£200,000 is be­ing spent to re­vamp toxic al­gae park pond

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

A POND where toxic al­gae has killed dozens of fish is to get a new lease of life.

Cheshire East Coun­cil has pledged to spend al­most £200,000 to drain the body of wa­ter in South Park this win­ter.

The big­gest job is re­mov­ing tons and tons of silt which has built up over many years.

The cash will also be used to im­prove the banks around the pond and ar­bori­cul­tural works on trees in the area.

The move has been wel­comed by Coun­cil­lor Janet Jack­son who has been cam­paign­ing for the im­prove­ments.

Coun Jack­son said: “I am re­ally pleased. It will be great to see it re­turned to its for­mer glory. I re­mem­ber the pond as a child. I used to come down and feed the ducks with my grand­par­ents. It has a lot of happy mem­o­ries for me and oth­ers in this town, that op­por­tu­nity should be passed to the next gen­er­a­tions.”

Con­cerns about the state of the pond have been raised regularly for the last two years.

In 2013 park users re­ported around 100 dead fish in the pond, in­clud­ing carp and bream.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the En­vi­ron­ment Agency blamed the growth of pond al­gae, ex­tract­ing oxy­gen from the wa­ter and killing the fish.

Then in March this year con­ser­va­tion­ists warned visi­tors not to feed ducks bread be­cause it was caus­ing toxic al­gae in the wa­ter.

Un­eaten soggy bread can cause a build-up of bad nu­tri­ents and lead to an over­pro­duc­tion of al­gae which is harm­ful to wildlife and dogs.

Coun Jack­son said ‘some­thing had to be done’.

She added: “The fish were dy­ing from de­oxy­gena­tion pro­duced by the al­gae and silt. Pets were get­ting ill.

“Orig­i­nally the lake was 12ft deep. The silt has built up over many many years and has come up so far there is only about 1ft left. It had caused the wa­ter tem­per­a­ture to rise. It was a des­per­ate sit­u­a­tion.”

Coun Jack­son cam­paigned to the coun­cil and of­fi­cers came out and did an as­sess­ment.

She added: “It was de­cided that the lake would need to be drained and all the silt re­moved. There will be a lot of silt. One sug­ges­tion is for the silt to be made into an is­land in the mid­dle of the lake, but we’ll have to see. It needs a good tidy up and maybe some re­plant­ing. Hope­fully the work will hap­pen in win­ter and it will be back to its in late spring or early sum­mer.”

●● The pond at South Park is to be drained and work done on the banks and sur­round­ing trees

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