Warn­ing af­ter toxic al­gae found in water

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By KEN MCER­LAIN ken.mcer­lain@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk @Etken­m­cer­lain

DOG walk­ers are be­ing urged to keep their pets away from a lake at a Peter­bor­ough beauty spot af­ter poi­sonous al­gae ap­peared in the water.

Warn­ings have been is­sued fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of blue green al­gae in a boat­ing lake at Or­ton Mere park in Peter­bor­ough.

The al­gae, which poses dan­gers to dogs and hu­mans if con­sumed, was spot­ted at the venue last week and staff from the Nene Park Trust, which runs the site, have put warn­ing signs up around the lake.

Su­san Evans, vis­i­tor ser­vices man­ager for the Nene Park Trust, said: “We can con­firm that blue green al­gae was spot­ted in a boat­ing lake at Or­ton Mere by one of our rangers last week.

“It’s some­thing which can be quite a prob­lem for dogs, and even hu­mans can be­come ill if they swal­low it.

“We’re more con­cerned for dogs at the mo­ment as it’s not a lake in which peo­ple nor­mally swim.

“We have put warn­ing signs up around the lake but would like to warn dog own­ers to keep their an­i­mals away from the water.

“Dogs can be­come quite poorly if they come into con­tact with it and in some ex­treme cases can even die.”

Ms Evans said the al­gae was a reg­u­lar phe­nom­e­non in lakes at the site which of­ten ap­pears and then dis­ap­pears within a mat­ter of days.

She added: “It’s a nat­u­ral oc­cur­rence, some­times caused by cli­mate changes which can spring up to­tally with­out warn­ing.

“We’ve had blue green al­gae ap­pear in lo­cal lakes sev­eral times be­fore and it of­ten dis­ap­pears within a few days or a week.

“It’s some­thing which can’t be treated man­u­ally so our pro­to­col is to warn peo­ple about the sit­u­a­tion and wait for it to clear.”

A spokes­woman for the En­vi­ron­ment Agency, added: “I am sur­prised to hear about cases of blue green al­gae at this time of year.

“It is nor­mally some­thing which forms in warmer pe­ri­ods of weather of­ten in late sum­mer.

“Con­sid­er­ing that we’ve had cold and wet weather re­cently these aren’t the con­di­tions in which it usu­ally forms.

“How­ever, we did have a warmer March than usual which could pos­si­bly ex­plain its ap­pear­ance.

“Many peo­ple have prob­a­bly seen blue green al­gae at some stage be­cause it is fairly com­mon and of­ten re­sults in water turn­ing green.

“How­ever peo­ple may be un­aware that it can be dan­ger­ous.”

WARN­INGS: Blue al­gae has ap­peared in a lake at Or­ton Mere.

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