Calls for regular maintenance after algae growth in Canoe Lake branded 'awful'

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'PILES of algae' were removed from a Portsmouth attraction as its first summer clean was carried out - prompting calls for regular maintenance.

Using a small boat Portsmouth City Council staff were seen scooping algae and rubbish from man-made Canoe Lake in Southsea today, work that was last completed in May.

Algae at Canoe Lake before the clean. Picture by Len Edwards

Algae at Canoe Lake before the clean. Picture by Len Edwards

This was a 'quick fix' before the water is to be cleaned later this month by the harbour clean - a water-borne craft capable of removing larger quantities of algae and debris.

The council's service manager for parks and open spaces, Adrian Rozier, said that the recent hot temperatures had had an impact. He said: 'The recent warm weather has seen a resurgence of algae growth in Canoe Lake.

'This is a natural occurrence given the right conditions and we'll continue to manage it with regular removal, but it will keep growing back while these conditions remain.'

But one resident believed the cleaning operation was long overdue.

Workers clearing algae at Canoe Lake. Picture by Len Edwards

Workers clearing algae at Canoe Lake. Picture by Len Edwards

Len Edwards, who has lived in Southsea for 40 years, was shocked by the 'awful' appearance of the lake this weekend when he visited with his grandchildren.

The 75-year-old described the state of the water as 'disgusting' after finding patches of green algae on its surface and said he feared for the safety of his family.

He said: 'It's actually been covered in algae since Easter time but at the weekend it was just awful.

'The lake has always been used for boating and children to go crabbing but I wouldn't want my grandchildren getting close to the water now. I was worried it could be toxic.'

Algae removed from the lake. Picture by Len Edwards

Algae removed from the lake. Picture by Len Edwards

Mr Edwards added: 'It's not just the sun, it hasn't been maintained at all. Obviously this is something that hasn't been attended to for a long time.

'The lake used to be drained completely in the winter and the base cleaned. It was then refilled from the sea with a large pipe which had a tidal flap to stop it overflowing. Why isn't that done any more?'