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