We have received
the following email from the Council -
At the request of the Council we are posting their email on this blog-site and also posting their current advice on keeping poultry
Dear Society Secretary,
Further to our previous e-mail in December I am writing to advise that DEFRA
have extended the Avian Flu Prevention Zone to 28th January 2017.
The H5N8 strain of Avian Influenza has been circulating in Europe for several
weeks. An outbreak was confirmed in turkeys at a farm in Lincolnshire on 16
December and a further case was confirmed in a back yard flock in
Carmarthenshire on 3 January.
The disease has also been found in wild birds in Wales, England and Scotland.
The recent H5N8 avian flu findings in wild birds and a backyard flock in Wales
highlight just how essential it is to minimise contact between wild and captive
birds and maintain good biosecurity to reduce the risk of infection.
We would be grateful for your assistance in bringing this information to the
attention of fellow tenants.
Further information is available on the DEFRA website at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-flu-prevention-zone-extended .
at our records in December, in an effort to contact individual tenants, we are
aware that there are far more tenants with poultry than our records show.
Because of the risks associated with Avian Flu we would like to have more
accurate information easily available, we would therefore be grateful if you
could help us update our records by letting us have a list of plot numbers for
those plots on your site which currently have poultry.
We do provide new
tenants with guidance on keeping poultry and whilst we don’t want to
re-introduce a permission system we would ask that we are made aware by
individual tenants or through your reports of any new poultry keeping on site.
That way we will have the most current information reasonably possible.
Thanks for your help and Happy New Year!
Head of Service
(Neighbourhood Services) Bolton Council
Use this quick checklist to see if your arrangements for keeping chickens on
your allotment are
likely to meet the requirements of Bolton Council. §
Food and Water
Your poultry should have continuous access to cool, clean water and an
appropriate diet that is
both plentiful and nutritional.
A clean, tidy and spacious environment should be maintained which provides
from the weather and predators. §
It is your responsibility to monitor and maintain a flock free from distress,
pain, injury and disease. §
We expect tenants to maintain high standards of welfare for their birds in
clean, tidy housing. In
this way, everyone can enjoy the presence of poultry on your Bolton Council
This leaflet only provides some basic guidelines; we strongly recommend that
you seek further
advice. There are numerous organisations, books and Internet sites, which offer
information on how to enjoy and care for your chickens. § Living with Chickens, Jay Rossier § Keep Chickens! Barbara Kilarski § Free-Range Poultry, Katie Thear § The Poultry Farmer’s and Manager’s
Veterinary Handbook, Peter W Laing
RSPCA national cruelty and advice line -
08705 555 999
Contact: Neighbourhood Services
Mayor Street Depot
Bolton, BL3 5DT
These guidelines have been produced in line with RSPCA recommendations.
MORE DETAILED GUIDANCE
(this (and the above) information is provided in the form of a leaflet to all
new tenants by Bolton Council. The rules set out are those of the Council and have not been devised or set out by any individual society.
This leaflet has been produced to give you some important basic guidelines as
to the minimum standards expected of tenants who keep poultry (hens) on
Failure to notify the Council that you intend to keep poultry as detailed in
your tenancy agreement or to meet the minimum standards in these guidelines may
result in the termination of your allotment tenancy. If approved you may keep
between 3 and 12 hens.
If you chose to keep animals on your allotment you must check on them daily,
provide competent care and management and have the knowledge and skills to
ensure the wellbeing of your animals. In addition, you are expected to keep
them under proper control to avoid disturbance to others.
Bolton Council has the right to inspect livestock at anytime. If the Council
has cause to investigate cases or complaints of maltreatment, costs of vets or
other official inspections will be passed to the Tenant for payment.
We strongly recommend you seek further detailed guidance on keeping poultry.
Your chickens should have continuous and plentiful access to;
Cool, clean and fresh water §
Provision of feed of a type appropriate to the age and species of animal, fed
in sufficient quantities, and sufficiently frequently, to maintain them in good
health and satisfy their nutritional needs.
Insoluble grit to aid digestion
Foodstuffs should be stored and fed such that it is kept clean, tidy and
properly protected from rodents and other pests
In addition to effective containment, housing is also important in ensuring the
welfare of your birds and should allow the expression of natural behaviour.
Although it is advised that you make the housing as large and comfortable as
possible, as a minimum, the accommodation will be expected to compromise of;
Minimum size of 2 square feet (0.2m2) per
Fully enclosed shelter that provides; § Protection from predators
A clean, dry bedding material to absorb moisture and odour
(suitable choices are
shavings or straw) §Warmth during the colder months and
during the summer § Adequate ventilation but
draught-free § Perches for sleeping, approximately
3-5cms wide with rounded corners to enable them to grip. § Nest Boxes for laying eggs.
AN OUTDOOR RUN § Minimum size of 4 square feet
(0.4m2) per chicken
Should provide the chicken(s) with plenty of space to dig, dust themselves and
flap their wings
Both should be regularly maintained to a good, tidy standard and free from
obvious faults that
may cause injury.
You will be held responsible for ensuring that your livestock is free from
distress, pain, injury and disease. Appropriate preventative and/or veterinary
treatment should be available at all times.
