Warning over potentially-deadly algae at Bradlaugh Fields in Kingsthorpe

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Dried-up ponds at a Northampton nature reserve have had warnings notices placed on them because of potentially-deadly algae.

The three ponds, in Bradlaugh Fields, Kingsthorpe, dried up several weeks ago soon after workers for Anglian Water carried out work on water pipes elsewhere in the park.

The amount of water in the ponds is now so tiny that waterlife including koi carp, roach and perch, have had to be rescued by the Environment Agency.

Now the Friends of Bradlaugh Fields have fenced them off and placed notices warning parents and dog walkers to beware of what some believe to be toxic blue-green algae.

Dog walker Gary Smart, aged 27, from Kingsthorpe, said: “The ponds are an environmental disaster area now; it’s tragic when you think of how scenic this area was just a few months ago. We can’t even take the children here now.”

There is disagreement over what caused the levels to fall so dramatically.

As revealed by the Chron last week, Anglian Water told councillors it was as a result of its workers repairing a pipe that runs through the park, which had been leaking for about 30 years.

However park users and Michael Ellis, the MP for Northampton North, refuse to believe that the leak is the cause.

They believe natural springs that fed the pond have somehow become blocked around the time the water company was carrying out its works. It is understood Anglian Water is looking at a range of options to raise the levels of the ponds in coming months, including lining them with non-porous clay then topping up the water levels.