Work underway to clean pond weed from Stanley Park lake
Work to remove invasive pond weed from Blackpool’s Stanley Park lake is being carried out to enable the return of pleasure boat rides this summer.
The lake has suffered from layers of weed for at least three years, at times resembling a carpet on the surface of the water.
Specialist operators have been brought in to remove the weed which has prevented the use of rowing, pedal and motor boats.
Hagop Tchobanian, who operates concessions at the park including the pleasure boats, said the weed had been getting tangled up in motors and oars.
Once lockdown restrictions are lifted, he plans to reintroduce boating to the park.
He said: “We decided to do this because we haven’t been able to operate the boats due to the pond weed, and we want people to be able to come out and enjoy themselves.
“It has been very hard for everyone, including us not being able to operate, for so long. So it will be great to see people enjoying the boats once more.”
He added measures were being taken to ensure the work did not impact on wildlife.
He added: “The most important thing is to take every precaution to protect the wildlife.”
John Blackledge, director of community and environmental services, at Blackpool Council, said: “The boat operation concessionaire has been undertaking weed removal work on Stanley Park lake prior to the boat season starting.
“Blackpool Council is in discussions with them to ensure disturbance to wildlife and the public is minimised during the operation.”
The council is seeking a long term solution to the pond weed problem and is awaiting the outcome of a £1m bid to the Innovative Flood Resilience Fund for nature based flood management solutions across Lancashire.
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.
Deepening the lake would reduce exposure to sunlight of algae and pond weed thus controlling its spread naturally.
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