Warning after toxic algae found in water
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.