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Blue-green algae at Fleet Pond as dog owners warned to keep pets away from water; Dog owners should be on their guard while walking their four-legged friends at the popular beauty spot.

Byline: Beth Duffell

An algae that is toxic to animals and humans has been spotted atFleetPond in Hampshire.

Blue-green algaehas been seen at Fleet Pond and a warning has now been issued to remind people of the potential harm the toxic algae can cause.

Hart Countryside Services posted on itsFacebookpage on Friday (August 2): "There is blue-green algae at Fleet Pond, it's concentrated by the station, fishing jetties and Boat House corner.

"There isn't any algae along the Gelvert stream and Sandy Bay so they're still safe for dogs to swim in."

The alert went on to state that the algae is toxic and 'may cause harm to both humans and animals'.

"Do not allow dogs to swim," it added. "Avoid contact with the water as this can cause skin irritation and stomach upset."

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Hart Countryside Services said the matter has been reported to the Environment Agency (EA).

People commenting on the Facebook post say they have spotted the blue-green algae at other parts of Fleet Pond and are warning dog owners to be on their guard.

According to the EA, the algae, which is also known as Cyanobacteria, is a 'naturally occurring photosynthetic organism, which can be found in most terrestrial and aquatic environments'.

The EA says: "Water bodies affected by blue green algae, or algal blooms may be green, blue-green or greenish brown and can produce musty, earthy or grassy odours.

"Blooms can also cause foaming on the shoreline, which can sometimes be confused with sewage pollution. During a bloom, the water also becomes less clear, blocking sunlight and can slow down plant growth in water."

6 times toxic algae has been found in Surrey and Hampshire

Here's the advice from the EA: "Bloom and scum forming blue-green algae can produce toxins.

"Toxin producing blooms are called Harmful Algal Blooms. These toxins can be harmful to wild animals, farm livestock and domestic pets.

"In humans, they have been known to cause rashes after skin contact and illnesses if swallowed.

"Not all blue-green algae blooms and scums are toxic, but you can't tell just by looking at them, so it's best to assume they are."

The algae has been foundat a number of Surrey and Hampshire beauty spotsover the years, includingChobham Common,Virginia Water,Frensham Great Pondand theBasingstoke CanalnearAsh.

Anyone with queries about the blue-green algae at Fleet Pond should call 01252 622122 or email countryside@hart.gov.uk

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Credit: Darren Pepe

During an algal bloom, the water may look green

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Publication:Get Surrey (Surrey, England)
Date:Aug 3, 2019
Words:417
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