Warning issued after toxic blue-green algae identified at beauty spot

Rangers have urged people to be vigilant when near water at Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.

Warning issued after toxic blue-green algae identified at Milarrochy Bay, Loch Lomond Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park via Supplied
The blue-green algae has been identified at Milarrochy Bay.

Blue-green algae that can be harmful to humans and animals has been identified at a beauty spot at Loch Lomond.

People are being urged to remain vigilant when near the water after the algae was spotted at Milarrochy Bay on Friday.

The blue-green algae can be fatal to dogs and other animals and can cause rashes and illness in humans if swallowed.

A warning from the National Park read: “Please be aware we have had reports of blue-green algae at Milarrochy Bay which can produce toxins that can kill dogs and other animals.

“In humans it can cause rashes after skin contact and illnesses if swallowed.

“Because of the risk to animals and humans, when we are notified that an algae bloom has been seen in an area of the Park, we post warnings online right away to let people know.

“We also inform the relevant local authority so they can post warning signs on the shorelines and report it to SEPA.

“If we have posted a warning or if there are warning signs on the Loch shore, then people are advised to keep themselves and their pets and livestock out of the water.”

Michelle Henry said her daughter Ava, 11, came back from a school activities trip to Luss covered in a rash caused by the algae.

She said: “Ava was away to Luss with her primary seven class from Monday to Thursday, doing all different water activities including paddle boarding, canoeing and craft building.

“After her second day she had a rash on her arms, then by Thursday it was all over her legs and arms.

Ava's rash was caused by the algae.Michelle Henry via Supplied
Ava’s rash was caused by the algae.

“The same happened to her last year when we had been paddleboarding and then it came out about the algae then too.

“I wasn’t aware of the algae being back until I saw it on the Loch Lomond Facebook page.

“Ava has now been given a steroid cream to try and take the itch away.

“It depends when they realised the loch had algae, but there should definitely be signs up now to make the public aware, as it can also cause dogs to die.”