Blue-green algae warning for Mid Sussex dog owners

The toxic algae could be in the pond at Bedelands. Photo by Steve Robards
The toxic algae could be in the pond at Bedelands. Photo by Steve Robards

Dog owners in Mid Sussex are being warned about blue-green algae.

Mid Sussex District Council said this afternoon (August 21), that the toxic algae could be in the pond at Bedelands Nature Reserve in Burgess Hill.

A spokesman said: “This algae can be poisonous to dogs so please do not allow them to enter the pond at this time.

“We have alerted the Environment Agency to the situation and they will be sending an officer to investigate as soon as possible.”

Dominic Moore, chairman for Burgess Hill Green Circle Network, said: “Unfortunately a bloom of blue-green algae has been confirmed in the westernmost pond on Bedelands, which is very popular with dogs.

“The Environment Agency has been alerted. Meanwhile dog owners should please keep their animals on leads in this area and prevent their entering or drinking from the pond water.

“One quarter of algal blooms are known to produce toxins.

“These toxins can result in illness in humans but have been known to kill cows, sheep and dogs that have been drinking from the water’s edge.

“Humans face a health risk from exposure to blue-green algae toxins. Illnesses including skin rashes, eye irritation, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and muscle and joint pain have occurred in people who’ve swallowed or swam through algal scum. “These haven’t led to long-term effects or death but, in some cases, the illnesses can be severe.

“When the blooms decay they use up the oxygen in the water and can lead to the death of aquatic organisms and a decline in biodiversity.”

If residents have any further concerns they can email the council’s parks and open spaces tram at parksopenspaces@midsussex.gov.uk

A dog died from suspected exposure to the deadly algae near Horsham in June.

According to Edric Cross, clinical director of Arun Veterinary Group, the dog was swimming in Wephurst Wood near Loxwood in the Chichester district recently when it was thought to have come into contact with the deadly algae.

Read more here: Dog dies from suspected exposure to deadly algae near Horsham, sparking warning to owners