In order to maintain healthy livestock and reduce odour problems, the run and
hen-house should be cleaned a minimum of once a week or more frequently as
With respect to the above, the deep litter system is not acceptable on Bolton
Poultry kept on the same ground for more than a month will need regular worming
Any health serious/longstanding or contagious problems MUST be reported to the
Neighbourhood Services as soon as possible, as well as detail of the treatment
being received and notification when the problem has cleared.
5. FEATHERED FRIENDS
Poultry need companionship and should be kept in-groups of two or more.
Provided your chickens are happy, healthy birds they should not become a
nuisance to others. It is important however to be aware of potential
problems, such as dirty sites attracting vermin and causing smells.
Please note that due to potential noise problems, Cockerels are not permitted
on Bolton Council Allotments.
NOTICE TO ALL POULTRY KEEPERS DEFRA have issued an instruction to all poultry keepers (regardless of size of flock or whether they are DEFRA registered or not) that all poultry should be kept (wherever possible) indoors between December 7th 2016 and January 6th 2017. If poultry cannot be confined indoors then steps must be taken to keep them out of contact with wild birds. This should be done in a manner which considers the welfare of the poultry. This is due to the risk of a particularly virulent strain of avian flu entering the UK, primarily brought in by migratory birds from continental Europe and Siberia.
We know that some, perhaps many, members had been hoping
that we would be holding our annual Bonfire party in November. However after
receiving the following communication from our insurers and obtaining
subsequent information from the Council (see below), the Committee has decided
that such an event cannot take place this year.
Good afternoon Mr Jackson,
Following our discussions regarding the Bonfire to be held
on your allotment site I can confirm Liability cover is extended to include
this subject to less than 100 people being in attendance and the
following criteria being adhered to:
·The Police and Fire Brigade authorities will be
consulted at least fourteen days before the event and their recommendations
have been complied with in full
·The relevant HSE guidance will be followed by
·An event risk assessment has been carried out by
·Spectators will be kept at least 25 metres from
the display/bonfire and the display area will be roped off;.
·Bonfires will be sited at least 50 metres from
any buildings or vehicles and there are no roads, railways, overhead cables,
woodland, bracken or similar combustible materials in the immediate vicinity
·Special consideration should be given to major
roads (i.e. motorways), main railway lines, airport runways.
·Organisers should seek permission from the
relevant party (in our case the Council**)
Procedures - Organisers
·One member of the committee or other body
organising the display will be in direct charge of safety matters and not
engaged in any duties or activities which would prevent them from exercising
·Qualified first aid personnel will be in
attendance and means of summoning emergency assistance will be available;.
·There will be at least one steward in attendance
·These stewards should have full instructions
about their duties, adequate communications equipment (e.g. mobile phones,
walkie talkies), and know what to do and who to report to in the event of an
Procedures - General
·No petrol or paraffin will be used for the
purpose of lighting any bonfire;.
·When on own premises a full inspection of the
site will be carried out and any bonfire will be completely extinguished before
leaving the site at the end of the display;.
inform us should the Allotment Association decide to have a firework display as
this will require further referral.
Many thanks, Allotments Team, Bluefin Insurance
** On 14/10/2016 – The Head of Neighbourhood Services stated
·Bonfires on Allotment Sites after dark could not
be public events – since the Council regard allotment sites as potentially
unsafe places after dark. Events therefore would need to be restricted to
Plot-holders and their guests. (Any
plot-holder should accept responsibility for the behaviour and safety of anyone
they invite including children. After discussion the Committee felt that even
were those attending to sign a waiver to this effect it would not necessarily
protect the Society against action in the event of an incident ).
·No material may be brought onto the site for the
purposes of the bonfire
·No fireworks would be allowed
·An event management or risk assessment plan must
be submitted in advance by the organising society
·Proof of insurance which specifically covers
bonfires must be provided
(Two sites who are going ahead with their
bonfires have taken out separate events insurance to allow them to do so, costs
of £60 and £100 have been quoted by the respective secretaries).
Faced with this information the Committee decided at a
meeting on 18/10/2016 that an event which met the insurance criteria could not
be organised within the time frame allowed and at reasonable cost to the
A suggestion that the event go ahead without insurance or
Council approval was rejected on the grounds that
·We cannot control who comes to the fire
·If there is an incident then the Committee would
be jointly and severally responsible for any damages awarded to any individual
(whether member, plot-holder, guest or interloper) who suffered harm.
·Committee members were not prepared to put
themselves at this level of risk.
Accordingly there will be no Society Bonfire this year.
The Annual General Meeting of the Harpers Lane Allotments Society will take place at Hollywood Rd Social Club, Hollywood Road. Bolton at 7.30 p.m. on Tuesday 29th November.
Main items are:
The presentation of the Annual Reports
The presentation of the Annual Accounts
The Election of Officers and Committee
The Presentation of the Society Prizes
All members listed as having paid the 2016 subscription on the list prepared at 22nd September are eligible to stand for election and / or vote at the meeting. Partners and buddies are welcome to attend to join the discussions and ask questions.
Anyone wishing to table an item for the meeting should contact the secretary Margaret Jackson on firstname.lastname@example.org or by 'phone.