‘We are still open’ cry after algae outbreak

Fairhaven Lake in Lytham has been closed due to red algae
Fairhaven Lake in Lytham has been closed due to red algae
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The closure of Fairhaven Lake’s waters has been described as ‘another blow’ following sea water test failures in St Annes.

The Lake’s waters have been closed to members of the public after an outbreak of algae which has caused the death of thousands of fish.

No date has been set for the Lake’s boating and watersports facilities to re-open after it was closed by Fylde Council officials, following the discovery of high levels of red algae in the water.

The algae, which drains oxygen levels, has caused more than 1,500 plaice, eel and flounder to die already.

Facilities around the lake remain open, but sailing, motor boat use and rowing is banned until the situation improves.

Holiday Association of Lytham St Annes (HALSA) president Barbara Mackenzie said the closure was bad news for holidaymakers and residents, after recent sea water test failures.

Earlier this year it was revealed beaches at St Annes had failed water quality testing and could be blacklisted under EU regulations from 2015.

She added: “It’s not good it’s going to be closed.

“Coming on the back of the water tests for the beach, this just adds to the problem. People rely on holiday money and tourism and keeping business going.”

It is believed a ‘perfect storm’ of conditions has led to the red algae bloom including a rise in temperatures, bird waste and the layout of the lake.

And Jackie Carrier, owner of the Fairhaven Lake Cafe with business partner Jane Sargeson, said misleading signs around the lake had given the impression the venue was closed, including the facilities around the tourist hotspot.

She added: “We have never been shut – the impression it gives is the whole area is shut.

“The algae is nature. I would not say it was a shock as this can happen at any time.”

A Fylde Council spokesman confirmed the algae was non-poisonous and non-toxic, but said the situation was improving and hoped it would be days rather than weeks before the lake re-opened.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “Our officers used aeration equipment in the lake over the weekend and we are supporting the council with their lake management plan for the future.”