Parents and dog owners warned over toxic blue-green algae blooms at Bedford's Priory Country Park

Avoid it & supervise your kids and pets – says council
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Residents and visitors are being warned over growing concerns about blue-green algae blooms which has appeared on areas of the lakes at Priory Country Park and some of the borough’s watercourses.

Blue-green algae naturally occur on inland waters such as rivers and lakes, estuaries and in the sea – but excessive amounts can result in the forming of blooms.

These produce toxins, which can kill wild animals, farm livestock and domestic pets, alongside the potential to cause skin rashes and illness if swallowed by humans.

The blue-green algae blooms at Priory Country ParkThe blue-green algae blooms at Priory Country Park
The blue-green algae blooms at Priory Country Park

Bedford Borough Council has reported its concerns to Public Health England and the Environment Agency (EA), who will look at resolving the issue.

Organisations which use the areas affected have also been notified.

Councillor Charles Royden, portfolio holder for environment, said: “Although blue-green algae form naturally on some waters, conditions this year have meant that blooms have become more prominent.

"The hot, dry weather combined with the lack of wind and rain has resulted in greater build-ups of algae that aren’t being dispersed as they usually would.

“Please be sure to avoid any blue-green algae that you come across and ensure any children and pets are supervised at all times while near any lakes or rivers in the borough.”

If you notice a build-up of blue-green algae blooms on the surface of the water, you should report it to the Environment Agency’s incidents hotline on 0800 80 70 60.