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IoM residents reassured red parts of sea is 'natural phenomenon'

Noctiluca scintillans in Douglas Bay Credit: IOM Gov

Residents on the Isle of Man are being told not to worry about parts of the sea around the coast appearing red.

Particularly at Douglas, Laxey and Ramsey bays a natural phenomenon is occuring, called 'noctiluca scintillans'.

Scientists at the IOM Government Laboratory, operated by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, have analysed samples and confirmed the discolouration is caused by a type of algae.

Whilst non-toxic, it is possible that dense blooms will also congregate other organisms such as jellyfish which will feed on noctiluca.

The public are therefore advised to avoid swimming through patches of water that are clearly discoloured.


Winter Hill fire will have 'devastating' impact on rare animals and plants

Firefighter Richard Drew Waller found this bird resting on his hose reel while fighting grass fires. Credit: Richard Drew Waller

The Woodland Trust says the impact on nature of the Winter Hill blaze could be “devastating”.

A large portion of its 1,700 acres Smithills Estate has been burnt by the fire which ripped through the site on Thursday evening and has continued to spread with hundreds of firefighters on hand to tackle it.

The fire has seen damage to heather moorland, upland grassland and woodland – home to an array of delicate and rare plants and animals such as the brown hare, lapwing and common lizard; it has also burnt into the first trees planted as part of the Northern Forest project.

Firefighters tackle the blaze on Winter Hill Credit: Press Association

Russ Hedley, from the Woodland Trust who is based at Smithills, said: “Whole eco systems – from birds down to the likes of caterpillars and insects will have been wiped out by the fire, though as it continues to blaze, we can only speculate as to the exact damage.

"Breeding birds will have been affected such as the curlew, a red-list species. And it will have affected the whole invertebrate community too. The habitat will take years to recover with the scars lasting a long time.”


Fylde's new multi-million pound flood defence scheme

Flood defences at Rossall, Wyre Credit: Environment Agency

The enviroment agency has announced a new £63 million pound flood defence scheme at Rossall, Wyre in Lancashire. It's hoped it will reduce the risk of flooding to 7,500 properties in the area. It consists of two kilometres of sea defences featuring several tonnes of concrete and 325,000 tonnes of rock.

Its hoped the flood defences will protect thousands of properties Credit: Environment Agency
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