Warning for dog owners over potentially fatal blue green algae at Bedford’s Priory Country Park

"It is worrying and people need to be aware”
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Dog owners have been warned about the potential danger of exposing their pets to blue-green algae at Bedford’s Priory Country Park.

Blue green algae can become toxic and can cause illness in both humans and animals if large quantities are ingested.

Will Roberts, who regularly walks in the area, said he noticed dogs in the water at Priory Marina despite signs about the presence of blue green algae on the main lake.

Notices have been erected at Priory Country Park warning of potential dangers to dogs of blue green algaeNotices have been erected at Priory Country Park warning of potential dangers to dogs of blue green algae
Notices have been erected at Priory Country Park warning of potential dangers to dogs of blue green algae

He said: “There are a number of council signs up at Priory Marina about blue green algae which is really harmful, potentially fatal, for dogs. Yet sadly, even this morning, I saw dogs bounding into the lake. It is worrying and people need to be aware and just read the signs. After all It’s about the health of dogs.”

Caroline Stronkhorst, co-founder of the Fetch Club Shop, which provides quality products to dog owners across the country, added: “Having seen more incidents of this pop up all over the country, we created some tips and a ‘spotter’ page a couple of weeks ago. Now there are signs up in Bedford, I thought I'd share this resource if it was of use to others.”

The link to the ‘spotter’ page can be found here.

Bedford Borough Council confirmed it put up warning notices up in the area to advise people to stay out of the water and not to allow dogs into the lake.

A spokesperson said: "There is currently a bloom of blue green algae on the main lake at Priory Country Park.

“We have set procedures for dealing with this and have followed these. We have informed the Environmental Agency and put warning notices up in the area to advise park users to stay out of the water and not to let their dogs into the water.

“Blue green algae has the potential to become toxic as it starts to break down and can cause illness if large quantities of the algae are ingested.

“Our recommendation to users of Priory Country Park is to follow the advice on these notices and keep their dogs out of the water during periods when blue green algae is present.”

Veterinary care should be sought immediately if your dog is exposed to toxic algae.