Blackpool's Stanley Park lake could be made deeper to solve pond weed problem

Town hall conservationists hope a successful funding bid could help solve the longstanding problem of algae blighting Blackpool’s Stanley Park lake.

Saturday, 13th March 2021, 10:38 am
Updated Saturday, 13th March 2021, 10:40 am

The result of a bid for £1m from the Innovative Flood Resilience Fund for nature based flood management solutions across Lancashire should be known in the coming months.

If it is successful, some of the cash would be used to dredge the lake which would reduce the risk of flooding, but a knock on effect would be to control the current spread of algae and pond weed on the water surface.

A feasability study was carried out in 2019 to look at ways of managing the carpet of pond weed which has formed on the lake over the past few years.

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Pondweed and algae have been visible on Stanley Park lake for a number of years
Pondweed and algae have been visible on Stanley Park lake for a number of years

The funding bid is part of the council’s Green and Blue Infrastructure plan aimed at improving ecology around the town.

Lisa Arnold, leisure services manager at Blackpool Council, told a meeting of the Scrutiny Leadership Board: “The algae on the lake and the weed is a really challenging problem.

“We can tackle it in the short term by cutting it every year which is a costly and labour intensive process.

“But unfortunately doing that actually makes it grow more vigorously the following year so it just perpetuates the issue.

“We have been aware of this for a couple of years so we had a report done into the feasability of dredging the lake and what those costs would be.

“We submitted a funding bid in January in partnership with the Wyre Rivers Trust and we are now awaiting the outcome of that funding application.”

Ms Arnold said work to dredge the lake and remove sludge from the bottom would help reduce flooding and added “if we can deepen it the algae and weed do not reach the sunlight”, therefore restricting their spread naturally.

One-year-old French Bulldog Maggie drowned in Stanley Park Lake in December when it is believed she fell into the lake after mistaking some of the green algae for land. Her body was found by a fisherman in the park on January 18.

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