Fresh hopes of solving pond weed problem at Blackpool's Stanley Park lake

Plans to dredge Stanley Park Lake are still being investigated with council leisure chiefs hopeful funding will become available eventually.

Last year a bid in partnership with the Wyre Rivers Trust for up to £1m from the Innovative Flood Resilience Fund failed.

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But a long term solution to the problem, which is limiting use of the lake for water sports, is still being considered.

Archive picture of pond weed on Stanley Park lake

Lisa Arnold, head of community and wellbeing services at Blackpool Council, told a meeting of the tourism, economy and communities scrutiny committee a working group had been set up to explore the complexities around managing the clay base of the lake.

She added: "There is a lot of thinking through before we start work to dredge."

But she said she believed the council would be able to find funding for the project, and Natural England was involved in the work.

A report to the committee said while patronage for lake activities, including kayaking and canoeing, had been strong during the last year "the number of lake activities is currently limited due to the significant presence of pondweed."

It adds: "If the plan to dredge the lake is successful, this will present an opportunity to increase the water sports available to include activities such asstand up paddle boarding, sailing, windsurfing and open water swimming."

Coun Adrian Hutton said: "This is something we need to keep under review.

"I think sailing, canoeing etc is something a lot of youngsters miss out on because we haven't got the facilities."

The lake has suffered from layers of pond weed for around four years and at times has looked like a green carpet covering the surface of the water.

Last year concessions operator Hagop Tchobanian brought in a specialist operator to clear weed in order to enable pleasure boats to be used during the summer.

Dredging the lake would make it deeper and reduce exposure of the algae and pond weed to sunlight thus controlling its spread naturally.

Merely cutting back the pond weed each year can cause it to regrow even more vigorously the following year, and is also a costly and labour intensive process.