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NEWS RELEASE – Avian Influenza

Public urged not to touch sick or dead bird as avian influenza confirmed by Defra in  Worcestershire and Warwickshire

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) has now confirmed there is avian influenza A (H5N1) in wild bird populations in Worcestershire and the Stratford area of Warwickshire. 

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is now urging people in Worcestershire and Warwickshire not to touch any sick or dead wild birds – with avian flu confirmed in the swan populations around Diglis Basin in Worcester and in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon.

The UKHSA, Worcester City Council and Stratford District Council is working with APHA and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) to manage the situation and protect public health and the risk to other birds.

The A(H5N1) avian influenza strain was first diagnosed in birds at a wild bird rescue centre near Droitwich last week. Swans at the Diglis Basin in Worcester became sick, with this same strain of avian flu confirmed. Dead birds were collected from around the River Avon in Stratford town centre and sent to APHA’s laboratory for testing, and the same strain of avian flu has been confirmed in this population also.

The A(H5N1) strain is highly pathogenic to other birds, but the risk to human health is considered very low. It is vital that people do not touch sick live birds or bird carcasses, and infection control measures may be necessary if they do. 

Angela Cartwright, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control with the UKHSA in the West Midlands. said: “The risk to the public from this strain of avian flu is very low, however it is important that people do not touch any sick or dead birds. As a precaution, anyone who was not wearing appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) while in contact with the droppings or birds in an area where the infection has been confirmed, will require close monitoring and a course of antiviral medication for 10 days from last contact with infected birds.”

In areas where the infection has been confirmed or is suspected, anyone who has been in contact with sick or dead birds or their droppings, while not wearing the correct PPE, should make sure any footwear is properly cleaned and thoroughly wash their hands in soap and water. They should then notify the UK Health Security Agency’s West Midlands Health Protection Team on 0344 225 3560 so that public health experts can determine if antiviral medication and active surveillance of their condition is necessary. If someone handled infected birds while wearing adequate PPE, they must still undergo active surveillance.

Following a number of detections of avian influenza (bird flu) in wild birds across Great Britain, the Chief Veterinary Officers from England, Scotland and Wales have declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) across the whole of Great Britain, to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading amongst poultry and captive birds.

Councillor Andy Stafford, Chair of Worcester City Council’s Environment Committee, said: “Worcester City Council has acted swiftly to fence off the area around the city’s swan sanctuary, and I would like to ask people not to feed the swans until this outbreak is under control. Feeding encourages them to congregate and that increases the risk of the disease spreading. If you find a dead bird, let us know at or on 01905 722 233. Do not touch or move dead birds and keep dogs away from them.”

Councillor Christopher Kettle, Community Protection Portfolio from Stratford District Council, said: ““The outbreak of avian flu in the wild bird population, including swans on the River Avon, is obviously of concern to residents.

“The UKHSA has made it clear that the risk of the disease transferring from birds to humans is considered to be very low. To ensure this situation remains, the advice we have received is that members of the public should not touch or go near sick or dying birds and any dead birds found should be reported to the District Council on        01789 267 575 to assist with disposal.

“The UK food standards agencies advise that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

Anyone who sees sick wildfowl should contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999. If you see any dead wildfowl in the Stratford area contact Stratford District Council on 01789 267 575 in office hours and 01926 339 577 out of hours. Anyone who sees dead wildfowl in the Worcester area should contact Worcester City Council on

Outside these areas, anyone who sees sick or dead birds by waterways or on your private land, please do not touch them at any cost and call the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77.

Film Nights Are Back!

After a long break we’re excited to announce the return of the ever popular film sessions to the Village Hall starting with one for all the family, ‘Farmageddon’ on Saturday 20th November at 4pm. For this first film we’ll be limiting attendance to 40 tickets to enable us to socially distance effectively within the hall with tickets available to purchase in advance from the Poppin (Children £1, Adults £2) rather than on the night. Refreshments will be available.

Going forward we plan to alternate family films with films aimed at adults. Pencil in Saturdays February 19th and April 23rd at 4pm for the next two kid’s films and Tuesday January 25th and Friday March 25th at 7pm for the grown ups. We’ll be announcing which films we’ve lined up the month before.

I hope we’ll see you there!

Cat Price, Village Hall Committee

Have your say on ward boundaries for Stratford-on-Avon District Council

Have your say
Stratford-on- Avon Electoral Review

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking for your views on proposed new electoral arrangements for Stratford-on- Avon.We want to know:
• Do the proposed wards reflect local communities?
• How do you think the proposals can be improved?
• Are the names of the proposed wards right?

Web: | 
Writing: Review Officer (Stratford-on-Avon), LGBCE, PO Box 133, Blyth, NE24 9FE

Consultation closes: 08 November 2021 

Notice of Extraordinary Meeting Friday June 11th

Members of Marston Sicca Parish Council are hereby summoned to attend an extraordinary Parish Council meeting on June 11th at 6.30pm at the Village Hall. The meeting is open to members of the public.

The content is confined to one topic.


  1.  Proposed changes to HSBC Bank Account(s), to provide a secondary account specifically for the Meon Vale Pavilion Coffee Shop.

Parish Clerk
June 7th 2021

CBE awarded to Long Marston resident


Just after Christmas one of our village neighbours had a lovely surprise. Pia Wilkes was made an honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) by her Majesty the Queen for services to Motor Transport.

Pia has worked in in the automotive industry since arriving in the UK from Denmark more than 25 years ago. She is the CEO at the VCA (Vehicle Certification Agency), an executive agency of the Department for Transport, where she works to ensure vehicles meet the required safety and environmental standards before they are produced and sold.

A qualified automotive engineer, Pia has held a number of senior positions in both the private and public sectors and across a range of functions, including engineering, technical sales and business development. Her career started in the vehicle engineering group at Lotus Engineering, where she was a part of the team approving the very first Lotus Elise. She moved to Tom Walkinshaw Racing and Prodrive before joining the civil service and DfT for the first time in 2004. She led the Test Engineering and Certification product groups at Horiba MIRA before re-joining VCA as the CEO in 2016.

Pia is passionate about inspiring more woman to pursue a career in engineering and helping them to realise their full potential, both professionally and personally. In addition, she is championing diversity and inclusion, with particular focus on Neurodiversity and embracing the value that individuals with conditions such as autism can bring to the workplace and the wider societal impact this can have.

(Cake by Sally McCluskey, Cake Vision. Sally can be reached through The Bakers Dozens FB page)



CALL AND CHECK – Check on neighbours and loved ones. Consider WhatsApp to keep up to date.

THINKING OF OTHERS – Don’t bulk buy. If you have surplus supplies of essential items consider donating these to people in need

STAY IN TOUCH – Being is self-isolation doesn’t mean cutting yourself off from others. Use the computer for emails & social media.

BRING STRUCTURE TO YOUR DAY – Time at home can also be time for ideas and creativity. Crafts, books, finishing projects, starting new ones, keeping fit. Sharing ideas with friends and neighbours.

If you are in need of provisions or require medication, please contact Long Marston Voluntary Group on either 01789 721375 or 07753904304

Emotional and Mental Wellbeing

What to do if you need medical help

If you need medical help for any reason, do not go to places like a GP surgerypharmacy or hospital.
If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the 111 coronavirus service.

If you need help or advice not related to coronavirus:

  • for health information and advice, use the NHS website or your GP surgery website
  • for urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service – only call 111 if you’reunable to get help online
  • for life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance
Click here to go to the NHS COVID-19 overview page Click here to go to the government's COVID-19 overview page