Warning as toxic blue-green algae spotted in Cumbrian lakes

With more tourists expected to flock to the Lake District this weekend, a warning has been issued about a potentially dangerous algae that has been spotted.

Blue-green algae, which can kill dogs and make humans ill, has been reported in Ullswater, near Pooley Bridge, as well as Windermere at Brockhole, Derwentwater, Grasmere and Rydal.

The algae, which can look like scum on the surface of water, can also be a danger to livestock and is a risk in lakes during sunny weather.

Blue-green algae in Derwentwater. Credit: Environment Agency

The Environment Agency has not been able to take samples of the water due to testing labs being non-operation during the lockdown period, but a spokesperson from the authority has issued a warning.

Emma Brass, principal environmental health officer, said: “We are urging people to be cautious following these reports to the Environment Agency.

“Dogs should be kept well away from the water and if people come into contact with water that could contain the algae they should wash in clean water.”

For more information, visit the Environment Agency website.