Warning after bird flu found in dead kittiwakes at Marsden Bay

Visitors have been warned to take care after bird flu was found in dead gulls at a coastal beauty spot.

National Trust bosses have confirmed avian influenza cases at Marsden Bay and urged people to take precautions.

In a statement on social media, the trust’s Souter Lighthouse and The Leas team said: “Sadly, avian influenza (bird flu) has been confirmed in dead kittiwakes at Marsden Bay.

"If visiting this beach, and others, please don’t touch dead or sick birds, and keep dogs on leads. Please report dead or sick birds to Defra on 0345 9335577.”

Kittiwakes. Picture by Simon Hulme

An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) for poultry and captive birds was introduced across Great Britain to help stop the spread of bird flu’ in late 2021, but was lifted at midday on August 16 2022.

The enhanced biosecurity measures had been brought in across Great Britain in November when there was a medium risk for some poultry premises.

Ministers said the measures had been vital in protecting flocks across the country from the virus which is circulating in wild birds.