Dog owners are being urged to not let their pets swim in the reservoir at Daventry Country Park following an outbreak of toxic blue-green algae.
Blue-green algae are tiny organisms that develop naturally in warm conditions and can cause serious, potentially fatal, illness to any animals that ingest them.
Visitors to the country park off Northern Way are being urged not to let their dogs swim in the reservoir or drink from it while the algae is present. The algae may also be present on the shore as well as in the water.
The Canal and River Trust has notices around the park warning visitors about the blue-green algae, which tends to become more concentrated in the reservoir during summer months. While it’s not known how long it will remain in the reservoir on this occasion, the algae is expected to dissipate naturally with the arrival of cooler weather and heavy rain.
Simon Bovey, deputy chief executive at Daventry District Council, said: “The algae becomes more concentrated in the warmer summer weather and can pose serious harm to any animals that drink it. In humans, it can cause rashes after skin contact and illnesses if swallowed.
“We would urge all dog owners who visit the country park to be aware of the blue-green algae and avoid letting their pets go into the reservoir or drink from the water’s edge.”
Blue-green algae forms on the surface of the water and can look like turquoise paint, jelly, grass clippings or floating mats. It can be blue-green, grey-green, greenish-brown or reddish-brown in colour. More information about blue-green algae, and how to spot it, is available on the www.gov.uk website.