Avian Flu (BIRD Flu) – Latest Situation

All poultry and captive birds must be housed in England until further notice, following an increase in the number of detections of avian influenza in wild birds and on commercial premises.

Bird keepers are required to shut their birds indoors and implement strict biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks from the threat of avian influenza, regardless of whatever type or size. The disease could kill your birds if these actions aren’t taken.

The housing measures build on the strengthened biosecurity measures that were brought in as part of the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) in October 2022.


The UK has faced its largest ever outbreak of bird flu with over 200 cases confirmed across the country since late October 2021. Check the list of confirmed avian influenza cases.

These measures will remain in place until further notice, and will be kept under regular review as part of the government’s work to monitor and manage the risks of avian influenza.

The wild bird risk across Great Britain has increased from high to very high and the risk to poultry with stringent biosecurity remains at medium. The risk to poultry with poor biosecurity is still considered high, in light of the increased number of infected premises observed during September and October and the distance of some of these, as well as wild bird cases, from the coast. All bird keepers must now follow enhanced measures at all times to prevent the risk of future outbreaks.

Do not touch or pick up any dead or sick birds that you find and instead report them to the Defra helpline on 03459 335577. There is no impact on the consumption of properly cooked poultry products, including eggs.

All poultry gatherings, including at fairs, shows and markets, remain banned, due to a large number of flocks mixing together and the risk posed by any infections spreading across the country.

Advice to poultry keepers

All bird keepers must keep a close watch on them for signs of disease and maintain good biosecurity at all times. If you have any concerns about the health of your birds, seek prompt advice from your vet.

All bird keepers (whether they are pet birds, a commercial farm or just a few birds in a backyard flock) must remain vigilant and help prevent avian influenza by:

  • housing or netting all poultry and captive birds
  • cleanse and disinfect clothing, footwear, equipment and vehicles before and after contact with poultry and captive birds – if practical, use disposable protective clothing
  • reduce the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry and captive birds are kept, to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other products, and use effective vermin control
  • keep records of mortality, movement of poultry and poultry products and any changes in production
  • thoroughly clean and disinfect housing on a continuous basis
  • keep fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all farm and poultry housing entry and exit points
  • minimise direct and indirect contact between poultry and captive birds and wild birds, including making sure all feed and water is not accessible to wild birds
  • prevent access by poultry to ponds and watercourses and ensure that birds are kept in fenced or enclosed areas

It is a legal requirement for bird keepers in the national AIPZ to take these biosecurity measures.

See the Government biosecurity advice for more information.


Seaton Valley Council Allotment Sites

We are aware of the importance of allotments to our community and is working hard to not only meet the needs of plot holders, but also to ensure that it is working with the community to provide a balanced environment for future generations.

Allotments provide the opportunity for fresh air and exercise for those interested in growing fruit, vegetables and flowers. They also provide the chance to make new friends with other like-minded people.

We manage 13 sites. Our plot sizes range from as small as 30 m sq to as large as over 400 m sq.


Allotment site in summer

Shown below is a list of the Councils allotment sites:

  • Ancroft Road, Seaton Delaval – Map
  • Baxter Terrace, Seaton Delaval – Map
  • Beresford Road, Seaton Sluice – Map
  • Dartford Close, Seaton Delaval – Map
  • Dene Top, Seaton Sluice – Map
  • Gloria Avenue, New Hartley – Map
  • Hall Farm, Holywell – Map
  • Memorial Playing Fields, New Hartley – Map
  • Seaton Terrace, Seaton Delaval – Map
  • Seghill Road, Seaton Delaval – Map
  • Victoria Close, Seaton Delaval – Map
  • West Terrace, Seaton Sluice – Map
  • Coppergate, Holywell – Map

Coppergate in Holywell is under devolved management arrangements.  This means that a formally constituted allotment association leases the site from Seaton Valley Council, and reinvests the revenue it collects from rents on maintenance repairs and capital items.

Allotments Waiting List

We are currently accepting applications for allotment plots in Seaton Valley.

Please be aware that we only have a limited number of allotment plots currently available and we will allocate these to applicants based on your date of application and site preference.

We cannot guarantee when a plot will become available but your name will remain on the waiting list until we are able to allocate you a suitable allotment plot.

Allotment Application Forms are available below:

You can request an application by post by phoning 0191 2379870 or application forms can be collected from our offices in Seaton Delaval.

Completed application forms should be returned to the Seaton Valley Council Offices in Seaton Delaval or emailed to:

Note:  You must be resident in Seaton Valley to apply for one of our allotment plots.

Lettings and Management Policy

In March 2021 a new Allotments Lettings and Management Policy was agreed by Council.

The policy is to clarify the respective roles and responsibilities of the council and its allotment tenants.

Allotments Lettings and Management Policy (March 2021)

Allotment Rents 2022/23

Our allotment plot rents are based on the size of the plot in square meters.  The current rents for 2022/23 are detailed below:

Size (square meters) Rent
0 – 50 m2 £44.20
51 – 100 m2 £53.70
101 – 200 m2 £56.90
201 – 300 m2 £59.60
301 – 400 m2 £66.20
401 – 450 m2 £72.80
451 – 999 m2 £79.50


Useful tips on maintaining soil fertility

Fertile soil is essential for organic gardening. The soil needs to be managed so that the structure, fertility and living organisms in the soil are protected and developed.

To promote the soils fertility you can add manure and plant remains which will maintain the soils humus levels. This will feed the soil life which is essential for a healthy soil and provide plant nutrients. Green manures can be grown to protect and feed the soil. This keeps the cultivation at a minimum and avoids damaging the soil structure.

To maintain the soils fertility:

  • Cover the soil with a green manure. This will protect the surface living organisms and the soil structure from damage by dry conditions, heavy rain or strong winds.
  • Apply manure or plant wastes. Apply one wheelbarrow full of well-rotted manure or two of compost per 10 m sq of ground per year.
  • Loosen the subsoil which will break up compaction
  • Use a rotation system for annual plants.
  • Cultivating the soil shouldn’t be carried out when the soil is too wet or too dry. Don’t mix the subsoil with topsoil. Cultivating the soil should be kept at a minimum to avoid damaging the soil structure.

Composting Bins

How do I start composting?  To get started, the first thing you will need to do is buy a home composting bin.

Northumberland County Council are working with to offer residents a range of home compost bins, wormeries and accessories at special offer prices.  Order composting equipment online here.