Derbyshire County Council officers from trading standards, emergency planning, countryside service and public health are working with colleagues at Erewash Borough Council to warn people of the outbreak at Straw’s Bridge nature reserve, known locally as Swan Lake, in West Hallam, near Ilkeston.
The outbreak of bird flu, also known as avian flu, was confirmed after a Defra investigation following the death of 13 swans and geese. The signs urge people to take steps to stop the disease spreading to other sites or affecting commercial flocks and other captive birds.
While it is hoped the outbreak will be confined to wild birds on the Straw’s Bridge site, Derbyshire County Council is taking the precautionary measure of putting signs up at all sites close to the nature reserve to warn people of the outbreak.
These sites are:• Kirk Hallam Lake, Godfrey Drive, Kirk Hallam• Pewit Carr Local Nature Reserve• Mapperley Reservoir, Shipley Country Park• Osborne’s Pond, Shipley Country Park• Adam’s Pond, Shipley Country Park• Shipley Lake• Manner Floods
People visiting any of the sites are asked to keep to footpaths, keep dogs on leads and not to feed wild birds. They are also asked not to pick up or touch dead or sick wild birds and not to touch feathers or surfaces contaminated with wild bird droppings.
People who keep poultry or other birds are also being urged to thoroughly wash their hands and disinfect footwear after visiting the affected site before tending to their own birds or flocks.
Anyone who sees a dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or any other dead birds including gulls or birds of prey in the area should report it to Erewash Borough Council on 0115 907 22 44. If further afield, they should phone the Defra helpline on 03 459 335577.