Harmful blue-green algae identified at nature reserve

Scottish National Heritage urge people to be vigilant when near the water at Loch Leven in Perth and Kinross.

Blue-green algae found at Loch Leven. Loch Leven NNR
Blue-green algae found at Loch Leven.

Blue-green algae that can be harmful to humans and animals has been identified at a loch.

People are being urged to remain vigilant when near the water at Loch Leven National Nature Reserve (NNR) in Perth and Kinross after the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology identified blooms of cyanobacteria.

Blue-green algae can be toxic for pets if they swallow water. as well as for people paddling or swimming in lochs.

Neil Mitchell, Scottish National Heritage Reserve Manager at Loch Leven NNR, said: “Together with partners including Perth and Kinross Council, the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) and many local stakeholders we’ve been working to improve the water quality at Loch Leven for nearly 30 years.

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“While significant improvements have been made, the loch is naturally nutrient rich and prone to occasional algae blooms, particularly during warm summer weather.”

Blue-green algae in the water at Loch Leven National Nature Reserve.

Scottish National Heritage is working with its partners to monitor the water quality and levels of blue-green algae at Loch Leven NNR.

“Together with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology we have also published expert advice and information for visitors ahead of the summer,” said Mr Mitchell.

“In addition the partners in the Loch Leven Catchment Management group are working together to investigate solutions to help reduce the algal blooms in the future,” he added.

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