Monday, July 1, 2019

News: Rotherham country park closes lakes

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On the hottest day of the year so far, Rother Valley Country Park in Rotherham was forced to keep its lakes closed due to fears over toxic algae.

All water-based activities have been stopped since a warning went out last Friday (June 28) regarding "blue-green algae", a type of blooming algae that can produce toxins.

Popular activities on the main and northern lakes include sailing, windsurfing, pedal boats, rowing boats and water zorbing. The park also hosts the North of England's biggest cable wake park and inflatable aqua park.

Operators, Rotherham Council, stated that land based activities are safe and open as usual and the country park hosted the 5k Color Obstacle Rush over the weekend.

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A post on social media from Rother Valley Country Park read: "Warning The Main Lake and Northern Lake contain high levels of Toxic Algae

"After testing the water content as we normally do unfortunately it has been found to contain algae that may cause illness in humans and animals including pets.

"Main Lake and Northern Lake are not open for leisure activities at the moment.

"If coming to the park to keep you and your loved ones safe: Please keep pets and children away from the water's edge.

"Do not touch scum either in the water or on the shore.

"Further information is available from the Park Office, Cafe or Watersports.

"All our land based activities are safe and open as usual.

"Cycle Hire Centre, Miniature Train and Cafe are open as normal."

When conditions are ideal for growth, an algal bloom can occur. During a bloom, the water becomes less clear and may look green, blue-green or greenish-brown. Scums can form during calm weather when several bloom forming species rise to the surface.

Cyanobacteria can produce toxins that can kill wild animals, livestock and pets. They can also harm people, producing rashes after skin contact and illnesses if swallowed.

Rother Valley Country Park website

Images: Sheffield Cable Waterski and Aqua Park

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