Park algae blight hides pond water

The pond in Queens Park, Brighton

The pond in Queens Park, Brighton

First published in News
Last updated
by , Reporter

Algae and weed left a pond totally covered after a bloom described as the “worst in recent years”.

After weeks of sweltering weather the pond in Queens Park, Brighton, was left completely choked by duckweed and blanket weed – a form of algae.

At the bloom’s peak the surface of the water could not even be seen beneath the thick covering.

Volunteers have been battling to try to clear the pond but say there are simply not enough of them.

Chris Lowe, of the Friends of Queens Park, said the build-up has been the worst in recent years but while it may be “unsightly” it is not dangerous to wildlife.

He said: “The growth rate of duckweed is speeded up by high nutrient levels and sunlight, the pond returning to more or less clear water in the winter.

“The lack of a hard frost this year meant that the residual population of duckweed was not killed off.

“Duckweed is an example of geometric progression as in the right conditions, it can double every one or two days.

“So if it takes 100 days for the pond to get half covered it then takes, in theory, only one day to cover completely.

“Manual clearance is one solution but as there are tons to remove this is only likely to be a partial solution with the number of volunteers we have.”

Jess Price, conservation officer at the Sussex Wildlife Trust, said the Queen’s Park growth is the “largest” she has seen.

She said: “This is a very large bloom and they can grow really quickly and are tolerant of low levels of nutrients.

“You would have to physically clear it up but on a pond this big it is going to take a lot of work and it grows back so fast.”

Other parks in the county, including Brooklands Park in Worthing, have also been hit by blooms of the algae and weed.

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said they are aware of the problem and are looking into finding a solution.

Anyone interested in volunteering with the Friends of Queen’s Park can call Park Ranger Lindsay Cattanach on 07818 092719, Chris Lowe on 07761 674827 or visit www.friendsofqueens parkbrighton.net

Comments (12)

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7:40am Thu 7 Aug 14

Martha Gunn says...

Yet another Green Party triumph.
Yet another Green Party triumph. Martha Gunn
  • Score: 10

8:36am Thu 7 Aug 14

Getreal you lot says...

Is there not enough people being convicted at court and handed community service orders. Get them in to do the work me thinks.
Is there not enough people being convicted at court and handed community service orders. Get them in to do the work me thinks. Getreal you lot
  • Score: 22

8:57am Thu 7 Aug 14

plantwoman says...

There are plenty of commercially available solutions to this problem, perhaps they need to do more research on the subject.
There are plenty of commercially available solutions to this problem, perhaps they need to do more research on the subject. plantwoman
  • Score: 6

8:59am Thu 7 Aug 14

HJarrs says...

Martha Gunn wrote:
Yet another Green Party triumph.
Happens every summer.
[quote][p][bold]Martha Gunn[/bold] wrote: Yet another Green Party triumph.[/p][/quote]Happens every summer. HJarrs
  • Score: -11

9:13am Thu 7 Aug 14

Martha Gunn says...

In which case Jarrs the Green pond-loving council should be better prepared.
In which case Jarrs the Green pond-loving council should be better prepared. Martha Gunn
  • Score: 16

9:18am Thu 7 Aug 14

PracticeNotTheories says...

Introducing UV lighting systems into the filtration systems (which hopefully there should be!) would kill off a certain portion of algae, which would keep it in check. Normally works well enough it's only needed from time to time, even in a commercial setting.
Seeing as so many other ponds, pools, etc. have all managed to not have this problem, is Queen's Park just unique, or is it perhaps not managed effectively??? Methinks the latter...
Introducing UV lighting systems into the filtration systems (which hopefully there should be!) would kill off a certain portion of algae, which would keep it in check. Normally works well enough it's only needed from time to time, even in a commercial setting. Seeing as so many other ponds, pools, etc. have all managed to not have this problem, is Queen's Park just unique, or is it perhaps not managed effectively??? Methinks the latter... PracticeNotTheories
  • Score: 8

9:25am Thu 7 Aug 14

Skidrow says...

