarest birds but had begun nesting in the Llyn Brenig reservoir near Cerrigydrudion in 2018.
The birds and their eggs are protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act which makes it a crime to interfere with them or their nests.
According to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), in the second half of April, the female lays two or three eggs at 1-3 day intervals and incubates them for 37 days per egg.
Brenig Osprey Project is a partnership with Welsh Water and North Wales Wildlife Trust.