Toxic algae blooms caused by heatwave turns lake and rivers green

British rivers and lakes are being choked with algae thanks to the record-breaking heatwave that has scorched the UK.

Cumbrian beauty spot Lake Windermere is among waterways and bodies of water filled with algal blooms, which tend to thrive in high temperatures and after sewage is discharged into waterways.

Blooms of blue-green algae can be toxic to humans and animals and can cause skin rashes, vomiting, stomach pains, fever, and headaches.

People are being warned not to go into the water after blue-green algae was confirmed in Bedford.

The algae – cyanobacteria – was found in Priory Country Park’s lakes and other rivers across the district, Bedford Borough Council warned.

Algae on the canal at the River Lee Navigation in north London

(Future Publishing via Getty Imag)

Councillor Charles Royden said: “Please ensure any children and pets are supervised at all times while near any lakes or rivers in the borough.”

The council has reported the findings to Public Health England and the Environment Agency.

Meanwhile, two dogs have died within days of each other after suspected blue-green algae poisoning at beauty spots in Aberdeenshire, reports the Daily Record.

The first pet died after swimming in a lake at Haddo Country Park last week and locals were warned to keep dogs on a lead. In the second incident, a dog died after playing in the River Dee around the Knappach area.

Algal bloom and duckweed on the Jubilee River in Buckinghamshire

(Maureen McLean/Shutterstock)

In Slough, Berkshire, algae covered the Jubilee River as temperatures rose above 30C.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “Hot, sunny weather can result in algal blooms forming and removing dissolved oxygen from our waters, which fish need to survive.

“Environment Agency officers are out on the ground ensuring our fisheries are supported, deploying aeration pumps to restore oxygen levels and, when necessary, performing a fish rescue.”