BOURNEMOUTH Aviary have delayed their opening due to an outbreak of bird flu.

Work started to build a new aviary in September last year, with the site in the Lower Gardens originally set to reopen from the end of January into early February 2022.

However, organisers at the aviary say they are now expecting to hold an opening event at the end of March, due to an outbreak of bird flu in the area.

Cathi Farrer of the Parks Foundation said they are unable to move the birds which have been temporarily housed with volunteers during this time.

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Cllr Mark Anderson, portfolio holder for environment and place said: “Work on the new Bournemouth Aviary is progressing well with Avon Contractors Ltd due to complete their work on the aviary at the end of February. Once they finish, our parks team will then install the flight cage landscaping and the volunteers will move in all the sundry equipment.

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“Obviously avian flu is a concern, but we’re continuing to follow strict biosecurity measures to help limit the spread of the disease and hope to be able to re-open the aviary at the end of March, subject to being allowed to move the birds into their new home by then."

In November last year, the government announced that birds and poultry must be kept indoors under strict new measures to control the spread of bird (Avian) flu.

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All keepers are legally required to keep their birds housed or separate from wild birds.

The move came after a number of confirmed cases of bird flu were found across the UK, one of which was in Southbourne.

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David Hagg, volunteer at the aviary said: “All parties, council departments, The Parks Foundation, architects, sponsors, discerning builders and the volunteers have all worked very conscientiously in unison to make this aviary rebuild possible and to be completed in the shortest period of time with the best modern materials.

“We can’t wait for the birds to be in their new home later this year.”

So far, the Parks Foundation have fundraised just over £300,000 to pay for the new aviary.

The team are still raising the final funds needed for the aviary’s landscaping and its fixtures, as well as for the ongoing cost of bird food, water, heating and cleaning materials needed by their volunteers.

To find out more or donate visit