Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset

September 1, 2005
New outbreak of toxic algae at Burnham-On-Sea's Apex Wildlife Park

Warning signs went up at Apex Leisure Park on Thursday September 1, 2005

Fishing has been temporarily banned at Apex Wildlife Park in Burnham-On-Sea after a new outbreak of toxic blue-green algae at the site.

A blue-green film of algae can be seen on the lakesBosses at Sedgemoor District Council put up warning signs around the lakes on Thursday, September 1st to warn visitors about the danger after the algae was spotted in several places around the lakes at the popular park.

Jamie Roberts, Sedgemoor District Council's Operational Manager, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "It's a minor outbreak, but we have put signs up around the lake warning people not to fish, swim or let their dogs go in the water."

He added: "Fortunately, this outbreak is not as bad as we've seen here in the past. It was initially spotted over the Bank Holiday weekend and has developed during the week, which is why we've put the signs up. We're not trying to be alarmist; it's just a common sense approach."

Birds at the lake seem unconcerned by the algaeThe move comes after the park was closed two years ago for several weeks during a similar outbreak of the blue-green algae.

Mike Dunning of the Environment Agency also confirmed: "The Environment Agency has recorded algal blooms in the Apex Leisure Park lake in previous years and there is no reason for it not to re-appear when suitable conditions occur, usually during periods of hot weather with little or no rain."

He added: "The discoloration seen in the lake this summer is almost certainly blue-green algae of a type previously identified from samples. Under certain circumstances this algae can produce toxins harmful to animals such as dogs."

The blue-green algae is thick and brightly coloured in several placesBlue-green algae are aquatic organisms which have some properties that are characteristic of bacteria and some that are characteristic of plants.

Under suitable conditions, populations can grow to extremely high densities and, under certain circumstances, a scum of algae will form on the surface which can accumulate down-wind and get blown.

The significance of this is the fact that some blue-green algal species are known to produce chemicals that can be toxic to wild and domestic animals - and humans too.

RELATED LINKS:

Apex Leisure Park

 


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