A rare osprey has been killed by a truck on the motorway in Lancashire.

The bird of prey had made its home near the River Ribble but reportedly flew into the path of a truck on the M6 after being spooked by a pedestrian.

The osprey is thought to have been killed on Thursday evening after it was approached on the hard shoulder, near Brockholes nature reserve.

A pedestrian wheeling a bicycle approached the bird as it perched on a bridge. But it became spooked and flew off into the path of a truck.

It had been hoped that the osprey would be the first to nest in the city for centuries.

A spokesman for Lancashire Wildlife Trust said: "We have had the sad news that the osprey has been killed and we have spoken to Highways England.

"They have heard the same report that the bird was hit by a heavy goods vehicle. They believe the body has been recovered.

"All we can really say is that this is devastating news.

"The osprey was a real character and caused a lot of excitement perching on the bridge and fishing in the Ribble and on our Brockholes nature reserve.

"There were a lot of sightings of the bird in and around the nature reserve, which is an ideal habitat.

"There was a real chance that this beautiful bird was going to hang around for most of spring and summer and the Wildlife Trust was hopeful that it may have attracted a mate to nest on the reserve in the future.

"We have had osprey sightings at Brockholes but all the birds we have seen have been passing through during migration between Africa and Scotland and Cumbria.

"This osprey had certainly stayed here a lot longer than usual.

"While we have been in lockdown, seeing the pictures of the bird taken by Darren Leen, at Highways England, and local birders, has raised our spirits and given us a reason to be hopeful that wildlife is doing well.

"Birders are reporting that the bird has been disturbed but that is, obviously, a police matter at the moment and we cannot comment."