If there are so many tons of duckweed, wouldn't they compost nicely? Nice green solution, didn't they think of that one?
If there are so many tons of duckweed, wouldn't they compost nicely? Nice green solution, didn't they think of that one? Skidrow
  • Score: 2

9:36am Thu 7 Aug 14

Martha Gunn says...

On closer inspection it seems that the pond has been used as a waste tank for all the Greenbilge spouted by our 'One Planet Living Biosphere' claptrap council.

With extra waste products provided by the local Veganista councillor on temporary leave from the Green Party.
On closer inspection it seems that the pond has been used as a waste tank for all the Greenbilge spouted by our 'One Planet Living Biosphere' claptrap council. With extra waste products provided by the local Veganista councillor on temporary leave from the Green Party. Martha Gunn
  • Score: 8

10:30am Thu 7 Aug 14

wippasnapper says...

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said they are aware of the problem and are looking into finding a solution.

but don't want to spend any money on it as for usel
A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said they are aware of the problem and are looking into finding a solution. but don't want to spend any money on it as for usel wippasnapper
  • Score: 1

2:58pm Thu 7 Aug 14

dungagin says...

Much of the problem is caused by the fact that water is no longer being circulated by pump because of leaks in the channel supplying the pond. This is just another example of how the council (whatever hue) simply doesn't adequately maintain the fabric of our parks, but rather allows them to fall into major disrepair and then goes looking for big bucks to sort it out. This is what is currently happening at Queens Park with yet another "consultation process" leading to yet another "master plan" in the hope of more Heritage Lottery lucre.
Much of the problem is caused by the fact that water is no longer being circulated by pump because of leaks in the channel supplying the pond. This is just another example of how the council (whatever hue) simply doesn't adequately maintain the fabric of our parks, but rather allows them to fall into major disrepair and then goes looking for big bucks to sort it out. This is what is currently happening at Queens Park with yet another "consultation process" leading to yet another "master plan" in the hope of more Heritage Lottery lucre. dungagin
  • Score: 4

3:50pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Nosfaratu says...

It's a pond is it not. Weed comes in the summer and goes in the winter. Strange, but it looks like the only nicely mowed area in town, hope nobody or a doggy falls in thinking it is grass.
It's a pond is it not. Weed comes in the summer and goes in the winter. Strange, but it looks like the only nicely mowed area in town, hope nobody or a doggy falls in thinking it is grass. Nosfaratu
  • Score: 0

3:52pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Worriedofbrighton says...

HJarrs wrote:
Martha Gunn wrote:
Yet another Green Party triumph.
Happens every summer.
Greens don't make me laugh. I thought they had a strong following up that way, well unlucky this bunch of jokers can't even look after a pond, so you got what you deserve it's like the third world in Queens Park Road any way. Stinking students leaving all there crap everywhere for somebody else to clear up. They may make more of an effort if they paid rates like the rest of us. I feel sorry for the people who have lived up there for years and can't move on because the students keep the value of there property low, nobody wants to live next to a student house, still that won't bother the greens they need there votes, so they keep bringing them in.
[quote][p][bold]HJarrs[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Martha Gunn[/bold] wrote: Yet another Green Party triumph.[/p][/quote]Happens every summer.[/p][/quote]Greens don't make me laugh. I thought they had a strong following up that way, well unlucky this bunch of jokers can't even look after a pond, so you got what you deserve it's like the third world in Queens Park Road any way. Stinking students leaving all there crap everywhere for somebody else to clear up. They may make more of an effort if they paid rates like the rest of us. I feel sorry for the people who have lived up there for years and can't move on because the students keep the value of there property low, nobody wants to live next to a student house, still that won't bother the greens they need there votes, so they keep bringing them in. Worriedofbrighton
  • Score: 1

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