IT MAY be hot, but sunseekers are avoiding a park in Gosport after the return of a mysterious stench.
People have been put off from enjoying the good weather at Walpole Park because of a pong over the area in the past week.
Gosport Borough Council is investigating the cause of the stink and tests have been carried out on the water in the lake.
The smell has plagued the park for years and always arrives at this time of year.
Various possible causes have been suggested including seaweed or algae – and even the swans.
Claire Kershaw lives near the park in Jamaica Place.
The 37-year-old said: ‘It’s not very nice at the moment because with the hot weather all I want to do is have my windows open.
‘But because of the awful smell I’ve got to have them all shut or it gets inside.
‘It’s a bit of a mystery but I think it might have something to do with the swans.
‘It seems like it’s only coming from one part of the lake and it’s the part where the swans use the most so I think it’s them.
‘Although it’s a bit strange that it only happens at this time of the year.
‘Whatever it is it has to be something fairly recent, because my nan has lived here for ages and she doesn’t remember it.’
Last year, council officials thought it may have been down to an algae bloom at the park’s lake and nearby creek.
Barley straw bales were placed in the lake in an attempt to stop the smell when the algae was in bloom.
Karen Davis, who owns the Lakeside cafe in the park, said customers have been complaining for the past few days.
She said: ‘We’ve noticed it since last week and it’s funny because you can see the lake change colour a little as well.
‘Thankfully we can’t smell it all the time in here, but people do come in complaining about it.
‘Sometimes it smells quite bad but most of the time the wind seems to be blowing it the other way.
‘It smells bad if you stand down the end of the high street. When we started smelling it we called the council to see if there was anything they could do about it.
‘It seems to be getting worse.’