A LAKE on Southampton Common has been closed and a cygnet has died after the water became contaminated.

Residents and dog walkers have been urged to stay away from the boat lake, which has been closed by Southampton City Council.

Southampton City Council, the Environment Agency and the RSPCA were called after concerns were raised over the state of the water.

Pictures show light blue-green scum settling on the surface, while in others a green bubbling substance is visible.

Two cygnets were rescued after one was seen looking unwell, and an RSPCA spokeswoman confirmed to the Daily Echo that one has now died.

The spokeswoman said: "We were called about this yesterday and assisted the common keepers in catching the two cygnets as one was looking very unwell, and we transported them both to one of our centres straight away but sadly one cygnet died.

"We can't be sure what caused the death of this cygnet as the other - who is now being cared for by a specialist - and the parent birds, seem in good health at the moment, but I believe there are plans to relocate the two adults to another area of water in the park tomorrow.

"I understand the park keepers are continuing to monitor all the birds and fish on the site and will call us for assistance if needed at any time."

There were suggestions that there was paint in the lake but an Environment Agency spokesman told the Daily Echo that the problem was algae.

The spokesman said: “Southampton City Council made us aware of a possible blue-green algal bloom at the Boating Lake on Southampton Common on Friday, August 2.

"Our Environment Officers attended the site and took water samples. These have been sent to a Laboratory for analysis to confirm the type of algae. The Council have put up signs warning and informing the public of the situation, and are using specialist equipment to aerate and improve the water quality in the lake."

Residents took to social media to share their worries about the incident.

One wrote: "The wildlife in the lake is being poisoned, including the swans and cygnets, and the water is toxic."

Another said: "Well done Southampton council getting it sorted quickly."